We all have baggage. The amount of baggage we carry ranges from person to person. The same can be said for how we choose to unpack our baggage. Some of us unpack with therapy, journaling, etc. It’s not easy, but it necessary. And some of us…well, some of us choose to not unpack.
Acknowledging that you have baggage is one hurdle. Acknowledging that you need to unpack that baggage is another hurdle. It’s easier to ignore both hurdles and allow the baggage to accumulate. The problem with that is that over time, the baggage will get too heavy for you to carry & you’ll have to unpack your baggage before you’re ready.
There’s a better way.
You don’t have to unpack everything all at once. Unpack a little at a time. Work at a pace that manageable for you so you won’t get overwhelmed. Reflect on your progress. Repeat. There are going to be some tough times during the journey. Be gentle with yourself.
Writing these annual write-ups is one of my favorite end-of-the-year blog tasks (see here and here for earlier posts). In the past, I’ve broken down the post into sections (personal/blog highlights, top blog posts of the year, etc).
I wanted to switch things up for this year. The highlights and memories that I experienced this year were awesome. I also had some lows that would’ve broken me. All of that provided me with some valuable lessons that I wanted to share as my annual wrap up for 2017.
Do what works for me.
Comparison is one of those things that you can get wrapped up in and not realize that it’s happening. I would browse social media and find myself comparing where I was in various areas of my life in regards to others. I found myself looking up tips and signing up for all kinds of newsletters, none of which I needed. Instead of soaking up all of this information, I got overwhelmed.
It takes longer to get past overwhelm than it did to get overwhelmed.
To get past the overwhelm, I needed to get rid of the sources of the overwhelm. I unsubscribed from several newsletters and stopped searching for tips on things that I really didn’t need. I stuck to doing the things that worked for me and refrained from comparing myself to others. I won’t lie, it’s not always easy, but I feel so much better.
Leave the past in the past.
I have this thing where I get a case of the “what ifs” regarding people of my past. I go through the motions of wondering if things between us could be different. I would reach out, we’d reconnect, and things would be cool for months. Then, things would fall apart again and we would go back to being the past. This year, I didn’t reach out when I felt the urge. Progress.
No matter how many times I reach out to my past, sometimes the past needs to stay where it is.
I’m a stickler for a routine. When that routine is disrupted, I feel frazzled. I’ve turned down several opportunities because they interfered with my routine. I know how ridiculous that is, but when I decide that I’m doing something at a certain moment of the day, I don’t like to change the plans.
However, I realized that this isn’t feasible.
I have a routine and when that routine is disrupted, I feel frazzled. It would take days to get back on track. I learned to add some room in the routine so when it gets disrupted, I can pick up where I left off. That allows me to partake in the opportunities that pop up while still having my routine.
“No” is not a means to an end.
“No” is one of those things that can make or break you. When you want something so badly just to be told you can’t have it for whatever reason, it hurts real bad. Like when someone takes the last cupcake in the display case that you had your eye on in line. Yeah, that bad. I refused to become discouraged and instead allowed “no” to motivate me to find alternate means to get what I want.
The difference between 'no' and 'yes' is persistence.
Setbacks are life lessons in disguise. Things could be going well and then BOOM, something happens to unravel everything. The feeling is similar to having the comforter snatched off of you and the room temperature is ice cold.
This week I had a setback involving my car. I spent the entire day of the setback pissed all the way off. I allowed myself that one day to mope around and after that, it’s time to plan and reflect.
Setbacks always remind me to be thankful. I’m this case, I’m thankful that I have the necessary coverage to pay for the repairs and a rental car. I’m thankful nobody was injured, including myself.
Things can always be worse than they are. Be thankful that they aren’t and learn from them. Life is too short to repeat mistakes.