November was a rough, tough, low-down dirty month for me. I was desperately resisting change and seeking any way to change the situation before me. It was exhausting, stressful and in many ways broke me down. I cried a lot (a lot!) and lived an emotional roller coaster as I never have before. It was an unpleasant month to say the least! Thankfully I've been writing my own good life lessons here for years and found great solace in the knowledge that somehow, some way I would come through it. And... I have.
What did I learn? A few things...
I definitely proved to myself that trying, trying, and trying any and all ways to achieve a result can indeed have its own rewards. Although my efforts often did not result in changing the actual results, I feel great satisfaction in knowing I tried EVERYTHING to solve what I saw as a series of problems. I sleep soundly knowing that all options were explored and I gave my best effort.
BE WILLING TO FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE
Not all conversations are easy or pleasant to have. Decide to have them anyway. Uncomfortable conversations are just a part of life and it is going to serve you best if you're willing to sit down and have them when necessary. Have the guts to put yourself out there and face the situation with boldness and bravery.
BE VULNERABLE WITH YOUR CLOSEST FRIENDS
If November taught me anything it is that my small posse of closest girlfriends are AMAZING. I've always been a quality over quantity girl, and with friendships it has proven to be a wise decision. My mighty yet small army of girls really rock the house. I had shoulders to sob on, open ears to vent to and willing arms to hug me when I needed it. They became my safe place to get honest and get it all out. I also had sound voices to offer fresh outlooks on my situation and willing hands to pitch in when I needed it most. Build your army of besties with love and care and invest as much in them as they have in you. These girls (or guys) will truly be your lifeboat when you feel you are out to sea.
BE OPEN TO CHANGE
This is where I stumbled the most. I love change in so many areas. New destinations, new ideas, new discoveries, new people. Yet in some life areas I desperately need consistency and stability to feel good. Change, dear friends, is a part of life we cannot avoid. Struggling to avoid impending change can often be like falling into quicksand. The more you struggle the further you sink. Have faith that you'll see your dreams come to life, but be open to the possibility that change thrust upon you is actually what is best for you.
Even on my most challenging days I could see how much joy my children brought me and how happy they are in their natural state. Kids are just living bundles of light and laughter. Observing them reminded me to embrace them and cherish the moments and even to simply honor those unpleasant raw emotions. This, for the moment, was truly how I was feeling. So happy or sad or frustrated or disappointed or stressed - it was best to honor those emotions and let them have their moment to escape and be rid of them.
What felt like the end of an era to me was not the end-all-be-all in my life. My children and husband and I are all healthy and sound and well. Our safety was not an issue and our livelihood is alive and well. My personal challenge was not the "end" of my fab life. It might just be the beginning of a whole new awesome journey. Be willing to see around your obstacle and see the sun shining behind it.
In the end I learned to bend and not break. Change will be forced upon you at times and it may or may not be avoidable. When faced with the inevitable, it's best to avoid letting it break you down. Be willing to see new things as good things. Be willing to trust that God has a bigger, better plan than you.
I hope you'll all see the new month and the upcoming new year as an opportunity to give your life and your outlook a sweet reboot. Shake of the shackles of the past and see life as a new creation and new experience each day. Let go of things (even pleasant things) which might be holding you back from your amazing destiny. Move forward in faith with a broad smile on your face. Life truly is beautiful!