As I read the header on this blog post I think how it completely goes against the grain for a mother of two small children. Me? Who the heck is that? But I have somehow managed to make some decisions and do some things in 2017 that have really been all about me. Ironically it has also turned out to be what’s best for my family.
At the beginning of the year in this blog post I said that I had hired a business coach and predicted that this would be the best year ever for MAP Physiotherapy. While the expense made my budget quite tight at the beginning of the year, I made the decision to go ahead. I did this not just in the hope of improving the bottom line, but even more importantly to find ways to make being a solopreneur more manageable and less stressful. Well, both goals have been achieved to a degree I never would have imagined in January. The expense has more than paid off and most importantly I am happier and less stressed. I have more time for my family and for myself.
My other big decision was to purchase a kayak. While this might seem completely self-serving (oh wait, maybe that’s just my inner voice speaking), it has provided me with so much pleasure and tranquility that I know it has made me a better parent. When I am able to recharge my own batteries and reground myself in nature I have more patience, more compassion, just more everything that quite frankly makes me easier to be around.
I have also spent an inordinate amount of time reading parenting blogs. How is that about me you ask? Well I believe that finding ways to interact with my children in a more positive manner is not only good for my family but also for me as a person. The stronger the bond I build with my children the happier it makes me. Besides, as it turns out most of the advice I’ve read about dealing with little people applies to big ones too. I have always believed that we should treat children with the same respect and courtesy as adults, and apparently vice versa.
This year has not been without its challenges, but there is always some sort of silver lining to be found in those clouds. In October I partially tore my Achilles tendon while playing indoor soccer. Being a very active person this was a big blow, forcing me to stop all forms of exercise for an extended period. I was certain this was going to be just horrible, but in the end it gave me some time to slow down and reflect. I had more time on the weekends to spend with the kids and discovered I didn’t miss all of those activities as much as I thought I would. I still went a little stir-crazy but I realized, being an extrovert, I have to find ways to socialize, just perhaps more on my terms and frequency as opposed to having things scheduled. In short it has lead me to re-evaluate my priorities and I believe has brought me closer to my children.
Just as this injury was healing and I was starting to be able to get moving a bit, I suffered a tear of the cartilage in my knee. Admittedly I am seriously bummed out about this latest development, but part of me has to ask if there isn’t some lesson to be learned here. By not constantly running off to some sporting activity I have had more time for myself. Whether that be spent watching Netflix, reading a book, or just plain doing nothing, it has been rather nice. Nicer, in fact, than I care to admit. I think perhaps the universe is just trying to give me more time to contemplate how I really want to go forward with my life. Do I want to keep up with the level of activities I had been doing, or do I want to be very particular about where I spend my time away from my family?
If I was to be completely honest, I don’t truly miss all of the activities in which I had been participating even though I was sure I was going to. In fact, there is really only one activity that I really miss and the rest I don’t think about very often. I am more rested, less rushed, and more grounded.
So getting back to the theme of me, I guess there is only one big question to ask myself going forward. What really recharges my batteries and truly gives me pleasure? Taking a good hard look at everything, I have come to the conclusion that some of the things I had been spending a lot of time on don’t fill those criteria. It will be hard to leave some of these things behind as it will mean losing touch with some people I truly enjoy. But then again, if those people are really important to me I will find the time to connect with them in another way.
While a year of me may seem heavenly to some, it involves some serious work. It means making some tough decisions that other people aren’t going to like. It means going out on a limb sometimes in a pure leap of faith. I means taking a good hard look in the mirror and truly facing what you see. And in the end it means change. While change has always been difficult for me, it is a necessary part of growing and evolving.
As we begin 2018 I am looking forward to seeing where it leads me. I hope to keep asking myself these important questions before I take on anything new so I can continue to prioritize what is really important to me. I wish you all a very Happy New Year. May you too find what makes you truly happy and not just busy.