How do I beat this disease? How do I come out on top above the depression, above the anxiety? How do I stop it before it permanently leaves me broken? I'm going to go a little cliche on you for a moment. What if the old adage is true? What if life is what you make it? I am and have always been in the driver's seat of my life. I have also, however, allowed my anxiety and/or depression (depending on the day) dictate where I'm going for the last 2 years. Hear me out. I definitely know that there are moments where depression and anxiety can take over your entire being. Where you can physically not get out of bed. Where you are too paralyzed to move. Those feelings are real, and they are valid. But I've noticed that they are also fed by my inner self talk or lack there of. I've stopped fighting for myself. I've let myself stop caring, and because of that, I have stopped living. I have changed the trajectory of my life just by choosing not to get back into the driver's seat.
What this year has taught me is that nothing will change if I don't start fighting back. Somehow, I need to be numb and paralyzed less. I need to use all of my emotions. That starts with connecting to humanity again with my heart and with my head. Reflecting daily and sometimes more than once a day. It means I need to stop using things like social media, alcohol and sleep as forms of medication to step out of my life, and start finding tools that will help me step INTO my life.
This brings me to next year. I used to be a big resolutioner, and then it became too much pressure for me and so I stopped. I feel like resolutions are just goals for the new year, and the reason they get such a bad rap is because people have goals but no real game plan of how to make them happen. Part of what stopped me from carrying any of my resolutions out was the fear that I would fail. What I know now is that I will fail. Probably a lot of times. But what I need to keep in mind is that the only time I can't pick myself back up is when I'm dead. So really, I have an infinite amount of chances to be who I want to be. Let me emphasize that I want to be....not just become. Life has to be a balance of striving for something and loving exactly where you are.
My aspirations for the next year are to step back into my life. To be present for my life. To connect to my tribe. To feel all the feelings. To taking care of my body. To giving myself grace. To surrounding myself with positive people and positive thoughts. To reflecting regularly. To stop waiting for my life to begin.
Here are some of my favorite parts of 2016.
|Playing wally ball! I don't have a picture of my new team, but I love this sport.|
|Watching my boys wrestle. This was the last year both of them did it. This year, Sawyer is wrestling and Carter is playing basketball.|
|Johnny Holm band with my people|
|Jaedyn and her friends started a drama club and performed a small production of the Velveteen Rabbit. This is where I began seeing|
|Jae's first middle school play: The Music Man|
|Surprising Dawn for her birthday and enjoying a Crab Broil|
|Sean's first prom|
|Shopping weekend with the girls|
|First fire of Spring|
|Mud Volleyball for the Quasqui|
|Winery with the Valentines and Mulders|
|Florida with my family|
|First ocean sunrise|
|Bachelorette party in Kansas City!|
|Royal Family Kids Camp|
|Standing beside Jenni on her wedding day|
|Ozarks in the Fall with some of my favorite people|
|Who swims in October? We do!|
|Road tripping to Cedar Rapids for State Volleyball|
|Watching all my kids' sports|
|Cutting down our Christmas Tree|
|RFKC Dinner and Dessert Auction|
|Surprising my mom with tickets to Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant and Jordan Smith for her birthday|
|Making time to see each other despite busy schedules|
|First Christmas at the new house|
Here's to jumping into 2017 with hope, grace, vulnerability and love. Happy New Year to you and yours.