Jan 22, 2018

Questions for 2018

Did you guys read Alyssa's post, 10 Answers for 2018?  She starts with this quote, "There are years that ask questions and years that answer."

I felt that latch onto my brain as soon as I read it.  It's interesting how certain things just trigger something and then you know, "Yep, this is going to be a blog post."  Usually, for me, it's something that irritated me and then I couldn't let it go, but sometimes it's a reality check or something introspective.

In this case, I read the quote and immediately thought, "Oh, this was a question year for me."  In fact, I think the past 2 have been question years.

What did they ask?  I'll tell you.

Are you strong enough?

Like the cold showers I finally took after Ryan kept suggesting it over and over again, it didn't feel good.  Much of the past 2 years was stressed and strained, marked by everything from aching loss to physical breakdown from extended sleep deprivation.  At times I felt betrayed, I felt alone, I felt grief, I felt rage, and occasionally I felt despair.

And I overcame all of it.  I'll never know if I actually had postpartum depression or if it was the effects of months of sleep deprivation.  But after realizing this thing was here and nothing was going to get better without some sort of action on my part - I took action.  I made it better.

Every challenge that presented itself, I recognized (after wallowing in self pity first), and then took specific steps to address.  Some things, like loss, just need time.  There's no "fixing" to be done there.  Others, like the neglect of your own health in order to care for an infant and growing business, require some work.

I've always been a problem solver, and that served me very well the last couple of years.  Is my life not making me very happy right now?  Let me poke at each piece, one at a time, to see which changes will make it better.

Who do you want to be?

I don't like feeling like a victim.  Given the polar opposites of control freak vs doormat, I'll choose control freak every time.

So I don't accept struggling and sadness and having people treat me in ways I don't like.  Maybe it feels like an inescapable prison right now, but it's not.  There's an out.  I just have to find it.

Overall I'm proud of how I've handled the last couple years.  I haven't been perfect and, in many cases, I was contributing to, if not outright causing, the problem.  But I recognized that, and continued to work at it until I could see other ways of doing and other ways of being.

I know who I am, and I know who I want to be.  I have a list of steps to take to try to get from point A to point B.  And if those don't work, I'm confident that I can find other strategies to try.

Where will you go?

In 2016 I made choices that permanently changed my life (having a baby), and in 2017 I learned that it was possible to be a mom AND an entrepreneur and do a good job at both.  I also learned that I had to let go of other opportunities and goals in order to invest the amount of time and energy needed into those 2 areas.

I didn't figure out how to balance all the things I want to have in my life, but I learned which ones I'm ok with letting go of.  And I set up a framework for regularly checking-in, adjusting, and reworking my routines until they do achieve that balance.

I suppose, now that 2017 has come to a close, I am starting to feel like there are more answers now.  But I have some questions of my own for 2018.

Dear 2018,

  • Is there anything else I can trim from my life?  And do I want to?
  • Can I grow without external challenges?  Will you leave me alone long enough to try?
  • Where does "me time" fit into the priorities equation?
  • Can my business still grow even when it's not the top priority?
  • How do I get rid of the mom guilt thing?

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