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Reflecting on the Year

Happy New Year’s Eve, friends! As 2019 draws to a close and we eagerly anticipate the start of a new decade, I found myself wanting to write on resolutions and reflections; however, I was unsure of the framework to structure this blog post but after listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Miranda Anderson’s Live Free Creative, her episode entitled End of the Year Reflect + Project inspired me. So, just as Miranda shared her highs and lows, I’d like to share mine.

This time of year is beautiful for the simplicity of turning inward to review our lives and choices we’ve made over the last twelve months; this mindfulness offers us all the opportunity for closure and the chance to begin dreaming of what could be. This seems especially important with the start of a new decade! It’s easy to get caught up in our yearly resolutions, and I believe for most, or I know it to be true for myself, it’s often difficult to maintain those pledges. I feel resolutions can often be associated with the negative. I think this is why I originally did not want to write on this subject because a resolution, or a firm decision to do or not do something, is not short-term like many anticipate but instead is all about longevity. It’s a commitment. A resolution, especially a New Year’s Resolution, requires determination, purpose and courage. I believe this is yet another reason why Miranda’s episode really spoke to me because no where in her podcast did she mention resolutions...instead some of the terms she used were reflect, improve, wins, adjustments, etc. Her language was very positive.

Additionally, Miranda referenced a beautiful and simple quote by Zora Neale Hurston, an African-American writer known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God:

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” -Zora Neale Hurston

How true and timely is this statement?! There is so much magnitude in this little sentence. As I have welcomed years past, I have wondered whether I would get answers or not, and as I’ve grown and matured, I can certainly recognize which years within this last decade were question and answer years. And I’m happy to report, for me, 2019 was a welcomed and relieving answer year! What was 2019 for you? Was it a year that asked questions or was it a year that answered?

Now, on to my highs and lows from 2019...

Highs From 2019

Overcoming Infertility by getting pregnant through IVF -- this biggie right here is obviously a personal victory and the true highlight from my year! A dream I’ve always wanted finally came true. I’m pregnant! And I’m happily into my second trimester with a healthy baby girl, so naturally, I’m overjoyed to welcome 2020. Becoming pregnant doesn’t automatically erase the pain and challenges of infertility from the past few years nor does it erase any trials and awkwardness that may occur in the future. However, it feels like a personal battle has been overcome, and I’m abundantly grateful to transition into motherhood.

Opening my own business and starting a new job -- Professionally, I am a Registered Nurse, and am employed at a local hospital serving the community through twelve hour shifts. I love my job, but it’s also easy for me to get complacent. I find myself longing and striving for greater. So naturally, in late 2018, I began to pursue a certification as a Women’s Health Coach, and this year, launched my own business, GrowthOrganic, coaching women virtually online. I’ve learned SO much from this endeavor, and I know I still have much to learn as I grow and market myself and my business. As a nurse, I take pride when my charge RN or a nursing school instructor asks me to precept a new hire or have a student tag along with my during my shift; it’s apparent to me that I enjoy teaching. So, when an opportunity presented itself for me to work with the University of Texas School of Nursing as a Clinical Teacher’s Assistant, you can bet I jumped right in! And even after one semester under my belt, it has been incredibly rewarding to aid these nursing students in the learning process and help them better understand the world they are entering.

Feeling settled in Austin -- after relocating back to Texas in the summer of 2018, all I wanted was some when New Year’s Day 2019 rolled around, I asked my hubs what our “family word for the year” should be. (This is a new tradition we started; wish I could take credit for it but it’s not my original idea!) We agreed that our word of the year would be Rooted. It was our desire to build roots in our new community and create a feeling of stability and security for ourselves; I can safely say we prioritized appropriately and achieved this goal. Austin is now home, and it’s a place I wish to stay.

Lows aka Lessons From 2019 (and Improvements for the year ahead)

Finishing Projects and Staying Motivated -- this has always been a struggle for me. I’m the person that starts something and never finishes. I’m that person with a brilliant idea that can’t seem to execute said idea. This is probably part of the reason I was and am so attracted to my hubs; he’s a go-getter! This low was a lesson learned this year and was especially noticeable or applicable in my pursuit of becoming WHC certified and in business development. Essentially, moving into 2020, I need to put in time everyday. And I need to pursue and apply myself even when no one is telling me to.

Improving Connections -- while I made strides in feeling settled in my city and community, I’ve come to realize that I do not do a good job at maintaining existing connections. This became incredibly apparent to me after becoming pregnant; thinking about bringing new life into the world causes one to examine their connections because let’s be really does take a village...but that concept made me recognize that I’m good at isolating myself. So moving into 2020, I need to establish my village. I need to improve my connections.

Listening to my partner’s needs -- I did a lot of self-examination in 2019. I made lifestyle changes and pursued an overall healthier mental and physical existence, so I became pretty good at identifying my needs. However, I became so self-absorbed that I struggled to listen and see my husband's needs, which lead to some early low points in 2019. Ultimately, I need to invest more in him, especially as our roles and relationship changes welcoming a child in 2020.

Regardless of whether your year was wonderful, pivotal, memorable or devastating...whether you feel fulfilled or vulnerable and lost...I hope you find worth in your existence. I hope you’ve learned something from this current year, and I hope you find the courage to reach new achievements in the next. As Carl Bard said,

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” -Carl Bard

Wishing you health, happiness and a prosperous new year!

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