Saturday, September 1, 2018

An Entire Year of Joy

My wish is for another  fabulous year with an abundance of joy
One year ago, I deemed my 41st year to be the Year of Joy.  It was just slightly over a year ago that a break up and a bad choice in medication pushed me into a mental breakdown.  I have grown so much in the past year.  It wasn't just a year of joy.  It was a year of peace.  Love.  Self-acceptance.  It was the Year of Me.

Our time has to be divided in so many ways.  We have to work, sleep, eat.  We have responsibilities.  We don't have time for ourselves, because we have other people to take care of.  However, we can't push ourselves until we have nothing left to give.  We need to put our oxygen masks on first.

Take a deep breath.

For me, that means yoga is a priority.  I am extremely excited to be on the committee at work that brought yoga to employees two days a week at lunch.  We are adding an evening class in less than two weeks.  Between that, another lunchtime class, and my Saturday online class, I will be at five yoga classes each week.

Eating well is a priority.  Thanks to the gastric bypass, this isn't optional.  My vitamins and protein can get low so easily, and it makes it hard to function.  I've been gluten-free (mostly free) for almost a year and a half.  I have the sugar under control again.  I'm drinking my protein shake for breakfast.  I've been using a food service to make sure I get high fat/protein, gluten-free foods.  Food is fuel.  And I am making an effort to choose the right fuel for my body.

Time with my friends and family is essential.  Time with the right people.  Learning that not everyone deserves your time.  Learning not to waste precious time with people who aren't compatible with you.  Practically every Sunday afternoon, you will find me at Myers Court, hanging out with my family.  Sure, a small part is because it's fun to compete for the title of Favorite Aunty.  But I love feeling like I'm part of a community.  We can build our own tribes, of course.  My chosen tribe includes so many amazing people.  However, I do appreciate my family for loving and accepting all of my weirdness.  Also, I am so incredibly lucky to have a fantastic group of friends.  I am especially grateful to the strong women in my life.  When I was younger, groups of women usually meant catty bullshit.  That is no longer the case.  Either we've grown up or I'm just spending time with better people.

Therapy is so important.  Sometimes it feels overwhelming to make a weekly commitment, but I fully believe my therapist is part of the reason I am doing so well right now.  She doesn't just sit back and ask me how I'm feeling or what I think.  She calls me on my bullshit and helps me choose better ways to think about myself.

Self-care in general is a priority as well.  For me, that's massages, journaling, meditating, taking time to watch sunsets, going to the beach, watching the full moon rise at my favorite look-out spot.  It's turning the TV off and sitting in silence in my own house.  It's turning the music on and dancing around as I get ready in the morning.  It's being in tune with my mind, body and spirit, so I know exactly what I need in each moment to thrive.

I feel like a completely different person.  Softer 'round the edges.  Still loud and silly but maybe not solely for the reason of hiding my insecurities.  Less sarcastic.  I've tried to be more vulnerable and honest with people.  It feels more authentic to live like that.

In the last year, I got rid of my roommate and started fully loving being in my own house again.  I've taken trips to Pebble Beach, Disneyland, Tahoe, Monterey, Fall River Mills and Vegas (more than once).  I did a yoga retreat in San Luis Obispo.  I started a brunch committee to discuss the epidemic of online daters sending photos of their dicks to random people.  I've contemplated taking the bar and becoming an attorney.  I've realized that California may not be the place I want to retire (which says a lot coming from a California girl).  And I'm still doing random handstands and yoga poses everywhere I go.

So a year ago, I started an album on Facebook called "41: The Year of Joy."  In the past year, I've posted over 1,400 photos of people and events that brought me joy.  I wanted to share some of them here.

Thank you all for being on this journey with me.  I know I've gotten away from posting a lot about pole.  Aerial has really been causing me a lot of physical pain, so I'm taking it as a sign that it's time to take a step back and take care of myself.  Surgery is coming up in less than two months, so perhaps after the New Year, I will re-evaluate.  I have decided not to set a theme for my 42nd year.  I will, of course, continue to foster a joyful life, and I am excited about what the next year holds (two more babies are due in the family over the next six months).  But I am also learning to go with the flow and trust that the Universe will always provide me with good people and fantastic adventures.

And now, welcome to my Year of Joy (click the photo and it will take you to my flickr album).  Don't worry, it's not all 1,400 photos.  :-D

41 - The Year of Joy

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