Updated: Jul 8, 2021
I just noticed on the steamy Fourth of July, 2021 that it has been NINE years since I moved from Chicago, back to Minneapolis. This was my fourth move to Minnesota. Yes, fourth move but first move as a single mom, recently divorced by all of two weeks, with two teenage daughters, my mother and our precious dog, Miki, in tow. A lot of responsibility rested on my shoulders, and I had a lot of expectations for how things would go combined with a lot of pressure from my family to make sure they went well.
Fast forward those nine years, and I moved three more times once I got to Edina. I dipped my toe into match.com dating (ask me about the gay pirate in a skirt sometime) and ended up dating and lifetime mating with my next door neighbor from the first rental house. I got two girls through high school and all the challenges that posed--and one through college as the pandemic began. I rediscovered yoga after years away and became a certified instructor. I learned about qi gong and became a certified instructor. I was given the opportunity to teach yoga and qi gong on five cruises. I wrote a book that I wanted to write for seven years and finally self published it. And now, I am building a speaking and coaching business. I almost forgot--Lou and I also built a house from the ground up, travelled to fun places in Mexico and Europe and found happiness with each other.
Whew.... when I look back on these milestones I feel impressed that they even happened. Going through some of them was an epic struggle, however. Those high school years were awful in many ways. Lots of yelling, tears, door slamming and high drama. I'll leave out the other trying details.
As I reflect on all of this--which feels like a lot, I am just now giving myself some credit and catching up with my history. The thing is that when we are in the thick of things--when the adrenalin and cortisol are UP UP UP, we don't reflect. We just survive.
I am wondering how many of you have NOT given yourself credit for all the hard work you have done keeping your life, your work, your family, your health, your livelihood going? As kids, we had progress reports and report cards to know how we were doing. As adults, we might have a partner or kids telling us what they think of how we are doing. (OUCH--girls can be particularly harsh on moms I found out.) But what about YOU and how YOU feel about how you have been doing? Don't wait nine years like I did to give yourself an assessment of accomplishments, milestone markers and credit. Take some time to do it regularly--yearly--half yearly. Check in with what has happened because YOU made it happen. Check in with what surprised you about yourself? Check in about what threw you for a loop. (2020?!) Pause and take note without romanticizing the past or diminishing your accomplishments. If you've overcome a crisis--that's HUGE. If you've overcome a limiting belief--that's HUGE. If you've practiced your gratitude attitude to lift yourself up--that's HUGE because that makes all the difference in how you look at your life no matter what is going on.
Does this mean life will be perfect and smooth sailing ahead? No, but it does mean that your life and what happens in it can have more meaning, become more precious because you attended to it in a special way.