At a time of year traditionally associated with looking forward and life changes, I’m choosing to simply focus on the things that matter most.
I have mixed feelings about January. On the one hand, brand new planners and calendars make my school supply loving heart happy. All the seasonal decor comes down leaving my home looking tidier than it has in months. At the same time, I miss that hum of anticipation that fills the air itself during the holiday season. There is something about January that is quiet and still.
This year I’m choosing to embrace that quiet.
Appreciating the path
2016 has been a roller coast year. Getting injured last December was closely followed by pneumonia in January, so I started 2016 crawling. I never really felt like I got back up to full speed. Despite feeling like I was struggling, 2016 was a great year professionally. Each of my businesses grew – equestrian photography, blogger coaching and education and digital marketing. I hit some major goals by getting published, collaborating with people I admire and powering my clients to hit their own goals.
But I was exhausted. I struggled to ride as much as I wanted/needed to. I definitely wasn’t as present with my family and friends as I wanted to be. Everything just felt….not quite right. The move to Kentucky just magnified the issue. Now, I am without the village that kept me going. Stripping away all of those things I relied on in Texas – my friends, my barn family, a home that I was super comfortable in, and a well established routine – has made it clear that my path was unsustainable.
That’s not to say it was bad. Each of those professional opportunities has been integral to this period of growth. My family has been busy in a wonderful way. I can appreciate it even while acknowledging that it’s time for a change.
My biggest takeaway from two years of dressage lessons was how to embrace forward. Dressage taught to distinguish between the feel of Elf running, inefficient and disconnected, and forward – evenly pushing from behind with ground covering strides. It took a while to build the muscle memory that forward didn’t mean more movement or faster. The power of forward comes from slow, purposeful strength building. The momentum of forward builds in the waiting, the half halt that coils the spring.
Over the last few weeks of reviewing 2016 and making my goals for 2017, I realized I needed to apply the same principles to myself. Life has changed immensely in the last three and half years since my family arrived in Central Texas. My husband spent almost 2 years away between training & deployments. My son started school and is now a thriving 2nd grader. I shifted from my mainly weekend photography business to a work from home schedule – and those professional opportunities grew and grew. This was a good & normal evolution for my family.
Now, though, it’s time to apply those lessons about moving forward. The last few years have been all about growth, building new strengths. Now, it’s time for a bit of stillness. I need a moment of quiet to reorganize, to coil the spring before pushing forward.
So, I’m making the most of January’s stillness. 2017 is a year of self-care, of holding to build strength for a more powerful push forward,