About this time last year I started doing a self catalog.
2014 was a rough year for me. I was frustrated with the progress I thought I wasn’t making with my riding, I was overwhelmed with my work responsibilities between the seven part time jobs I was juggling, I was constantly worried about my finances and going into debt because of those seven jobs five were a bit unreliable, I was stressed out from tension in my personal relationships, I was 25 years old (quarter life crisis?) and I didn’t feel or act like an adult, and I was not very healthy.
I asked myself a question:
What would you change about yourself if anything were possible?
I hadn’t thought about that response, it just came into my mind as soon as I asked myself that question.
I started thinking a little bit harder because I thought there had to be something that I found of value in my life.
Sadly it took me a long time to make a short list: I was proud of the empathy and understanding I have for animals, I was glad that I can be affected by things deeply because it means I can still feel, and I was happy with the fact that I had the ability to express myself through multiple mediums like photography and writing.
Three things. I came up with three things I wouldn’t change about myself. While they were substantial things, not the color of my hair or the shape of my feet, there was only three of them.
After struggling to come up with these three things I got mad, really steaming, kettle boiling mad at myself. I metaphorically clunked myself on the head and said “well change things then dummy.”
My 2015 New Years Resolution was born:
Get your shit together aka “Get and keep your poop in a group”
I made some goals for myself for 2015 to help me fulfill this resolution: find a real job so I don’t have to kill myself working on ten thousand things at once, keep doing things that make me happy and stop doing things that bring me down, figure out the state of my health, improve my self esteem and self confidence, get my confidence and emotional stability back in the saddle, stop the weight creep and start getting healthy because my weight was hurting me and my horses, and understand what I’m putting into my body when I’m eating.
And you know what? I’m working on those things continuously and I am happy with that. I have by no means reached the point where I had hoped to be but I’m many more steps closer to them than I was at the start of 2015.
I haven’t lost as much weight as I’d like because I haven’t taken my nutrition as seriously as I should and I was blase about getting my booty off the computer chair and moving.
I haven’t saved as much money as I wanted because I haven’t made and stuck to a budget.
I haven’t become as financially independent as I would like because I’ve simple not applied myself as much as I should be.
But you know what?
I have started to take off weight, I’m following an exercise plan, I’m drinking my Shakeology, and I’ve stopped drinking pop (2 months 9 days clean!).
I had a visit with my doctor and we figured out that I have sub clinical Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and I started a management program that has greatly reduced my symptoms.
I have figured out how much money I made this year a year, (I know right?!) and I have a plan for budgeting in place for 2016.
I started working as an Independent Beachbody Coach, quit the most stressful of my jobs, limited my over extension in three others, and have a substitute teaching position lined up for next year that will provide a more reliable source of income.
My biggest win this year though?
I’ve stopped trying to defeat myself and started getting out of my own way.
It took me a while to realize how much progress I’ve made but I had another metaphorical clunk on the head this week.
We had our pre-term instructor meeting at the therapeutic riding center where I work, SMILES, and since Christmas is right around the corner, we were generously given Christmas presents.
It was a beautifully matted and personalized word cloud.
Each of the instructors students were asked to make a list of words that described us and mine included: caring, energetic, colorful, dedicated, loving, passionate, cheerful, and motivational.
I almost burst out into tears, not at the loving or motivational or caring
You know what had me holding back tears?
And it was even the largest and boldest part of the word cloud.
That doesn’t seem like one of the most personal comments you could offer about someone unless you’re talking about their personality but…
One of the biggest changes I’ve tried to make this year is to wear more colorful clothing. I don’t know if you’ve even ever heard of it let alone believe in it but color theory states that black is a color for hiding, shielding, and protection. (You can see the full list here) and I always wore black.
I don’t know if I felt like it made me look slimmer, feel less obtrusive, or just plain old made me blend in with the background and feel comfortable, but a majority of my wardrobe was black.
I’ve went a ways in the opposite direction and started wearing pink ( a color I refused to even consider before ) and green and blue and purple and white.
I’ve also tried to stop wearing t-shirts everywhere. If I wasn’t taking myself seriously enough as a professional person to dress appropriately why should anyone else?
Seeing that one word that was one of the most public steps I’ve taken in developing a more positive and optimistic view of myself picked out by my students who have no idea about my personal struggles was one of the most self affirming and magical things that could ever have be given to me.
It’s amazing the power that simple words can have.