It’s been far too long since my last post. I didn’t expect such a long hiatus, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Over the holidays I did a lot of soul searching. I knew I wanted to start the new year off right because 2011 wasn’t exactly the best year of my life. Sickness, loss, disappointment… you name it. I spent a lot of time thinking about what’s most important to me, what’s truly not worth worrying about, and how to best spend my time and life. Instead of resolutions this year, I’ve decided to make life changes.
Spending so much time this year either being sick or taking care of others who were sick was a wake up call for me. I decided that simply “getting healthy” wasn’t specific enough of a change. Improving my quality of life, my immune system, my longevity is really what matters most. In dealing with family loss, I’ve been reminded just how short life is and how precious it is to the ones who love us. I want to be here for my family, and I want my presence to be a healthy and happy one. I don’t want to force burdens on my children, ones that mean they will have to take care of a broken-down version of me someday. I’ve seen what someone’s passing does to their children, sisters, wives. I can’t prevent the inevitable, but I may be able to prolong it.
Sleep has become a renewed importance in my life, and not just quantity but most definitely quality. I’ve started my own sleep experiment that I will share in later posts once I have data and something worth talking about. It’s something I’m excited to learn from, and hopefully will help others having some of the same issues.
Time. It’s the thing that we all want more of, but unfortunately there’s a finite amount. I can’t do anything about the amount of time there is in a day, or a week, but I can do something about how I spend it. I work 40+ hours a week. That’s probably not going to change anytime soon. But what I can change is how I spend the time outside the office. I need my time to count for something. I need to make a difference. Spending quality time with my family is first and foremost on my to-do list. The kind of love you get from your children is beyond words. It’s the most fulfilling, rewarding thing I can imagine. So, spending quality time playing, learning, creating is most important to me. Of course, I also want to be a good role model for my girls. I want them to know that believing in something, advocating for something, is important. So, the rest of my time will be spent doing only the things I am passionate about. Creating positive, meaningful change. And, possibly indulging in a good scary flick here and there. We all have our vices, after all!
Relationships are something I value more than I sometimes show. I have some amazing friends and family members, and unfortunately I don’t spend nearly enough time talking and connecting with them. I need to remind myself, and maybe this is a good reminder for you out there, that it doesn’t take a ton of time to just check in, say hi, and let someone know you’re thinking about them. In my mind, though, it’s not that simple, so instead of spending a few minutes on the phone or email, I get completely overwhelmed and bogged down. An unfortunate consequence to this method is that I’m positive several of my friends and family think they’re not a priority in my life. But they’re wrong. I just need to prove it, because we all know actions speak louder than (blog) words.
Adventure: such a fun word to say. I don’t know if I’m amidst a mid-life crisis, but lately I feel the need… for speed? Well, sort of. To take more risks, really. Create some adrenalin-inducing scenarios. I really want to go on some new adventures. My list is an ever-growing one and I hope to start working toward knocking things off the list soon, and moving them into my favorite memories list.
Positivity is something I strive to have in my life. I have this saying: “Today may not have been the best day ever, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. And for that I am grateful.” I try to remind myself of this when I’m having a bad day. Whether it’s dealing with my daughter’s T1 Diabetes, or something at work that didn’t go my way. It could always be worse. There are people out there going through much, much worse. “Find the light, Andrea.” Having gratitude is a big part of positivity, but who we choose to surround ourselves with also has a lot to do with it. I made a vow years ago to only surround myself with people who enhance my life, not bring it down. This has served me well and I’ll continue to live by this rule. Finally, I find that my level of patience directly affects my positive outlook. Learning to let things go is something I work on daily.
Accepting my weirdness has been a difficult thing for me to do over the years. I think I’m finally at a place where I can do this and not only accept it, but embrace it. Love it. Become one with it. I need to stop pretending and trying to be someone I’m not. I can’t be all and do all. So sticking to the things I’m most passionate about, doing things that make me wildly happy, and spending time with people that ignite my flame, not extinguish it, is the best laid plan. And one I intend to stick to.
So, there you have it. I guess after not writing for over two months, this is what happens. Nevertheless, I have big plans for this year. 2012 is a year of new beginnings. Not resolutions that will come and go. Not goals that will likely not ever come to fruition. No, lifelong commitments for positive change. Cheers!