The 2017 Winter Ice Storm, predicted by the weather channel for seven straight days, never arrived. However, fully stocked on food and staples, we hunkered down indoors for 48 hours and anticipated the epic wintry mix. As we watched the news in preparation of the huge storm I could not help but pay my respects to Mother Nature. Despite our many advances in technology, modern conveniences, social connectedness, and over-scheduled lives, we are still powerless to the weather. Perhaps it takes a predicted Armageddon to force our lives to a screeching halt. My family and I relished in the quiet and spent the hours watching movies, playing board games, catching up on reading, and today, making time to write.
I am currently bundled up in non-blog worthy clothes, the boys are happily watching football highlights, and Scarlett is catching a long afternoon nap. Now is a welcome opportunity to sit down and write about a topic I often ponder….letting go.
LET GO OF THINKING, “IF ONLY”… Two of the most disappointing words in the English language are “if only. “If only” means we believe that if circumstances had been different, the outcomes would have been more favorable. If only we would not have given up on that relationship or perhaps there are relationships we feel we should have left long ago. Money mistakes. Jobs choices. Missed opportunities. Roads not taken. We are all unique individuals. The past shapes who we are today. Instead of looking backwards and pondering the past, the adult me only believes in looking forward. Instead of telling ourselves, “If only,” why don’t we tell ourselves, “What next?” Don’t cheat on your future self with your past.
LET GO OF WAITING FOR THE RIGHT TIME…Each year seems to pass more rapidly. I spent a lot of my early thirties waiting for the right time to slow my life down and live in the present. I kept waiting for a time my life would be less hectic. I kept waiting for my kids to get older. I recently read, “Regret is a lifetime. Fear is temporary.” Make your dreams happen. You will never be younger or more capable tomorrow than you are today.
LET GO OF FEARING REJECTION…Rejection is a real and important part of life. It is important to be comfortable enough in your own skin that you can weather rejection. When I was a kid my dad told me to get skin like a rhinoceros. Life is FULL of rejection. People will not always like you/your ideas/your sense of style/your parenting mantra/your career choices/your politics. The world is composed of many different people all with different ideals. Once we learn to embrace rejection as an ordinary part of life we realize that disaffection for our way of life is not happiness prohibitive. The rejection you experience may not even be personal! Rejection is not cancer.
LET GO OF BLAMING OTHERS…Be accountable for your own life. If you are unhappy with your present life, make changes. I really struggled when my oldest was born. My entire life I could not wait to be a mother! My maternal dream had finally come true and yet, I felt so lost. I started to resent the fact that I no longer had a career–and then I felt extremely guilty for thinking of my own wishes when motherhood should have been fulfilling enough for me. The best thing I ever did for my family was return to work part-time. I stopped looking to others to make ME happy. Today, I take my hat off to mothers who stay at home full time. It is such hard work. I take my hat off to mothers who balance a full-time career with parenthood. They are super human rock stars! I think we are all on a journey of self-discovery. What works best for our unique and individual lives may not work for others. Do what makes you happy and stop blaming others for your discontentment.
LET GO OF JEALOUSY, OF THINKING EVERYONE ELSE IS HAPPIER, MORE SUCCESSFUL, PRETTIER, MORE TALENTED…Social media is a lot like watching a Disney movie about a fairy princess. She always gets the prince. We are all guilty of making self-comparisons! But life is about having real relationships with real people. Be brave enough to expose your vulnerabilities and choose your tribe wisely. True friendships are based on honesty, loyalty and a genuine hope that the other person will be successful/happy/loved. Avoid women and people who try to belittle your dreams. Confident and secure people don’t feel threatened by the success of others. Happy people delight in the victory of their mom friends. No one is on top of the world all the time. Do not kick others when they are down and be courageous enough to stick up for those you love.
Thanks so much for reading! I am working on every single one of these every single day. Wish me luck! What are you going to “let go” in 2017?