Oh, hi! It’s been awhile!
I’m starting the I Have Purple Hair blog back up. It feels good but strange, like an old friend that you can always talk to know matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen each other last. I dare say, I’m a little rusty.
And I’m so excited to be back and ready for what 2017 has in store. But, first…
Let me tell you a little about 2016
2016 was a terribly challenging year for me, and honestly, I think for most of the world. I came in raging with new ideas and fantastic hopes, only to lose steam and eventually fizzle out. Oops.
But I don’t want to gloss over the fact that I completely dropped the ball in the last half of 2016 and just went MIA. I owe you guys more than that. So let me explain: we moved across the country, were stressed financially, found out we were pregnant, and I struggled with prepartum depression. Like, for real, didn’t – no, couldn’t – get out of bed.
Luckily, I was able to take that time to reflect and with the support and love of my friends and family, I was able to push through it. I have a new attitude. A new outlook. I’ve set up safeguards to really take care of me and what I need, rather than just burning out and fading away.
I’ve started this year off with some more humble aspirations. I realize that the reason I collapsed is because I wasn’t managing my time, my responsibilities, or my life in an effective way. That’s why this year’s word is mindfulness. Instead of having S.M.A.R.T. goals (more on that next week!), I wanted to incorporate some real soul searching criteria and infuse that in my life. I had lost touch with me, and I’m not going to let it happen again.
Live with Intention
This one is important to me because it reminds me that the only thing that we don’t get back in this life is time. In my interview with The Crafty Planner, Sandi mentioned the same thing, and while I understood it at the time, I couldn’t fully grasp it. I realize now that I let everything slip – friendships, obligations, opportunities – when I was in the throes of the depression, and while I’m not disappointed in myself, it has given me a new perspective that I’ll never get those 6 months back.
It’s going to be a long way to being ‘full’ again (if ever), but time is precious and important, and I intend on valuing the things I love and saying no to things I don’t.
I have a A LOT of things going on; this blog, not one, but 2 businesses, an event I’m planning, two kids (with another on the way!), being the matriarch of the family… The list goes on, and I’m sure you can relate. Life just doesn’t stop, so it’s important to have laser-like focus on the things that matter. If I don’t, it all becomes a mess, I try to do too many things at once, and ultimately nothing gets done well.
That’s why I’m a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. Basically, pick a task and do it – and nothing but it – for 25 minutes. After that, you can have a 5 minute break, after 4 of those reps, you get a 25 minute break! It’s really helped me get stuff done and knock out those to-do’s without feeling overwhelmed or sidetracked.
It’s true, I’ve become one of those people that raves about the benefits of daily meditation, but I swear, it really does work. And it’s only 10 minutes a day! When I started getting into that depressive funk, I figured I was already in bed, maybe I should just see what visualizations could do. I started using an app called Headspace and it has made a world of difference.
I went from doing it to pass the time to it being the best part of my day. I’ve been able to focus and live with intention, obviously things I want to continue working on. And I encourage you to do the same, even if it’s just sitting quietly in the bathroom for ten minutes with the headphones on because the kids/spouse/dog won’t leave you alone – not that I know what that feels like or anything…
Quality Over Quantity
In this fast paced, consumer driven society, it can be easy to gain validation from more stuff/things/junk. You know what I like to call them? Distractions. I was getting distracted All. The. Time. by combing sales sites, buying stuff I didn’t need (uhh, hello, wasted money!), and then cluttering up my space because I had so much stuff I couldn’t find anything.
I’m not saying go all KonMari on everything, but I have started thinking to myself, “where am I going to put this?” before buying something. Visualizing how an item will be utilized before acquiring it helps ease the burden of clutter and needless spending. This goes for so much more than items, it goes for time, money, and loved ones, too!
Give More Than Receive
This ties in with my last goal of quality v. quantity. I don’t want to accumulate stuff and constantly take, take, take. I’d like to spread my wealth in whatever form simply because I can, plus it’s been scientifically proven that it’s good for your health! I’m trying to include that in all facets of my life: through this blog, in the things that I create, my time, etc.
Sew a Project a Week
Because, I mean, c’mon! You gotta create!