I can’t do the thing where you pick a word for the new year. It feels too resolution-y to me. BUT, I realized I CAN pick a word to describe the year behind me.
And the word for my 2015 would have to be “Adult-ish” because in 2015 I successfully became a more adult-y adult.
Not a full-grown adult. No, I still have terrible habits like waking up at the last possible minute, not paying close attention to my budget, and leaving dirty dishes on the counter, but I totally learned to function at a more adult level last year. At the age of 34, with 3 kids.
I cut back on sugar. I know, what does being an adult have to do with diet? Not much UNLESS your diet makes you crash so hard you must nap EVERY DAY. Adults don’t take naps every day, unfortunately (though I am ALL for changing that). You may remember that I did a Whole 30 this time last year. I didn’t lose weight, but it broke my sugar addiction, and that turned out to be huge.
Sure, I’ll still eat sugar, but now I know how it effects me. The less sugar I have before dinner time, the more productive I am, and the less I feel the need to crawl under the covers at 2 pm. I never drink coffee with sugar in it anymore, and I haven’t had a soda (only a few sips here and there) since Jan 1 of 2015. Frankly, they are gross to me now. Candy bars, too.
I said “No” alllll the time. No, I can’t do that project, it takes time away from projects that I love. No, I can’t make your school Valentines party, I have stuff I need to do at home, but I’ll have a special dinner with you tonight. No, I will not feel guilty for not volunteering for x, y, and z.
I really prioritized what MATTERED in 2015. My family, of course, my marriage, and my own projects. From a professional standpoint, I probably missed out on some extra money last year, but I spent time investing in my own brand and platform, not getting paid to write for or promote other brands and platforms. It was far more fulfilling, and way better for my sanity.
I learned to take small steps. I didn’t morph into a more adult-y adult by tackling huge goals. I just made more small grown up choices, day by day. Whereas I use to feel paralyzed by huge tasks, this time I freed myself of those expectations.
No, I didn’t have to organize the WHOLE house, but hey, what about that one closet? I could get that done. I didn’t have clean the whole house, but let’s start with the dishes.
BTW, I’ve learned that if I just at least get the dishes done, everything seems to fall in place from there. I start picking up, wiping off, and the house at least appears clean (even if that other closet is hiding a clutter monster). It all starts with the dishes.
I did the stuff I didn’t want to do as soon as I could do them. Make the call. Answer the email. Do what you most don’t want to do. Just get it done. I felt so much better once that one thing that I really didn’t want to face was off my radar for good.
I took risks, I made mistakes, I failed, I apologized. Whew, this was a toughie. I let myself be vulnerable. I started projects that didn’t go how I planned. I gave myself permission to try new things. I bombed at some things I did, and let others down. I took responsibility and apologized sincerely. I listened and learned and tried harder.
This is basic stuff, but I much prefer to just not letting myself make mistakes in the first place.
I went to bed earlier. Not to say I fell asleep earlier, but I was at least in bed before midnight most nights. If you don’t want to take a nap every day, it’s kinda important you get more than 4 hours of sleep at night.
I stopped working at night. I just can’t anymore, you guys. I used to get all my writing and emails done after 10 pm, but then I never got to spend time with my husband before going to bed, and I’d find myself coming to bed at insane hours, like 2 or 3 in the morning. Then I was horribly unproductive until 10 pm the next day. It was an awful cycle to break, but I’m so glad I did.
Now, I check out by dinner time every night (since I still get a lot done between the time my husband gets off work and when we sit down to eat). By the time we’ve tucked all the kids in, I can’t even imagine turning on my computer. I like it this way, leaves more time for The Walking Dead marathons.
I took care of myself. Obviously, I made sleep a priority this year. Not naps, but solid hours of sleep at night, knowing that it’s SO tied to how well I function the next day.
Also, I stayed on Lexapro. I’ve been on it for 2 years now, and I am madly in love with it. Treating my anxiety has been THE BIGGEST step in unlocking the adult-y achievement badge. I kicked anxiety in the ass so hard that I managed to get on a plane and fly across an ocean to visit Israel. Hashtag: huge.
I look back at how hard it was to function at any level just a year and a half ago, and I am PROUD of things like getting dressed (mostly) every day, and making it a whole week without needing a nap. I’m proud of how much my business grew, and what our family schedule looks like now- that my kids can always count on family dinner around the table and me tucking them in when it’s bedtime.
Maybe my word of 2016 will be “Adult” without the “ish.”