At the beginning of this year I promised myself that I would make some changes so that I could move closer to achieving the goals that I set for myself. You see, I had made a conscious decision to put my plans on hold over the last 2 years for various reasons. I have no regrets but I have also learned a few valuable lessons through the experience.
Lesson #1: Pay yourself first
The financial gurus always tell you this and, as a woman and as a mother especially, I find it hard to do so. It’s like we are preprogrammed to give of ourselves and never take. I have learned that I need to pay myself first not only financially but also physically because poor health doesn’t help me or anyone else. Of course I have to pay myself emotionally because being a woman requires an inner strength of note. It’s easier and quicker to replenish that strength before it is depleted and not after. Lastly, I have to keep my spiritual self in balance as well. Life is so much easier when you know you have a higher power on your side. This is a tough one but a lesson I had to learn. It’s not selfish, it’s as necessary as living and breathing.
Lesson #2: Not everything you do will be appreciated. Do it anyway
Those people who know me well, know that I like to give of myself and of the little that I have. I love to see the delight on people’s faces especially when you surprise them with an unexpected little gift or compliment or act. Sometimes all it takes is a smile to light up someone’s day. This helps me replenish my spiritual and emotional self. My only expectation has always been that you either pay it forward or that you help yourself move forward. It breaks my heart when that doesn’t happen but I have learned that I should do it with no expectations of the recipient. Of course I also won’t do it indefinitely if I see that you are merely abusing my kindness. That would just be stupid on my part. I will continue to do it anyway though because I don’t know what the knock on effect could be. It might not be visible to me right now but I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason.
Lesson #3: I do things differently and that’s ok.
I have spent my whole life lambasting myself for not fitting in. There are very few people in this world that “get me” and accept me as I am. You know what…that’s ok. I view the world differently. I am a “deep” thinker and not a “quick” thinker. Don’t tell me a story now and ask for my opinion. I will probably stare at you blankly. I often need time to process what I have taken in and when I do give you an answer, it will be worth the wait. I am an introvert. I actually love that I am. I love that I don’t have to be part of the hustle and bustle of life 24/7. I don’t have to be on social media constantly (although I do admit to a mild addiction to Twitter in particular 😜) I am different and that’s ok. It actually feels like I have taken a load off every time I write that. Wait gotta do it again…I am different and that’s ok. 😁
Lesson #4: I am enough
This one stems from lesson #3. It’s not enough to just accept that I am different. I am also enough as I am. I don’t need to be better than everyone else at everything. I just need to work at getting better at things that I need for everyday and for the future. At work we set “stretching” goals for ourselves every year in different areas so that we are continuously growing ourselves as people, our skills and ultimately the business. That’s all I need to do in life to keep myself challenged, moving forward and growing as a person. I am enough as I am but God has given me the capacity to keep growing so who am I to say no.
Lesson #5: Travel is a gift to yourself. Give it.
I love traveling to new places and doing different things. I especially love exposing my son to new places and people and then watch him grow because of the experiences he has had. This is one of the items that was put on hold over the last two years that I need to get back on track. My trips overseas this year reminded me of what an exciting experience it is. The exposure to new cultures helps me look at the world through different eyes. Even a trip within the country is enough to get perk the brain up😁. I am so excited just thinking about it! I can’t wait for us to go on our first trip!
As always, I leave you with an African proverb to ponder on…
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