Jumping into 2015

5 Jan

Even though it’s January 5th, it feels like the first day of the New Year for me. Two of my kiddos are back to school and my husband is back to work after a two week break. Last night I was lamenting the end of sleeping in and just enjoying our days together, including a rather last minute trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, which I’ll get to in a moment. Today, as I sit here writing, I no longer lament. Instead, I embrace the peace that routines can bring and like most, I look to the New Year with hope and positive anticipation.

In the past, I’ve been the one to dive in head first and try to do it all. I decide I’ll lose weight, start a business, de-clutter my house and get my finances in order by January 31st. I will write every day to create the next great American novel written and make millions. I have a great imagination and just know I can do it all. Then, when I miss a day of exercise, a day or two of writing, maybe three of de-cluttering, I am done for. I’ve failed, so I give up. I deem myself a failure yet again for not being able to “do it all”. It’s demoralizing and depressing and explains why I’ve always hated February so much. By then, I’m sick of winter. I’m sick of the commercials telling me all I have to do to lose weight is use their product. I’m sick of failure, and I’m sick of me.

In more recent years, I’ve learned a different way of being. I’ve stopped beating myself up so much because I’ve stopped expecting perfection. Would I like to lose weight? Yes, but I want to be healthy more than I want to lose weight. I eat a healthier diet than most people I know, including organic fruits and veggies and consciously raised and processed meats. I drink plenty of water daily and tea as well, including green and chamomile. I have an occasional chocolate or serving of potato chips, but I avoid grains because they upset my stomach and I keep the carbs on the lower side. When I combine that with exercise, whether walking or swimming or yoga, I generally drop some weight. I know some think that should be a priority for me because I am overweight, but I found out something else too. When I am completely focused on something that brings me joy, my weight begins to drop. This holiday season, I had a wonderful time writing the Do Better December posts. I enjoyed spending time with my family and friends, and I lived every day to the fullest. I slept well. I ate whatever I chose to eat, including cookies and snacks I hardly ever eat otherwise. Other than a day or two, I didn’t exercise and at the end of it all, even with a trip to New Orleans with eating jambalaya and beignets; I did not gain any weight. That felt like a miracle to me but I was fully engaged with the holiday season so maybe that miracle wasn’t such a miracle after all. Maybe it was a reminder that there are many ways to reach your goals and the path you think you have to choose may not be the right path at all.

So much of life seems to revolve around doing what you think others want from you. If you have a significant other, children, a boss or even volunteer commitments, there are expectations. You can become a slave to those or you can live life on your own terms. I’m not talking about chucking it all, although you can choose that if it’s what you need to truly live your best life. I’m talking about combining your responsibilities with your joy to live a life of meaning for you. Honestly, if I never had to do another household chore in my life, I wouldn’t miss it. If I could pay someone to clean and do laundry for me, I would do it in a heartbeat, but my financial situation prohibits that at present, so I do my load of laundry every day and other household tasks that require my attention. I balance that with writing because even though I like having a clean house, I need to even out the effort it takes to do my daily tasks with activities that give me energy rather than take it away. Someday writing may pay the bills, but until then, or until they make self-cleaning toilets and clothes, I have housework to do.

The biggest thing I have learned is to stop comparing myself to others or rather to catch myself when I do. Since I started blogging and created a page on Facebook, other friends of mine have done the same thing. I read their entries sometimes and think, “What the heck is wrong with me? Why can’t I do life as well as they do?” Then I have to remind myself that many of the blogs and pages I follow are by women who either have no children or whose children are grown. They are not feeding hungry teenagers, hauling them around, making a marriage work and juggling finances. They may have other struggles, but they are not my struggles and on those pages, they may not share their struggles so it’s not a fair assessment to compare my apples with their oranges. I know there are women out there who have children who make time for the gym. To them, I bow my head in reverence. I’m not there yet and may never be. Maybe there are women who can look great, have immaculate houses and still have deep and meaningful relationships with their family members while bringing in six figures per year. If they’re not drawn or written as a character in a book, I would like to meet them or maybe I wouldn’t. I’m not sure they would have time to be my friend, and besides, I’m looking for my own bliss anyway.

I’ve learned that people find their bliss from many different directions, and that is a huge revelation for a couple of reasons. First, if people are task oriented, they seem to find their bliss in doing. They need a to-do list and can get lost in it for hours. They care about getting things accomplished. If they are more people oriented, that same to-do list can feel like a rope around the neck that chokes the life right out of you. Then there are the people like me who are half task and half people oriented. I love the direction of the list but get lonely. That’s why I love when my family pitches in to help me knock off my to-do list. I also use the internet to connect with people who encourage each other. I belong to a couple of groups that help people stay motivated, and it is why I started the Better Living Daily Facebook page; to help others live their best life every day as I try to do the same. It’s become my mantra in life to live a little better each day so that I can lie down at night knowing I did my best to follow my Divine path and create a life I love to live. I began the quest many years ago, and I get better at it every year. This year I hope for more of the same. I hope to improve my life spiritually, emotionally, financially and physically. I hope to help others do the same, and I hope that everyone reading this post will join in and live their best life as well. Accepting yourself as you are is a great gift. Loving yourself while you grow is a greater gift. Moving through life knowing you are doing your Divine work is the best gift of all. I hope you all give this gift to yourself. If you miss the mark for a day, week or even month or two, you can always jump back in. In my world, and you’re welcome to be a part of it, failure is a part of success. Climbing a mountain is never a straight path. Embrace the imperfection and get on with living. Peace and growth to you in 2015. Thanks for being you and have a great day, week, month and year.


One Response to “Jumping into 2015”


  1. Jumping into 2015 | karenbemmes aka Better Living Daily - January 5, 2015

    […] Jumping into 2015. […]

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