A reflective essay on the year of yes

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Apparently I have been yes-ing is up all over the place this year because I've barely posted about what I've said yes to and the after school special lessons I've learned in the process, so I am here to fill you in!

  • 5 different hair colors! (One of them being purple, my favorite!)
  • Going to a new bible study without knowing a single person. It ended up changing my entire outlook on a relationship with God and understanding the fullness of his love for me. Truly life changing and I ended up making some wonderful new positive friends!
  • Starting two new business ventures! (One of them I had to step away from due to lack of time to focus creatively but maybe I will be able to reboot it in the future)
  • Learning to crochet!
  • Moving to a different state!
  • Planting a garden! (I only planted parsley, Swiss chard, and carrots, but it was so magical to put seeds in the earth and watch them grow! I didn't follow the instructions on how to plant and thin out the carrots because I didn't believe they would grow, which is so silly, right? But they did grow but they were tiny because I didn't give them enough room to grow. But they were so cute!)
  • severely limiting our tv and Internet time so that we can focus on family and learning time.
  • Hopping in the car and taking spur of the moment road trips.
  • Keeping better tabs on our money and spending less (this was more of a necessity BUT we rocked it and learned that it was okay not to say yes to every 5 dollar whim we had and in the end were able to say yes to more meaningful expenses) 
  • Paying down a few debts instead of avoiding them, I swear it has cut my anxiety in half knowing I am taking action.
There are so many things that we said yes to as a family and so many personal attitude adjustments that I made. Some of them were things that I probably would have made anyway because as humans we are constantly learning and changing but it was really nice to be consciously aware it. I would have to say that the biggest take away from the year was I gave up on "perfect." All my irritation and feelings of inadequacy that I felt in my life, stemmed from comparing myself to others! I would see these "perfect" families with "perfect" houses and "perfect" jobs and I would think "if we could just have that or do this, then we could be happy" and finally I had an Ah-Ha moment where I just realized how ungrateful and wasteful I was being with my time and thoughts by thinking that way. I know for so many people that is a crazy simple and no brainer thought, but it has actually taken me 28 years to figure that out. My little family  and I have slowly began to try to simplify our life by cutting out clutter in all forms. I will be honest and say that we are more successful on some days than on others because. hey, we are humans. I guess for the year of 2016 we will continue to say yes to things that benefit us, such as living simply and being grateful. Hopefully we will be able to share some entertaining stories along the way.   

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