I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was glad to put 2016 to bed.
Yes, there were some good times, but it seemed as though the world finally gave in to its baser chaotic instincts. So many amazing celebrities gone to whatever other side you (or they) believe in. Let’s not even mention that circus of an election, okay?
I turned 39 in October. I don’t know if that falls under the “good times” or not, but there it is. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what it means for me to be 39, and what the next birthday will bring. Most of the years that I’ve been hanging out on this spinning ball in space have been pretty darn amazing. I’ve noticed, however, that as I’ve aged, I seemed to have left myself behind. I’ve started to identify myself as who I am in relation to others: a wife, a mother, a nurse, a friend. Those are all great labels, but they only tell part of the story of me.
As I approach 40, I want to focus on finding myself again.
Resolutions aren’t my thing. I have never understood the concept of making a promise to do something that you’re fully aware you’ll probably stop doing in a few weeks. (Mad props to those of you who do keep your resolutions, and please send some of that willpower my way.) This New Year’s Eve, as I was watching a movie with the kiddos and thinking about 2017, my thoughts kept going back to this:
I need to find out who I am now.
So, I decided that 2017 is going to be the Year of Mo. It’s not a resolution. It’s more like hitting the reset button on how I see myself. I’m going to take the time I’ve got before the big 4-0 to get reacquainted with the Mo that I am now. I want to hit the next decade of my life feeling confident that I am at peak Awesome Mo. I am going to focus this year on finding myself.
Of course, it helps that this is a good time in my life to take a step back and evaluate it. My girls are 5 and 9, old enough to be able to entertain themselves with minimal to moderate supervision. My husband is a hands-on dad who loves to spend time with his kids and constantly encourages me to take time for myself. This year, I’m finally going to take him up on it.
I’m still not quite sure what finding myself in the Year of Mo will look like, and that’s the exciting part. I don’t want to make a lot of specific goals because that will start feeling more like those resolutions I hate.
I do have a list of things that I want to work on, though:
- Believing what people think of me. Absorbing the praise and discarding the self-doubt. I think we’re all guilty of deflecting praise, and I think we’re all doing ourselves a great disservice when we do. This year, I’m going to learn the art of just saying “thank you” when someone compliments me. But I’m going to take it a step further. What I really want to do is silence Insecure Mo. She’s the voice in my head that whispers “not true” every time I hear positive feedback. I want to turn up the volume on Awesome Mo and let her “heck yeahs” drown out the doubt.
- Getting back into things I’ve always loved to do. I’m leaving this one pretty vague because I know I’ll never be able to do EVERYTHING on my list. But I’ve discovered that there are some things that I’ve given up or let go of over the years that used to be an integral part of my inner awesomeness, like singing. Back in the day, I was in every choir I could join. I was the Queen of Karaoke. These days, I sing to the kids and that’s about it. My dream for this year is to sing again: join a choir, audition for a musical. Heck, maybe I’ll get the courage to do an open mic night sometime.
- Working on making the outside as awesome as the inside. In the last couple of years, I’ve discovered that I love running. I’m not great at it. I haven’t been able to dedicate the time and energy on running that I want to. So, this year I want to figure out how to make running at least 2-3 times a week a priority in my crazy schedule.
- Sharing my awesomeness with others on my terms. I have BVTMB to thank for this one. Writing was always private for me before I started blogging. I love being able to share my perspective on life with a larger audience.
- Sharing my awesomeness with myself. I’ve always wanted to be better at journaling than I actually am. A few weeks ago, I discovered the 52 Lists Project and jumped right on board. Working on one list a week is an easier commitment for me to make, and I’m excited to see how those lists will turn out.
I’m sharing my list in the hopes that the rest of you can start to realize your own awesomeness as well.
My biggest hope for 2017 is that you can also have the Year of You. Remember what makes you the amazing person you are outside of what you might be to others. May finding myself, and finding yourself be filled with pleasant surprises, gut-busting laughter, and love from yourself and those who are special to you!