As 2016 comes to a close, it’s a perfect time to reminisce over the triumphs and challenges the year brought. I watched my baby turn into a toddler. We travelled across the globe, across the country and across the state, but also spent a great deal of meaningful time at home in Wisconsin.
We started our adventurous year in January with a hiking/yoga/wine retreat in Napa Valley and then Leela and I road tripped down Highway 1, enjoying the west coast and Pacific Ocean view, making our way to friends in San Diego. In Spring, we spent two months in Bali together, after a week in Hawaii (my first time to this magical state). We made two trips out west in the late summer and again in fall, one being a road trip from Wiscosin to Wyoming, just me and baby Leela. Before Christmas, we returned from time in Mexico completing a heart-felt (hardest work ever but super fulfilling) yoga teacher training.
The travel time with my one-year-old daughter – bonding, laughing, experiencing – opened a new door of what mattered in my life and brought me to who I am while watching her become who she is. I found a new level of meaning in life, watching her excel, touch every color of skin, hear many languages, swim throughout the year, discover the beach…oh, the sand! The waves! And then discover the snow. So fun to stomp on! I appreciated the time at home with my baby, where we could nest and be cozy together. I watched her get to know and love her family, while simultaneously, friends and family got to know and love her.
I fell in and out of love/lust at least a few times. I am grateful for these feelings of romance and flirtation, even if they were short-lived. I allowed myself to daydream “What If?” Thank you…You made me remember there is more to me as a woman than being a mother.
I nourished myself as a yoga queen would do. I must have used my juicer over 100 times. I cooked and enjoyed many four and five course meals at home, just for me and Leela. I ate at some amazing restaurants in Manitowish Waters, Milwaukee, Chicago, California, Tulum, Bali and more. I found a great new vegan restaurant in Milwaukee!
I lost friends, gained new friends and strengthened relationships. I let go of pain and I let go of trying to make things better when they are not. I connected with new people and old people in a new way. I found deep gratitude for those who have been so good to me, in this year while I needed it. My heart grew with the people in it.
I lost a former brother-in-law to cancer and had to watch my sister endure deep grieving. I observed this man, whom I also loved, remain so extremely positive to the very end of his life even when his organs were giving up on him. I remembered once again, that life is precious and can be gone before you would ever expect it, so embracing it is imperative.
I faced the hardest financial struggle of my life, and created my greatest credit card debt. I also realized those years of financial gain weren’t always the happiest. I realized none of it really matters all that much. I know what matters to me.
I found out what single mothers really endure. I got tired of doing it alone. I kept going and continued to do it alone.
I watched my baby get sick and cared for her with all my heart and soul. When she was weak, I appeared strong, but my heart broke in a new way that left me weak. I was so scared. She was ok.
I got in touch with my creativity in writing, dreaming, working, inventing. I didn’t always finish what I started, but I enjoyed the creative process. I continued to learn.
And most of all, I found the truest, most meaningful love of my life, the one that will last forever. She is now almost 18 months old and she is my whole heart. With this, I learned that motherhood is my best adventure yet and more fulfilling I could ever have imagined.
There is no doubt that this was a good year, a consequential year, a year that has left me forever changed. This year I lived life and I experienced. This was a successful year.
My suggestion to you, my friend is to take a look at your year and consider each hardship and each triumph. Then find gratitude for each. Truly, what did the hardship bring you that you asked for or wanted. This can be a serious challenge, but there is always something you can find if you allow yourself to be open. You can recognize that all the comes to you is meant to be on your path for a higher purpose. This way of thinking alone will bring you closer connection to your higher being, to Spirit, to your most fulfilled self.