Reflecting on 2018
As we are wrapping up 2018, many of us find ourselves reflecting on the last year and what it meant to us. What did we learn about ourselves? Did it suck? Or was it one of the best years yet? As I personally spent the last month meditating on my thoughts and what this year has done for me and my life…I am overwhelmed at how much has happened. I experienced some really amazing things along with some really shi*** things but that’s life right? What was your year like? Did you learn anything about yourself? Well here is what I learned…maybe you can relate to some of it.
Living with MS can be really hard some days but for the most part I keep it under control to the best of my ability and am grateful for all of the support my family has given me. One thing none of us saw coming at all was in May when my stepdaughter Gabi (17) was diagnosed with Type-1 Diabetes. It shook our family to our core. It was hard for us to watch her go through that and we knew her life would never be the same but she handled it better than any of us had anticipated. To say we are proud of her would be an understatement. She was so tough and has not let it stop her from maintaining the life she wants. Although our family now lives with 2 members with chronic illnesses, we are so grateful and proud of each other because we don’t let anything stop us and our challenges have brought us closer together. I am grateful for the health we do have and next year we hope to make some healthier lifestyle choices with how we eat to keep us on the right track. Never take your health for granted. Especially when it comes to the people you love. I know so many of you also suffer with your own health issues and if I could offer you any encouragement when you’re feeling down it’s that attitude is everything. Mind over matter is real folks. It’s not always easy to have a positive outlook but when you can, I promise it’s a game changer.
Marriage can be messy as hell sometimes. This year was a pivotal year for myself when it came to my marriage. I think I grew up and matured a lot actually. I realized it wasn’t just about what I needed from my husband but what he needed from me as well. I switched gears and refocused. That is where growth took place for me. I learned to focus less on what I was wanting or needing from him and more on what kind of wife I could be FOR him. I also learned to never pass judgement on others marriages or how they handle their own personal journeys because there is no such thing as a textbook marriage. We all have got our own unique story. Anyone who says otherwise is either completely delusional or just flat out lying. Steve and I both are looking forward to next year as we plan to renew our vows as it will be our 10 year anniversary. We eloped when we got married so this is something we have always talked about doing. All my married folks stay tuned as I will probably be posting some fun ideas about renewal ceremonies.
This year I learned the importance of being a gracious parent not only to my own children but to other people’s children as well. As many of us know, parenting is probably the hardest job you will ever have and we all need each other for support and backup. Whoever created the phrase “It takes a village” was on to something! Don’t be the A-hole parent who eats crow because you were judging someone else’s kid. You never know when your sweet little Jimmy is doing God knows what. We all want what’s best for our kids and half of the time none of us really know what we’re doing. We’re all throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping to see what sticks, am I right? All of our kids are going to embarrass us at some point and that’s okay. They are trying to figure themselves out and the most important thing we can do is continue to love them and not give up, even when we want to. (Yes ya’ll….I have had my fair share of those days too. It’s okay, it happens.)
2018 really opened my eyes to some truths about money. Obviously we all love money and nice things but I learned to not spend so much time obsessing over making it to where I was missing out on what actually matters in my life. I have been a single mom on food stamps broke as a joke before and I have also been that lady at Saks who bought anything thrown at her. Take it from me…none of it matters and it won’t make you happy. Stuff is just stuff and the pressure of it all can be overwhelming. Especially in this country…we are obsessed with “stuff”, it’s crazy. Next year, I have decided I want to invest more of my time and energy on creating experiences with the people I love and who matter most to me. They are the greatest gift life can give us.
I have learned that I don’t owe anyone an explanation of my personal beliefs or personal relationship with God because that is between him and I. Actions speak louder than words. Our world could use a lot less judgmental, hypocritical, legalistic religious people and a lot more of God’s love and understanding. Going to church is not what makes you a better person or a Christian, your heart is. We were all created equal and are loved the same by our creator. I encourage all of us to go outside of our comfort zones and to love on someone who is completely different than ourselves or may live a lifestyle that is not aligned with our own. You will see, we all are so much more alike than you had originally thought.
Wow….I think some of my biggest life lessons came from friendships this year. I learned the importance of treasuring the people who are deserving of my friendship and to let go of the people who hurt me. When someone shows you how they really feel about you, believe them. I have grown to respect and appreciate the people in my life who can be 100% honest with me, even if they are afraid I will get upset by it. Any coward can talk about you behind your back and runaway when they see you coming. It takes guts to actually face someone. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you’re a bad person or a bully for sticking up for yourself or speaking your mind. Just make sure to be open and receptive to hearing their truths also. Life can be hectic where we aren’t always able to make the time we would like for our friends. I encourage us all to spend more time focusing on the friendships that have proven themselves to be authentic (even if they require more work) than just the convenient ones. As my husband always says “Old friends take a long time to make”. PS- how cute is my best friends baby? If you follow me on Instagram, you see her a lot because I’m kind of obsessed with her. lol)
As I said before, I learned a lot this year about myself and I hope to take these lessons into next year to continue to improve myself. I’m excited for what 2019 has in store for all of us. Hopefully it will bring you all a lot of joy and success. What are you looking forward to next year? What are your goals? Leave your comments below! Until next time, peace out 2018, and Hello 2019!