2018 has presented a clear dichotomy of insurmountable joy and inexpressible pain. With the hills and valleys have come valuable lessons that I hope to carry into the coming year. Though I’ve learned many valuable things in the past year (including navigating a 401k and life insurance), these 5 have had the most widespread impact:
1. I need to rest:
Counter to what I’d like to believe, I do not have unlimited capacity. When I don’t carve out moments of rest and rhythms of solitude, I suffer the consequences—a poor immune system, exhaustion, and increased apathy. This year has taught me to counter the cultural belief I’ve adopted to “go go go” and to be intentional about rest.
2. I have a smaller capacity than my schedule claims I do:
This ties into the concept of rest, but it goes a step further. “No” is one of the hardest words for me to say when asked about adding “just one more thing” to my plate. I feel guilty saying no, especially when something seems like a small commitment. (What’s a few more hours a week to participate in one more thing?) Except that those few hours quickly turn into an entire evening, and a couple evenings a week quickly turn into a booked schedule with nary a moment for rest and margin. This year has challenged me to be intentional with how much I do.
3. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality is so valuable:
Emotional health is a crucial part of being a healthy individual, and yet, I’m only beginning to understand the vast reach that emotions have on the rest of my life. Taking Emotionally Healthy Spirituality and Emotionally Healthy Relationships courses allowed me to dive headfirst into the conversation of cultivating healthy spiritual and emotional habits so that I (along with my relationships) can be healthier.
4. I’m an Enneagram 4:
After falsely believing myself to be a 2 (the stress number for a 4), a few dear friends suggested I take a closer look at my type. Discovering my actual number has been the single most impactful tool to understanding myself (so that’s why I do what I do!). Not only am I equipped to grow in my weakest areas, but I have an increased understanding of how I interact with people around me. I know personality tests can seem too heavily promoted at times, but seriously. Learn your (actual) number.
5. I’ve adopted functional fitness:
I no longer have 2 hours of daily margin to lift at the gym. (Correction—I choose to prioritize relationships and other after-work events in addition to working out.) That said, rather than constantly trying to add more weight to the squat rack, I’ve shifted to a view of functional fitness. I want to be healthy and strong to do all the Colorado activities I love—hiking, running, skiing, biking. Sometimes staying in shape for those things looks like lifting heavy, but sometimes it looks like a run or a workout class (or, gasp—an off day!), and I’m slowly learning that it’s okay. I don’t have to give hours everyday to be healthy and strong.
I’ve been stretched and challenged in the past year, and while the growth process is not always pleasant, it’s shaped me into a stronger and more resilient person. I only pray 2019 brings as much growth as this past year has.