2018 – Learning to love myself, striving for grace, not perfection

I once read that you should spend New Years Day the way you want to spend your year.  In 2014, when I began my fitness journey, I vowed I would focus on my health New Years day every year from then on.  I’ve mentioned before but will say again, I don’t do resolutions, never have.  They are too hard to live up to and rarely end up like your imagination plays it out. (Just my opinion).  2018 began and I was sidelined with an injury and sad because I couldn’t “start my year off right” started the year in a funk.  I was turning 50 in July and wanted 2018 to be as big as that number.  Made lots of plans…..Well if you want to make God laugh as they say, make plans.

I had my knee surgery in January, it was taking a bit longer for me to recover and my athletic hopes for 2018 (completing a Half Ironman) went out the window.  I was depressed (acting happy) about that and unhappy in my job although I loved the company.  Two months into 2018 and I knew I had to do something to climb out of it, so I focused on the job.   As life does, it was at this time when a friend who I had worked with at Fleet Feet told me of this job at her job for a Workforce Career Coach, I read the job description with interest.  And I can tell you with certainty that the MINUTE I read the description, I said this is it, this has me written all over it, this is my dream job.  I then applied and went at it ALL IN the way I do and I got it.  On March 13th, I started with Eckerd Connects in a role that is truly is meant for me.  I get to bring all of my life skills, job history, empathy and want to do good, to then help people who need it the most.  It fulfills every passion I have about giving back to the world and is hands down the most rewarding position, I’ve ever had.

Now into April, job was good, fitness was floundering but not totally out of the window and the days just kept passing.  As life will do to us, the next thing I knew it was July 1st! OMG only 24 more days until I turn 50 and what have I done?  Nothing on my list past the great job was completed….I’d taken off more things than I’d added?!!  *Cue panic here* Then came my birthday.  Earlier in the month close friends had celebrated my birthday at a 4th of July party but the actual day came and there was nothing.  It was as boring as the day it was on Wednesday and no different than the day I turned 36.   I do not want to minimize that my sister made me a FANTASTIC cake with my favorite painting on it, her fiance made kabobs for dinner and we played a rousing game of Uno but 50 had definitely disappointed overall and was NOT the celebration I thought it would be, the big milestone I had created in my mind!  And so I went to bed that night IN my feelings for sure.

Then the next day, I heard my Dad in my head when I woke up and decided to pull myself up by the boot straps as he used to say and then I took a nice LONG hard look  in the mirror and said,  “Sonja – you haven’t done much celebrating and loving yourself this year – why on earth would you expect anyone else to do it for you?”  And THAT was the turning point to my year!  I went for my first run in months that day.  I ran and thought about how in my 20’s I explored/moved around, in my 30’s I started to come into my own and settle down, in my 40’s I became confidant with each passing year, ending the decade by becoming athletic OF ALL THINGS and by the time my run was done, I WAS NOW IN my 50’s and it was time to love myself and not wait on others to do it for me.

I’m a project manager by nature, so I went back to basics, like I had in 2014.  I plotted the big stuff out on paper, created an overall plan.   Then I implemented my strategy. I started writing down the things I was grateful for daily.  I re-set up some boundries where I had let them kind of fall down and had gone back to bad habits.   I started saying No, I started doing things I wanted to do even if I did them all by myself.  I turned off my phone and disconnected as needed and enjoyed true peace and quiet.  I cleaned out my closet and social media accounts…I purged negativity as needed….I used UNFOLLOW A LOT!   I started really looking introspectively at my wants and desires and focused on things that MADE ME HAPPY and then I did them for myself!   I took naps on the weekends without guilt, took long bike rides and had brunch with friends….I  kept writing down all the things I was grateful for and telling people why I was grateful for them in my life again.  I focused on my health. Tracking food, clean eating and exercising regularly.  Then in late September, I got really serious and wrote down my dream goal to finish a Half Ironman in 2019.  I researched and discussed with friends and by October, I pulled the trigger to make that dream a reality in 2019 by registering for a race and hiring a coach!   Long story longer, by the fall of 2018, I discovered that I wasn’t depressed or sad anymore, I had let go of expectations and finally felt like I loved and accepted EXACTLY who I was, the way I was.

Today I was scrolling through IG and saw a friend’s post about a book called “Grace not Perfection”  It was this beautiful post how as a new mom about to head back to work she is going to be allowing herself grace and not expecting perfection.  It resonated with me to my core.

Tomorrow morning, yes, I’m going to go on my new years run (to be fair it’s on the training plan by my coach as well…LOL) I am also considering doing a polar plunge for fun but it’s going to be a low key day and that is ok.

In 2019, I’m going to continue to strive to be a better me.  I’m going to be grateful,  focus and work hard on my goals.  Most of all, I’m going to love myself first.  I’m going to allow myself grace and let go of expectations for perfection.

I hope all of you have a safe and Happy New Year!  I am truly grateful to each of you and for all that you bring to my life.

Until next time – Peace, love and black coffee





Add yours →

  1. Roxanna Johnson January 1, 2019 — 6:49 am

    This was just what I needed to jump start my NEW YEAR!!

    You’ have always been an amazing writer and story teller to me!!

    I admired you when I met you and I still love and admire your honesty, gift and love for people.

    Thanks for sharing.. you are truly “Chicken Soup for this girls Soul.”

    • Roxanne Roxanne I have adored you since the day I met you. And I’ve admired your love of life, authenticity and fierceness always….it’s chicken soup for my soul! Near or far, I’m always grateful for our friendship and love you to the Moon and back. 😘

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