2017 has been a big year of transition for me… This year I experienced what must have been the whole spectrum of human emotions quite fully – from deep, piercing anger and sadness to pure joy and happiness all within what seems to be a short amount of time. I feel like this year flew by with all the events I went through with it.
But as it comes to a close with only two weeks left, I choose to be grateful for the following things and people…
1. To my ex-partner
We spent the last five years of our lives together… and even though we now live separate lives, I will never forget the things you have done for me and the lessons you have taught me. You taught me to appreciate cars and to prioritize my health and fitness above all. You pushed me to finish my Nursing degree when I questioned myself halfway through.
In the end, when things were breaking apart, you continued to teach me things. By the challenges we faced, I learned that I am stronger than I gave myself credit for, I learned my value as a woman and I learned that I am capable enough to continue on my own.
I will forever be grateful to you and your family for taking me in like a daughter, sister and cousin. Know that you’ll always have a special place in me and that one day, maybe we CAN be friends again… just not this time.
2. To my family
I have always felt fortunate to have a close relationship with my parents and my younger sister and brother. Through the years, even when I ran away from home, I felt supported and cared for by them.
Since I moved back in with my family, I’ve enjoyed the time we get to spend together – family dinners where all five of us are sitting at the table and laughing over childhood memories or the late nights tossing back beers and wine with my siblings or being able to borrow my sister’s clothes and shoes again (then being yelled at by her when she’s looking for a piece I’m already wearing).
As sucky as I felt earlier this year when my relationship fell apart and I moved out of my own house, my family kept me smiling and looking forward to when I was ready for things to get better. I am so blessed in this aspect and thoroughly enjoying every minute I get to spend at home.
Related Post: I Am Newly Single and Moved Out of my Own House
3. To the friends who helped me pull through and the new friendships I’ve made
I have never felt so surrounded by love and support from the people in my life until the later half of this year.
In previous years, I’ve kept myself isolated – busy with work and “other things” (aka staying home so I didn’t have to spend money… I allowed money to dictate what I did). I missed out on building authentic and vulnerable relationships with my friends. And my best relationship was the one I had with my ex-partner.
When that relationship fell apart, I felt like I was left with no-one. But I was wrong. That’s when my true friends stepped up and supported me. They helped me pick up the pieces of what felt like my broken life and were there when I was ready to come out of my hiding after some weeks and months.
Not only did I learn who my true friends are, I made some new friends also… people who genuinely wanted to know me and not just because my more outgoing ex-partner introduced them to me. These are people who I enjoy spending time with and are bringing value into my life – as I am into theirs. There’s no better feeling!
4. To personal development and my faith
I put these two together because they both serve me in creating a better life.
I was baptized Catholic and I go to a Christian church. I was drawn to this church because of the community of people in it and how the messages from the Bible are delivered in a way that resonates with me. I go to church so I am reminded to always be kind and gentle to those around me. I go to church to remind me that there’s a higher power we are all connected to and is the source of everything. This way, I stay humble and find the strength to love on others even when times are difficult.
I use personal development to “play a bigger game” in life. What I mean by this is I use the tools and concepts I learned from books and seminars to get out of my own way so that I can fully deliver my gifts and talents to serve those around me and my community.
I had the gift of experiencing this again over this past weekend when I helped deliver the Basic Seminar (a seminar in leadership of self) to a group of 80 men and women wanting to improve their lives in some capacity. When empowered people are unleashed onto the world, there’s no way we cannot improve together or make this place a little bit better.
5. To my career and money
This is a personal finance blog after all! However, I listed it last because over the last few months, I learned that it wasn’t the most important piece.
I am grateful for my career and having money because it gives me flexibility and choices. During the worst of times, when I was mentally dragged down, I was able to take sick time off work to deal with my mental health instead of worrying about where the money was going to come from. I was able to make the choices I did – move out of my own home so my ex can live in it, take care of myself (ladies nights with friends, spa days, travel, etc.) – because I had money saved away.
I learned that it wasn’t the most important piece because money is infinite while my time was not. When I learned this, money became insignificant and as much as I spent over the last few months, I was always able to create more. The time I spent with my family and friends though, experiencing fun things, splurging on myself for the first time in my life… I would not trade them for anything.
I am determined to end 2017 on a positive note, despite all the challenges this year brought with it… and I hope you will too!
Happy holidays everyone! What are you grateful for this year?