Oh gosh, another year I didn’t get my Christmas cards out – Shocker and apologies everyone. I get addresses, have the best of intentions, I purchase cards with the utmost excitement that this will be the year that everyone around the world that I care about gets a card. Then there’s reality…I get the addresses, mentally tell myself that I must write it down in a “safe spot,” and then I get distracted, start cooking, chase my dog around, and then when I go to write the cards I forget where that “safe spot” is and I’m back at the beginning. I also feel really sketchy asking people for their addresses again and again….soooo, if you were one of many that I got the address for and sent nothing, I am SO sorry and please know you matter, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and here’s hoping I can find the “safe spot” so I can mail cards out this year as pretty soon these Christmas cards will become collectable items at the rate to which I ship…anyhoo, by the time I post this blog due to my rambling it’ll be Easter. I think it’s fair to say I’ve turned into the procrastinator of procrastinators.
2020 was a year. I really didn’t do much. We couldn’t travel anywhere hot so our fireplace was about the only thing providing any heat. Howevs, it was nice to get back into riding? OK, I don’t even know what to call it as an adult – I’m not talking horseback riding but bicycling. Here’s the thing, the last time I rode a bike was childhood, but in my head, I always think I will have the same amount of energy and stamina as I did as a 10yr old me. Ya, not quite. The first time we went I felt like I needed a tank of 02 as I was gasping for air, whilst simultaneously cursing under my breath as to WHY it was necessary to go uphill. I wanted so bad to get off and just push the bike up but the hubs man was Lance Armstronging it all the way, just simply yelling back at me to “change gears.” Ya, it wasn’t a gear issue, I needed a damn motor to push my ass up that hill, but I did it! It was nice to feel that sort of exhaustion from simply being outside in the fresh air and pushing my body. Not exhausted from the treatments but from “normal” things. I am forever grateful for what my body is still able to do and when I feel good, I want to see how far I can push it. So there was biking and hiking and just some lovely days in the garden, planting and gardening.
Overall, this year can be easily summed up by emotions…happy, stressed, sad, angry, mish-mash of everything described in one day, and then the end of the year ended with pure gratitude and feeling humbled. You know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness. This year was a year of growth and a year of lessons. A year of acceptance. And a year of truly focusing on the things I could control and letting go of the things I couldn’t. I tried hard to lean into all of it. These were my takeaways…
1.) Life NEVER EVER goes as planned. So this one is a biggie in my world but I don’t even think I need to delve deeper as I feel many people this year got a pretty big wake-up call with the COVID bit. Don’t ever assume plan A will flourish into big, amazing dreams come true -life is not a Disney fairytale so the sooner we wake up to this the easier the blow when we realize we are moreso living in Contagion. Got to pivot a little in our expectations. Sorry for the spoiler alert, but ALWAYS have a plan B, C, D, etc… life is a series of obstacles. Learn from every twist and turn.
2.) It’s ok to say NO. In fact, say it more often. This is the most freeing and liberating thing you will do and it will benefit YOU. Yes, life is not meant to be lived in sprints running around like you’re being perpetually chased by a serial killer. NO. We are constantly trying to please others at the expense of our own happiness and health. Just say no. And I mean say it proudly and don’t ever look back. Channel your inner Walter White…minus making meth, moreso the giving zero fu*ks. YOU are worthy.
3.) Time is your most valuable resource. Truly, treasure every minute because at some point it will be your last. Are you happy with who you are and what you left behind in this world? If not, then stop and change. Period. No excuses. Excuses are simply our way to cheap talk our way to laziness and continue to sit in complacency to do nothing.
4.) Facebook should officially be called Fakebook. Don’t compare your life to the façade that people post on social media. You all know what I’m talking about, lol. I’ve referred to these posts before. You know that FB or IG pic that someone posts after hiking for some ungodly amount of time, up before sunrise, probably hiking after a night shift, lol, whilst standing on the top of a mountain with perfect hair as the wind hits it at the perfect angle, and they don’t even look a little tired? They’re like a damn mountain goat in their element. And then there’s me who literally got her laces caught in her shoes and fell flat on my face. The worst was this was at the very front doors of a funeral home. They likely thought this was their first walk-up client, lol. Life is messy and complicated. Can we just be more real in 2021? You’d be surprised by how many people are in the same boat as you, and are just yearning to hear that they’re not alone in how they feel. Be honest and be real. Sometimes we trip on our laces and that’s ok, just always get back up, dust it off, and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. That’s it. Nobody is perfect.
5.) Embrace what you have. STOP searching for something better. Sometimes life is bloody hard and imperfect and you need to dig deep to find beauty in that day. Embrace what you have and truly cherish it. One day you’ll look back, and realize you missed out on some of the best days of your life simply because you were too busy with irrelevant things…such as probably #4…get off FB.
6.) Not everyone in life will like you – that’s ok. Hold your head high, find your people, and don’t ever let them go. Respect everyone. It’s not about the number of friends you have in life, it’s about the authenticity of those friendships. Will your FB friends show up on your doorstep during your darkest hour? It’s not about followers, or likes, or this pretend social media world we live in. It’s about how genuine, real, and raw those friendships are. Find more of those people. You will never go wrong and they will bring out the best in you.
7.) Your health is the most important thing. Don’t compromise and take it for granted. Don’t put your health on the back burner, regardless of age or how healthy you think you are. Healthy, fit people get cancer. Give yourself the best chance of survival by putting yourself first and making your health a priority. Oh, how I regret all those OT night shifts. For what? To make a few extra dollars? It won’t matter one bit once your health is gone. Don’t put your employer above your health as I’ll tell you they will never give two sh*ts about you. You are simply a number, on an assembly line. Go back to #2 – you are worthy.
8.) Life is short and sometimes life ends far sooner than it should. 2020 was a year where I realized that healthy people, with promising futures can have it all end in the blink of an eye. Love your people hard. ALWAYS tell those you love that you love them. You will never regret this but you sure will regret it if you choose to never tell those you love how you feel. This is a burden that will eat away at your soul till the day you die. We always assume we have time, but truth is it is the biggest lie we tell ourselves. Let go of your ego and live with grace and integrity. We NEED more of this in today’s world.
9.) Hold people accountable for their actions but not at the expense of breaking your heart. Good people make mistakes too, but don’t ever allow yourself to be walked all over repeatedly. Actions speak louder than words. What one DOES is who they are. What one SAYS is simply who they pretend to be.
10.) Don’t get medical advice from someone on IG who has a lot of followers or is deemed an “influencer.” Still, not sure WTF that really means in today’s age but sometimes I cringe when I see people simply jumping on a bandwagon that’s on a disaster, head on course with a train, but because they have lots of followers people shamefully try to promote themselves and then credibility towards the person/organization is basically gone/over in an instant. That’s it. And then you watch false info get spread around like wildfire because nobody knows what they’re talking about and nobody corrects them & I just roll my eyes and shake my head and wonder WTF twilight zone are we living in? The information becomes diluted and uncredible, but it spreads faster than an STD on spring break.
11.) Instant gratification will never amount to the gratification you feel from working hard, never giving up, and pursuing your dreams. Be realistic, set goals, network, and if you fail – learn from it and do better. Period.
12.) If you don’t like something in your life then change it. Complaining gets you nowhere other than annoy those around you.
13.) Running from your problems won’t eliminate your problems. You will just have new scenery with the same problems.
14.) Life is not fair. I have no tips for this but we must accept it, or you risk boarding the train of denial and wasting your time simply going in circles, turning into the woe is me/victim…NOBODY cares to listen to the woe is me crap anymore because every person in this world has a story and a hardship. Watch the people who rise above their adversity to enact change. Don’t follow the complainers. Follow those who are powerful enough to do the right thing when the right thing isn’t the popular thing to do.
15.) It’s ok to simply be. We don’t need to be productive all the time. You can watch Netflix all day if you just need a break. Don’t feel guilty. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to how you live your life. However, don’t ever allow yourself to get stuck. We all have shitty and depressing days where we feel like the world is swallowing us whole and spitting us out, but always get up and try. Tomorrow will look different but don’t let yourself stay stuck in despair. If you feel you have no way out then reach out for help. Your mental health is important. Take care of it and don’t be ashamed to get professional help. YOU are worth it.
16.) Find a reason to smile & laugh & surround yourself with people who make life just a little bit sweeter. When you find your people, you exude a sense of pure joy & happiness that becomes contagious. We need more happy in our world😊
This past year also made me realize that social media platforms are eroding people’s sanity. Listen, I am not perfect by any means, not even close. I’ve spent too much time on social media platforms myself, but I’ve come to realize that a LOT of ugly, a lot of misinformation, and a lot of irrelevance exists on these platforms. At this point, I feel that our excessive technology and social media platforms have created an extremely divisive, and ugly separation amongst people. There are no more respectful discussions just flat out: “you’re dumb and an idiot.” And these are supposed “PROFESSIONALS?” Everything is misconstrued and becomes distorted and even if it was a very thought-provoking and educational piece with actual FACTS, not opinions, people take out ONE sentence, and start to attack the other person, whilst simultaneously stating what a good person they are. Hold up. This is turning into some weird, fu*ked up popularity contest and then the distorted message gets shared because, naturally, that’s what gains traction and everyone is now a perfect Mother Teresa, while calling someone dumb? It’s this virtue signaling that makes me want to vomit in my mouth a little. Anyone else see what’s going on?
We live in a world where opinions are running rampant and facts are just an afterthought. At this point, I feel like the world would be a better place if social media platforms disappeared. Gone. If people held media accountable and put things within context as opposed to fear mongering, creating further divisiveness. There are no longer two sides to a story. There is one side which is typically SO distorted that everyone believes it and if you don’t, then you will be crucified for even stating there was falsities in what was reported. Everything has become clickbait. Nothing more. We have truly lost touch with reality.
All the people who are suddenly “woke” on social media but are far from it in reality. THAT I have an issue with. The people who preach it but don’t live it. The people who feel they need to post a photo on social media “doing the right thing.” Listen, if you need to post something good that you did then you’re not doing it for the right reasons. It’s this façade that many people create and these people are dangerous because they’re the ones creating the separation. An example would look like this: “I wear a mask all the time because I actually care about the elderly (me: ummm…never said I don’t wear one around the elderly, nor did I say I don’t care), alone in my car, alone outside, around my goldfish because you never know and that’s a fishy life so got to protect them, plus if I’m in the garden just in case because I also care about our planet more than you because you asshole took your mask off when you saw that ant on the floor and I support the life of bugs too, so that makes you dumb, self centered and ignorant.” Wowzers, anything else? Virtue away…thanks for basically telling me what a good person YOU are, despite knowing nothing about me. Next time you want to post about what a good person YOU are let this ring in your head before you quickly click post:
The authenticity you post on social media platforms is usually the inauthentic version of yourself because those who truly live it and are authentic in their day to day REAL LIVES don’t post about it, nor do they require recognition for who they are…just think about it…
Anyhoo, here’s to 2021…God help us all…thanks for coming to my TED talk😊