A lot of people look back on the year and remember various accomplishments or memories. I like to look at the year from a different angle, because so often the lesson is way more significant than success or social time.
What did I learn this year?
If I were going to sum up this year, then I would say it was a year of change – a transition year. This year I quit a business I had started and moved out-of-state. To say I am ready for a fresh start in 2018 is an understatement. At the same time, I know 2018 will fly by just as fast as this year did. Here is are the top 3 things I learned from all of the upheaval and jostling of 2017…
- We all quit in different ways. I was raised in a house in which quitting was not allowed. Literally, I suffered through various sports seasons and band simply because I had started those things. I think there is merit in finishing something to which you have committed. I also think there is merit in saying, “This isn’t worth it.” and “I don’t want to do this anymore.” Truthfully though, I’m not good at saying those things and then quitting. I tend to need *something else* to move onto. I think its a way for me to circumvent the rules I have in my brain about quitting (rules my parent’s placed there). If I’m onto the next, latest and greatest thing, then I’m hardly quitting, right? Wrong. I’m still quitting, but I need to do it in a round-a-bout way to prevent feelings of unworthiness. This year, when I quit my business, I said I was moving onto a new clothing supplier. In my mind, it was a wise move and will help the business in the long run. I think that my sub-conscious was probably laughing hysterically and saying, “You silly lady, you just don’t like providing customer service.” Sure enough, I quit that supplier too and we moved out-of-state. Pattern repeat. Reflecting on this, I’ve decided its okay that this is my way of quitting. Sure, it would be better if I were completely honest with myself, but maybe this is the start of being honest with myself? I like that so I am going with it.
- Don’t suspend your life because of big decisions. We spent three months of this year waiting for an official job offer. By the time we got to our new residence, school was starting and the entire summer had passed with only one trip to the pool. I love the pool. The pool is my spirit animal (er….spirit location?). I think it is easy when something big is coming to stop living, stop creating, stop doing. Waiting can become an all-consuming effort, but the truth is that waiting is easier when you are preoccupied. This summer, I didn’t buy our pool membership, because we would be moving *soon*. I only went to my spirit location once. So the next time I’m waiting? I plan to buy the membership (aka live in the present).
- The power to restart and reset are essential. Once we had moved, we faced endless roadblocks and most days I found myself crying tears of frustration. Slowly, as the months passed. I learned that, while setbacks suck, the reset is always easier. Example. The first week our boxes were here, I unpacked about 20 of them. Then, all hell broke lose and the boxes sat for four weeks untouched. I slowly started to have “unboxing” anxiety. What if I never unpack these boxes? What if I buy something that is in one of those boxes? Eventually, I got up the gumption to work on the boxes one afternoon and took out 5 in one day. And then all hell broke loose. Unboxing anxiety returned with a vengence. This pattern continued to repeat itself until finally one day, I only had 7 boxes left. Suddenly, it occured to me that each time I stopped unpacking and had a setback…I restarted ahead of where I was the previous time. I think this is probably a principle I need to apply elsewhere in my life too. For instance, career choice – everytime I’ve tried something and failed/quit, I would be restarting ahead of where I was previously. At least we know that career didn’t work and we don’t need to go back and try it again.
So that’s it. My lengthy lessons learned for 2017. What have you learned this year?