Celebrating 2017

celebrating 2017

In 2017, I hiked. I ran. A lot. I was humbled by the ocean and knocked down by waves. I danced. I danced with friends. I danced with my husband. I don’t claim to dance well, but I danced for many reasons and one of my favorite reasons was to dance as a form of celebration.

I grew in my career in 2017. At work, I was – and I am – challenged daily. But more importantly, I am given an opportunity each and every day to learn. To grow. To lead. To contribute. To collaborate. To be creative. To be inspired by those around me. I choose to celebrate this opportunity rather than focus on my shortcomings or things I can’t do.

In June of 2017, we traveled to Sayulita, Mexico where I had the honor of standing by my best friend as her maid of honor at her sweet wedding. Five days later we hopped on a plane to make a quick jaunt to celebrate another best friend’s 30th birthday in Santa Cruz. It has brought me so much joy this year to watch these two women, along with many other dear friends who crossed milestones, step into new seasons of their life with passion and purpose. Now, that’s definitely something to celebrate.

The cancer of 2017 was Brian’s dad diagnosis with Leukemia, but with the disease has come the most beautiful form of strength, resilience and fellowship. My father-in-law, Mark, is facing this trial with dignity and humor, and he inspires me every day. On top of that – as with many hardships – it has brought our family together even more and further connected me to my Gump brothers and sister. Together we celebrate life and kicking cancer’s butt.

As we get older it seems to get harder to get my family all together, and a last-minute idea to celebrate Thanksgiving in Colorado at my sister’s house was the best thing ever. Thanksgiving weekend was spent adventuring with my husband, hanging with my sisters and brother-in-laws, playing with my nieces and nephews, cooking with my mom and running with my dad. All of my favorite things and people packed into one long weekend filled with celebration and gratitude.

We ended the year with a quick trip to Yosemite and on the last day of 2017, with just hours until the new year, we hiked to a mountain peak and toasted to the new year. I don’t know what it was about being up there – maybe because the elevation is closer to God or nature or maybe it was the reward of the cold beer – but the reflection and resolutions felt extra celebratory this year.

It can’t go without note that this year started in the absolute best way possible, as I wed the love of my life on 1.7.17. Marrying Brian has been a life-changing event in more ways than I expected. Not only his he my partner and my person, but what I didn’t expect from marriage is how I would grow personally. He amplifies my positive attributes by bringing out my joy, humor, voice, spirituality, and drive. And at the same time he helps me find more patience, energy, acceptance and physical strength – things that come more naturally to him. He helps me sets goals and together we celebrate our successes.

We received a wedding gift from a dear friend that was a beautiful gold rimmed plate, delicately engraved with the words, “May there always be a reason to celebrate.” In short, that was my motto for 2017 and it’s a motto I will strive for every day and every year thereafter.

2018 – let’s continue the celebration.

 

A Holiday Reminder

Holiday reminder

I found this image on Instagram and it was a very timely reminder and something I needed to hear.

Holiday reminder

The hustle and bustle of the holidays gets to me every year. Shorter weeks at work. A never-ending to do list. Christmas gifts that won’t wrap themselves. Late nights. Early mornings. It just doesn’t seem to stop.

Stop.

This is the season to GIVE.  Give time. Give positivity. Patience. Joy. Calm. Give help. Give your presence. And of course, some gifts too.

What a message. And something I could use reminding of all year long. Lets keep spreading the happy and the merry rather than the stressed and the weary.

Logging Out

Logging Out

I used to read. A lot.

I would keep a paperback book in my purse so I could pick up wherever I left off on whatever book I was currently reading. I would read a few pages at a restaurant while waiting for our reservation to be ready.  If I got to my workout class early and had a few minutes to kill in the car, I would open my book. And plane rides!? Oh boy! It wasn’t matter of if I would read or not, it was  matter of how many books I could fit in my carry-on because all I would do on the flight – and the ensuing vacation – was read.

But then, something changed.

All the in-between time I spent reading books was slowly replaced over time. While in line at the grocery store, I started pulling my phone out of my purse and idly scrolling. Before bed I would check my apps only to put the phone down and habitually check them again.  And the very worst? At a quick stoplight I pick up my phone to get a quick hit digital dopamine. Ugh.

So recently, I decided to change.

On the Friday before Memorial Day weekend I logged out of every app on my phone. Knowing that this holiday weekend was typically full of oversharing online, I knew it was the perfect weekend to take it completely offline. I did not scroll. I did not swipe. I did not stare. Without all of the social my phone was just that – a phone and was only needed to make a call or send a quick text to confirm plans with friend. What a novel idea!

And guess what happened when I stayed off my phone all weekend? I read an entire book.

I now log out regularly to keep me from the digital distraction and put me in the present moment and back in front of more books.

 

Magic

Magic

I have always* felt it. Well, not always. But often. And when I have felt it, it has been overwhelming. What I am talking about can best be described as MAGIC. And no, I’m not talking about rabbit-out-of-a-hat type of magic. I am talking about a feeling.

The feeling you get when your heart is beating with excitement and you simultaneously are extremely calm because you know you are exactly where you should be at that moment.

The feeling you get when you read a book that lucidly articulates your belief system that you have never been able to put into words.

The feeling when you realize you are moving in the right direction of your purpose.

This is magic to me. And I am getting that feeling now.

I’m pressing publish on my first blog post. A blog I have been thinking about for years and am finally putting into action. I’m doing it now without any expectation or need for anything in return.

But the funny thing is, I also know that what you put out into the universe is returned to you. And that’s the most magical thing of all.

*Do people still tweet anymore?