Happy New Year! Welcome back!! I hope everyone had a good holiday. We had such a wonderful break, seeing family, laying low and getting things done around the house.
I wanted to kick off 2020 with my annual recap post of the previous year! I’ll link some past ones here too, in case you’re new. We have… 2015: “The Year of Growing Pains,” 2016: “The Year of Failure” and 2017: “The Best Year of My Life.” 2018 got the title of “The Year I Realized I Was Building A Life I Didn’t Want” and 2019? I’ve been calling it “The Year of Resistance.”
It’s funny because I’d been thinking about that word as my summation of the year for a few weeks, and then I saw this post from Kate about 2019 and she said something quite similar. And I had planned on writing a whole long post about how conflicted this year was, how every decision I made or tried to make was met with resistance, from others and from myself. How everything I thought I ever knew was kind of stomped on and thrown in the trash. But then I read the final line of Kate’s post and it helped me shift my perspective on the year. So I thought I’d start with that instead:
“2019 taught me I can do hard things.”
In 2018, I threw my planned-life trajectory out the window and in 2019 I started fresh. Excited, ready for change. But I don’t think I gave weight to how hard that would be on me, a person who thrives on a long-term goal and plan who now had neither. Previously I had a team of people that I was responsible for showing up for, and there’s something to be said for the accountability that gives someone, especially someone like me.
I’ve stumbled a lot this year, some publicly and some privately. Hitting the reset button on life while turning 30, raising a trauma-exposed toddler, renovating a home, relocating a business and living far from family is hard. Doing it while your job is to share your life with people is even harder.
On top of that, we mourned the loss of four future siblings for Arlo this year. I can’t talk about most of them, because the story isn’t mine to tell. But one of them was another miscarriage, my third since we started our journey to grow our family. It started with an unexpected pregnancy this summer (we weren’t trying, as we were and are happily in the adoption process) and it was the first time I ever heard the words “Your numbers look good!” or that I saw anything besides an empty sac on an ultrasound. We rode the familiar rollercoaster for a few weeks but unfortunately, it still ended the same as my past pregnancies have. No heartbeat. And this ended up being my hardest miscarriage yet, with the physical effects and traumatic procedures lasting nearly three months.
We were set to match with an expectant mother the day I found out I was pregnant, so we had to pull out of the match. We essentially lost two babies at once. It was brutal.
That only scratches the surface of what 2019 was for our family. I haven’t been able to talk about about a lot of the things that happened this year, and I won’t be able to, as it’s not entirely my story to share. That’s hard too, as I find a lot of healing in talking and sharing.
Outside of myself, I spent the year watching people around me do hard things, too. And being so consumed with my own hard things, I didn’t feel like I could support them properly with theirs. Sudden losses, devastating diagnoses, blatant racism, toxic workplaces, and the list goes on. Nevermind the political climate and global destruction. This year felt so heavy, for almost everyone I know. My struggles don’t even compare to what I watched so many face. Every bit of bad news we would hear from friends, family or the country at large, Jeff and I would turn to each other and say “Really, 2019? Haven’t we all had enough?”
As I take a step back, I’ve never grown so much in a year as I have in 2019. I have learned an incredible amount about myself, the world around me, the changes I need to make so that there is a world around the next generation some day, about the adoption community, communication in business and in my marriage, parenting, my priorities and about the help I need.
I feel incredibly grateful that I made the big changes to my business and life before 2019 threw all it’s curve balls my way, because there is absolutely no way I would have survived if I hadn’t. And my biggest priority was to spend more time with Arlo, which I did. I am incredibly grateful for that privilege. I have no regrets about the changes I made in 2018, which is a question I’m often asked!
2019 was supposed to be a year of transition and of “figuring things out” and it was. And while I don’t have things quite as figured out as I had hoped I would, I am continuing to learn that life doesn’t always follow the timeline you try to set for it. Can I get an amen?
I’m entering 2020 grateful for the lessons I learned in 2019. I am focused on making SMALL changes in my business and my life to help me keep my priorities straight. Changes that I know I can make, “slow and steady wins the race” style. I’m entering 2020 feeling confident about the boundaries I’ve put in place for my family, the people I’ve surrounded myself with and the new awareness I have for the world around me and what it needs from me.
I had some real moments of clarity as 2019 came to a close, and I have some really fun things planned to share with you all. In 2020, I just want to share what inspires me, whether it makes sense or not. Baby names, moroccan rugs, Disneyland, dream homes, small businesses, eco-friendly swaps, kids rooms, family memory making, traditions and more. I want to explore my style and how it’s evolving.
I’ve been quite focused on building a “brand” in the past. But now I’m quite focused on letting myself break out of that box, instead of resisting that urge to do so, and seeing where it takes me. They’ll never teach you that in business school. But I never liked school anyway. 😉
Small goals, small changes, small shifts. Big impact. That’s my 2020 motto.
I am grateful to have each and every one of you as a part of this community, that you stuck with me through that year of figuring things out, and for your encouragement and positivity as I did. I’ve been especially floored by your kind comments lately.
Cheers to a new year! We can do hard things and get through it. I’m so happy you’re here.