Wow! Where did 2014 go? 2014 was nonstop-our oldest son got married to his incredible high school sweetheart and our youngest son graduated in May and went off to college, making us empty nesters. We took that opportunity to do some fun traveling. We also had some lows and challenges as I guess everyone does.
I had not been really blogging much last year as I was doing some major “incubating” and taking a step back to assess. I have finally started to break out of my shell. (love all these egg references?) I have so much to share about my journey and tell you how I have finally found my passion: I don’t want to go into too much detail on this post as I want to talk about my 2015 word for the year. And I have some fun friends with upcoming posts that want to share their words with you in the next upcoming days. I think you will enjoy their words; I have such a great eclectic mix of friends with varying experiences and perspectives on life.
As many of you know, I have been choosing of a Word for the Year since 2010, at the urging of one of my favorite yoga teachers, Mary NurrieSteans, while we were in class. For me 2010 was Create, 2011 was Pursue, 2012 was Delve, 2013 was Focus, and 2014 was Zen. Mary said to pick a word, write it and frame it so you can see it everyday. (Mine is shown on my bathroom counter). Choosing one word is usually more effective (and thought provoking and fun!) than making many goals and resolutions as they oftentimes get broken. I used to overwhelm myself with too many goals instead of focusing on one thing at a time. To read other Word for the Year posts by my friends in the past years, just type in Word for the Year in the search box on this blog.
This year I have chosen the word Simplify. It means to make less complex or complicated, make plainer or easier, to reduce to basic essentials. It also means to streamline or clarify. I almost chose the word Simplicity which means freedom from complexity or intricacy, but I like Simplify better because it a verb, versus Simplicity which is a noun. I guess the verb appeals to the “doer” in me and creates more action for me.
I want to streamline my life and my business, Happy First. My whole life I have been an overachiever and volunteered for everything and tried to be Super Mom, Super Volunteer and Super Business Owner and was such a people pleaser. This has stressed me out. It has caused me to take my business in too many directions and I wasn’t being me; I was listening to everyone else’s ideas. I had lost my time for creativity and was being too busy volunteering, doing shows and doing paperwork. I wasn’t happy first!
I have been doing a lot of soul searching the last couple years and have finally embraced my gift of creativity. I used to think my drawings were too plain and simple, despite my husband and friends encouraging ME TO BE ME. Going through my mom’s house (she had lived 4 hours away and passed away in 2013) gave me clarification of what I love to do. My mom saved everything, and I mean everything. In a way this was good, because she saved all of my drawings and that made me realize that is what I really want to do. In cleaning out my mom’s house (this took my sister, myself and our spouses over a year to do ) I have rediscovered my old self. In an older blog post “find your passion and pursue it” I had asked the question-“what did you like to do as a kid?” So I am now on my way to becoming an artist and illustrator. I am loving it. (Did you know I started college as a fashion illustration major and switched to accounting?)
Simplifying this year to me will involve decluttering my home, computer, extra activities and my mind to allow space for my creativity. I am saying NO finally to things that are not on my path to creativity. I will be making major changes and streamlining my Happy First site and I feel so free about that. Also as empty nesters we have also had some fun redecorating some rooms at home with a more simple, clean look. It seems like all the stores are selling “mid century modern” now and I like the new (old) clean look!
We have had some traumatic events this year that have just made me realize I need to focus on the basics, mostly my family and my passion, which in turn will help others. I love to encourage others and I want to share my journey. I will tell you more later about some of the great books I have read this past year and also what I have learned from some great mentors.
My way of dealing with loss and stress has always been to be busy instead of slowing down and just being present. I am so ready for change now. I guess I had to go through the fire to see it.
That’s what I have always wanted Happy First to represent-new beginnings. That’s what is so exciting, is that every day is a new day to make a change and take on a new adventure. That’s why if you are on my email list you get an ecard celebrating the first day of the new month. I especially love January because it makes us reflect on the past year and create zeal and new ideas for the fresh upcoming year.
So come along with me, pick a word for yourself, and please share in the comments below! I love the sense of community when we all share great ideas with each other and encourage each other. We also have a new pinterest board-Word for the Year where people can share and get ideas too. If you would like to write a guest blog post for us just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to a great 2015!
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With love, Deb
I took this pic a month ago at my super organized friend Lori’s home.