Lessons & Thoughts From the Farm

Resolution Revolution

It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past 365 days – the glorious moments, the critter-filled challenges and antics, the experiences lived and the moments missed.  It’s also that time of year when we look hopefully and optimistically into the next 365 days with dreams that we will make it count, challenge ourselves to be and do better, and, if you are like me, that tiny little nagging voice in your head that says, “Will you really live up to your own expectations?”

Oh yes, those little internal voices. Gremlins.  Mine have had a lifetime of criticizing, chastising, and  just downright tormenting me.  That is until 2017 when the tide began to turn.  It was a year of change, the time when I finally learned the meaning of enjoying the journey, and the beginning of being a-okay with my serious lack of perfection.

As one dear friend once said to me, “You suffer from the dreaded triple-P syndrome.  You are a people pleasing perfectionist.  You see, I recognize this, because I too am in recovery.”  I laughed.  I had an aha moment. Someone had named it for me.  That was years ago.  And so I kept that little jewel tucked away, hanging onto it and truly not knowing what to do with it.

I’d occasionally trot it out with friends to chat about my ailment.  I’d make minor strides to try to keep myself in check, but truly on the inside me and triple-P were besties.  We knew each other far too well.  And because we knew each other so well, we had no intention of parting ways anytime soon.

Then 2017 came along and things began to shift for me.  For some reason, I decided to heck with resolutions, because who am I kidding, I never kept them anyway.  Instead, I made a vision board filled with words and images and thoughts that inspired me, that laid out the life I wanted to live. It was fun – I cut, pasted, and scrapped until my heart was content. I framed it and hung it on my wall.  It’s still there.  It still speaks to me.

Something started with that vision board.  I started thinking about the person I wanted to be, the things I wanted to try, the possibilities.  But not the possibilities that were like my typical New Year’s eve rush of resolution panic, but true possibilities. I started listening, listening to my insides.  My not so perfect but oh so me insides.

Then came springtime, and things lined up just right; I had my soul listening ears on, and I hired a life coach.  I did it on a whim.  I saw her website, and thought “Why not?”  And before I could talk myself out of why I didn’t need to spend the money or convince myself that I’d be the same me at the end of it, just with less cash in my pocket, I signed up for an exploratory session, and IT. CHANGED. MY. LIFE.

I met with my coach every other week for 6 months.  I discovered who I wanted to be, who I didn’t want to be, and how to harness the little voices in my head and turn them from tormentors into cheerleaders. Now let’s be serious, it was not all roses, rainbows, and unicorns.  There were tough moments.  Moments of doubt and frustration.  But my world slowly went from black and white, to shades of grey, to full on technicolor magic.

When I look back on 2017 I see where I went head to head with some of my most ingrained thoughts on what it means to be spiritual, what it means to live my best life, what it means to follow my creativity, what it means to plan but still hope and dare and most of all find deep down, soul loving joy.

For maybe the first time in my life, I started to believe in me.  In the possibilities all around.  Oh and trust me, I have oodles more work to do.  I mean when you spend a lifetime letting your gremlins drive the car, sometimes you still have to take a stick and whack them into the backseat.

My Farmtastic Life - Find the good in 2017 and work for the joy in 2018!
Find the good in 2017 and work for the joy in 2018!

So on this New Year’s Eve, as you sit and ponder if 2018 will be different, I encourage you   to listen to the messages that are swirling around you, the good people in your life who are encouraging you, and take a chance on something that just might make all of the difference for you. Sure, your gremlin voices might party like it’s 1999 tonight, but tomorrow they will totally be passed out in the back seat.

P.S.  When looking for a life coach, you need to find someone who clicks with you, as you are building a relationship.  Trust is critical.  You’ll also want someone who has their certification and is a professional.  Because I think she’s absolutely the best, I can’t recommend Kelsey Joy highly enough, and I look forward to continuing to work with her in 2018.

P.P.S. I’ve learned tons throughout my journey 2017, and I’ll work to create some short vignettes to share those lessons with y’all.  I can’t wait to continue to get my learn on in 2018.

 

Farmtastic Crafting · Lessons & Thoughts From the Farm

Cultivate a Vision

I’m a consummate list maker.  Heck, even my lists have lists.  To be fair, I come by this trait honestly, as my momma is probably one of the most organized people I know.  When Cowboy and I got married, A LONG TIME AGO, you should have seen the lists my momma carried around, and it worked.  It was a perfect day for us.

So as we go into 2017, you might imagine that I’m in full on list mode.  But the truth is, a list of New Year’s resolutions always baffles me.  Of course, I could, like most folks, add the usual suspects – eat less, exercise more.  But that also brings out my recovering perfectionist side.  The moment I miss a workout or a piece of chocolate just throws itself into my mouth, my brain screams epic fail.  One of my dearest pals subscribes to the notion of a theme.  He picks a theme for the year, like adventure, and focuses his efforts on making progress against the theme.  I’ve always admired that, and even tried it, but once I get past January and a couple of journal entries, it’s c’est la vie to the theme.

My Farmtastic Life - Vision Board in Progress
Clipping away – I ended up with more words than room, which forced me to get down to my faves. Also, you will make a mess. It’s okay – just enjoy the process!

Which brings me to Cowboy.  (Good gravy how I love that man!)  Cowboy is not big on the holidays of any kind, never has been.  And while at first that might make you go, “Awe, shucks.  Really?”  I’ve come to love this about him. He’s been known to say, “Why focus on <fill in the holiday of your choice>, when you can experience love/gifts/joy all year round.  What would you rather?”

So that got me thinking about New Year’s and a way to do a little something to mark the occasion that would work for me and alleviate my need to check things off and truly just live – live in the moment. Enter the vision board. While I had never done one before, I had heard about them from friends and usually equated them to grand things you’d like to accomplish like buying a new home or getting that next promotion at work.

I didn’t read up on how to do them or take a class, which is monumental for this girl who loves to know how first – think of me as that lovable 4-year-old asking why and how.  Instead I just bought a frame, some scrapbook paper, some stickers, and picked through my magazine stash and starting clipping out words, phrases, and pictures that meant something to me.  And what I found was that it wasn’t really the big things.  In fact, it’s the little things, and a lot of them I already do.  What I was thinking about as I snipped, arranged, and glued was cultivating the vision for the life I wanted to live this year.  Loving Cowboy and this farmgirl life I get to live.  Writing more stories, crafting, cooking, digging in the dirt.  Sharing moments and treasuring those special friends that I hold close in my heart.  Giving back, paying it forward, and being a woman of faith and grace.

Sometimes the new year does not need to bring monumental change, but rather a reminder to live the lives we were meant to live each day.  As Cowboy would say, happy new day.

My Farmtastic Life - 2017 Vision Board
The finished product – so many words that just speak to my soul. Wishing you all a blessed 2017!

P.S. – If you’d like to make a vision board, here are a couple of tips if you also have an inner 4-year-old.

A few things you’ll need:

My Farmtastic Live - Vision Board Supplies
Some of my favorite vision board supplies – really you can use anything you’d like.
  • A frame – I chose 11″x14″ but any size will work
  • Magazines or books you are willing to cut up with abandon
  • Scissors – the ones that make decorative edges are my favorites
  • Glue stick
  • Scrapbook or craft paper to be your base
  • Stickers, stamps, markers

To get started:

  1. Cut your paper to the size of your frame.  I had to tape two pieces together.  Don’t worry, if you’re like me you’ll have so much on your board the seam will never show.
  2. Cut out words, photos, images that make you smile and speak to your heart.
  3. Arrange and glue.
  4. Frame and place in a spot where you’ll be sure to appreciate it.

If you decide to make a vision board, we’d love to see it, so please share away.

P.S. – A version of this post was published in The Glen Rose Reporter under the title of Happy New Day.  It’s the first in a monthly column I’ll be doing for the paper as a community columnist.  A dream come true for this farmgirl!