Today is the last day of 2014. It has been a year of ups and downs, gaining and losing , letting go and holding on. I am pleased with the way most of it has taken shape. It has been a good year.
This time last year I was letting go of a company I had poured my life and total focus into for over 12 years as a full time CEO. It was like sending a child on to their own life when I walked out that front door and locked it up for the last time. But it was the beginning of a new, exciting company and experience and I was…and still am…excited to embrace it as my new life plan.
In the last year I have uprooted offices and moved into a new facility as I melded my old life and new life into a brand new vocation. Somehow all the stars have aligned, and everything has been steadily moving forward. The Lord has been good and placed amazing people in my path, and pushed me into opportunities that could only be a part of a BIG plan, and I am pretty humbled when I think about it all. Every day as I drive to the shop, meet a client, go thrift shopping for inventory and work from home I am brought to tears in gratefulness for what my life is right now. I hope that dream and the fruitfulness I am experiencing right now inside and outside never ends.
I have rid myself of three toxic relationships in the last year. Two were tearing down my business life and one adversely affecting my personal life. I cannot imagine now, on this side of that cutting away, how I stayed sane and was able to operate as well as I did during the height of those three relationships. But the strength that came in character, business savvy and sheer tenacity is seen today in my dealings with people both in my personal and professional life. I have since rid myself completely of anyone new who didn’t fit into my best life plan almost as quickly as they tried to enter, and on more than one occasion. It is difficult at times, because people come to you showing their best face and on their impeccable behavior. You can’t always see them for who they are, or are not. I have met and begun an acquaintance with some this year that I would have drawn close to my heart or brought into my business very easily in the past. But when I placed them against the acid test I have developed with the three former toxic relationships, I could see immediately and with an unreal clarity that those newest acquaintances were not genuine, real, or destined to be a part of my life after all. I was able to let go before I held on, and that was an amazing feeling. Because of this stepping back and razor-edged conscious decision-making skill I have developed, the last year has been pretty drama free with the exception of a couple of clients and one incident involving some business acquaintances. In those situations I was able to shut down the drama in record time and before it splashed onto my own life. Wow, what a grand feeling of self-control. And what a freeing feeling of knowledge that this really is a repeatable skill. It will be one of the greatest skills I will ever land in my own portfolio as a business owner or private individual. Integrity is of great value to me and I have seen the truth in Ben Franklin’s quotation ”He that lieth down with dogs shall get up with fleas.” It is refreshing and exhilarating to go to work at a place I love, with people I care about and know I am doing a great job because we are a TEAM. Being equally yoked is the only way to make the progress I want in my company and life, and I love that this was shown to me through a deep hurt and large loss in many ways. Like a phoenix, I have risen and will continue to rise.
In getting rid of things that were not beneficial in 2014, I also lost weight…a lot of it. Year to date I am almost 50 pounds lighter than this time last year. It hasn’t been a major struggle either. I just got up one day in June of this year, said to myself “Ok, it’s time to get healthy and feel good again” and I began the journey of counting calories, adjusting my lifestyle and mindset and just started listening to my inner voices again when it came to my personal care. What they say about being able to accomplish big changes only when you are ready is absolutely right, and that’s pretty much what happened to me. I was ready, and I just did it.
I started that book (in earnest) I kept saying I was going to write one day. I had written things down randomly in the past but this is a concerted effort to get it on paper so to speak, recorded and publish ready. I want to inspire someone. I want to challenge others. I want to know myself. This is what this book is about and my goal is to get it published in the next 18 months. We will see if that all pans out. It may be even sooner, and that is ok by me. Check another thing off that old bucket list.
When I reflect during the last few hours of 2014, I am content with it. I have done most of what I intended, grown through it, and have even learned to anticipate goodness and fulfillment rather than feeling anxious and insecure all the time. I turn to look into the bright, young face of 2015 and smile because I can see it taking a running jump off the good things that happened in 2014 and making its own solid destiny as it pulls me along with it and creates my next steps in the right direction. It will be interesting to see what this year holds, but not half as interesting as seeing what I hold at the end of 2015. And the most interesting discovery will surely be when the page turns next New Year’s Eve and I find out what holds me.