Last year, I jumped on the bandwagon of replacing resolutions with selecting a word for the year. My word for 2017 was freedom, and for the first half of the year, I embraced it and let it guide me. I wrote openly and honestly, I followed my heart, and I sought new opportunities that helped me find the freedom to be me.
And then, on July 10th, my Dad died. I became the peanut butter in the sandwich generation, shifting immediately into caretaker mode for my mother who has her own health issues, and my freedom to think, write, act, and follow my own path took a backseat to all the things that had to be done, and to the people who needed me.
If you’ve ever taken one of those quizzes that identifies your personality type, mine is NOT caretaker. It’s not even close to caretaker. It’s not something that comes easily to me at all. However, it’s something I’ve been doing for 12 years since the birth of my first son with special needs, so I’ve adapted and learned to do what doesn’t come easily, but that doesn’t mean I like it.
And when life hands me something I don’t like, I get overwhelmed, and I shut down. I procrastinate. I don’t take care of myself. I ruminate. I obsess. I don’t sleep. I eat like crap. I get stuck in the downward spiral of my monkey mind, and I let negativity win.
I noticed myself making more impulse buys. I was binge eating again. I was dropping the ball, often. I didn’t follow through on commitments. I also felt like total crap. I got sick. My body wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy. And I’m still not happy.
I don’t always practice what I preach, and when a friend is stuck with something, I’ll often say, “You can be bitter, or you can be better.” Lately though, I’ve been bitter.
Now it’s time to be better.
And by better, I mean better to myself.
Why did I choose nourish as my word?
I sat with myself and thought of all the things I wanted to gain from this coming year. Words that emerged were: grounded, balance, self-care, success, rest, and choice.
I looked at those, and it was obvious that I needed to focus on bringing myself back to center, but I also launched a new business in 2017 that is thriving. And if I want that growth to continue, it will need more of my attention. What word could support that growth and success, but also support my self-care?
And that’s when I found nourish. Nourish fit all that I’m hoping to achieve in 2018.
I will nourish myself. I’ll nourish my body with healthier food choices, and more regular physical activity, and with more rest.
I will nourish my soul by exploring new spiritual practices and making time to meditate. My soul also longs to explore new places, and nourishing my wanderlust is important, so I will find ways to travel more.
I will also nourish my business. I’ll focus on opportunities, and when presented with them, I will ask the questions, “Does this nourish my business? Will this help me grow?” I’ll also nourish the team I’ve built with training and encouragement.
In addition, I need to nourish the relationships in my life. The time I spend with my children — is it meaningful? Does it nourish our relationship? My relationship with my husband has lacked intimacy, so I will look at ways I can nourish that need as well. And my friendships… I did a lot of taking from my friends in 2017. I needed them, and they were there for me. Now I will return that favor and nourish those relationships that mean the most to me.
When I break down all the ways I can add nourishment, it actually seems like a bit too much. Can I really add all of this to my life this year? But the truth is that even if each area is only improved in small way, I’ll be more satisfied with my life, and I will be happier. Nourishing the areas that have been neglected will only make me better, and life is too short to be bitter.