TGIS: Thank God Its Spring

Learning and growth are an essential part of the human experience. Without the desire to learn new things and expanding your existence beyond the here and now, what is there? Stagnance, that’s what.

I have spent the better part of the last two months unmotivated, tired, emotionally drained, and desperate for what’s next. Eventually, winter came to an end in Detroit. For the most part, we are done with the snow and freezing temperatures. This alone is helping to thaw out my frozen soul. Seasonal affective disorder is real, my friends. All the crystals, oils, gluten-free pizza, and cups of coffee couldn’t pull me out of the slump I was in. Snuggles with Bruno and Winnie did help, most days.

Ever feel like you’re standing at the end of the road of your current existence? Like a chapter in your story has ended, but the next one hasn’t been written yet? You know it’s coming, you’re unsure of what it will say, but you’re jonesing to get reading. I’m there with you, waiting. I’m anxious to learn new things, to grow beyond my current boundaries, and to build the next chapter of my life.

Early in February Justin had his second annual PET scan since his bone marrow transplant. While we went into it expecting nothing but positive news, it was an emotionally charged couple of weeks as we honored his transplant birthday, spent a day at the hospital bouncing from appointment to appointment, and received the news that he continues to be cancer free. Since his diagnosis in 2011 this is the longest “remission” he’s had – never before had he made it two years without signs of lymphoma. It’s like the universe opened up the door to the rest of our lives, but I’ve forgotten how to walk through it. I don’t remember the last time I felt comfortable planning for the future, thought about taking risks, or focused on living without being in survival mode.

As if on queue, my anxiety started to creep in – this time it was bringing along it’s friends: comparison and doubt. In case you were wondering, constant comparison, self-doubt, anxiety, and winter are full of bad vibes. Then Mercury decided to go all retrograde on us, causing all kinds of weirdness in the world. It seems as though one thing after another have been aimed at throwing me off my tracks. I suppose, I should be looking for the message in the asinine nature of the last few weeks, but it was easier to bitch and moan.

All of this to say, friends: it’s been a long couple of months.

As things begin to thaw from a long winter and spring brings new life, I am hopeful that growth continues in my own life. I am looking forward to the new. Whatever that may be. The last chapter is already closed, but I’ll be here waiting to welcome the next one. Hopefully I won’t be waiting too long.

Happy Spring to you – I hope you are welcoming your next chapter as well.

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January by the Numbers

Is it just me, or did January seem to have 37 weeks in it?

I love winter, a new year, finding new motivation for the day to day, but good grief, January’s 31 days seem to last forever. 2019’s first month was all about foundations for me, I was intentional about setting goals that would be focused on building the foundation for progress and not specifically looking for progress…yet.

| M O N T H L Y  G O A L S |

  • write and send January birthday cards [completed!]
  • pay off credit card debt from the holidays [almost fully paid off!]
  • save $300 [completed]
  • create reading list for the year [completed]
  • finish reading The Light is the New Black [completed]
  • chat with K about CPLP certification [after 4 rescheduled meetings, completed!]
  • order second set of glasses [done, hated them more than the first pair, LOL]
  • verify flex spending purchases [completed]

| W E E K L Y  G O A L S |

  • grocery shopping + meal prepping [made strides, about 3/5 weeks]
  • intentional time with the hubs [yes! 5/5]
  • post 3x on EJB [4/5 weeks, completed – took a week off after the damn moon]
  • designate 6 hours/week to CPLP study plan [whew, done!]

| D A I L Y  G O A L S |

  • movement [still working on this one, 6/30 days included intentional movement]
  • no gluten [31/31 on this one! celebrated 2 months GF as well!]
  • time for reflection [24/31 days included time for reflection!]
  • at least 80oz of water [I slacked on tracking, I’m guessing about 75%]

All in all, it was a pretty productive month, considering all that was going on with my re-entry to the real world, my birthday, full wolf blood super moons, sickness (both Justin and I), winter storms, and you know…life. Here’s to February, where I’ll be focusing on maintaining those foundations and slowly building on top of them!

| F E B R U A R Y | “fall in love with the process of becoming the very best version of yourself.” – unknown

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2019 Goal Setting Series: Creativity.

I would have to consult my previous sets of Powersheets, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve ever set an intentional goal around using my creativity before. During the reflective process that I went through in December I kept noticing a theme of things that weren’t necessarily fitting into the other threads I identified. Things like: brainstorming, doodling, crafting, creating pretty things, getting words on paper, scrolling through Pinterest, colors + patterns – these were all things that “fired me up” but didn’t really have a home in my other goals.

Eventually, it clicked that these are the things that I incorporate into my life randomly, with very little intention, but they all built a sense of motivation, calm, and reflection for me. They are the things that help support all of my other goals, and they allow me to be creative. And my fifth goal was born: Creativity.

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The big picture goal: I am a creative, well-rounded individual and I will dedicate time to using my gifts.

This matters, because: Creativity keeps the blood and motivation flowing, and create new opportunities to share with others.

Some action steps: |create + maintain a EJBlog content calendar | set aside time for writing | get out my markers + doodle | try new things for EJBlog | create a reading list for the year | try new recipes in the kitchen | create a space for yoga + meditation at home | take more pictures | create a list of motivators for when I’m feeling stagnant | maintain weekly posting goals for EJBlog | create a list of home projects I can do |

Prioritizing time for creativity can seem silly, like what adult should make time to pull out their markers and draw? All of them. That’s who! Or, whatever your version of marker doodles is. Make time for your marker doodles!

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2019 Goal Setting Series: Career.

Man, oh man. Thinking about my career and what’s next has become a hobby obsession of mine. When I think of “work” it’s my 9-5 job, the thing I do that brings in the money so that we can live our lives. I’ve decided I need to redefine what I consider my work.

I am a writer. I am a trainer. I am a manager. I am a strategist. I am a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP). I am working towards being Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). I am a leader. I am a consultant. I am a creative. I am an event planner. I am a coach. I am an advocate. These are the things that make up my career. Some support me financially, some support me spiritually, and some are just fun.

When I went through my PowerSheets process this year, I, for the first time, spent time focusing on my 9-5. It’s a big part of my life, but as I’ve become anxious to grow I’ve also become find something new. Instead of feeding my anxiety, I’ve decided to embrace the time that I have left in my current role, no matter if that’s two weeks, two months, or two years. I have gifts and I will use them to grow.

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The big picture goal: I will use my gifts to be productive in my work, both in my 9-5 and in my personal career.

This matters, because: Quite frankly, it matters because I am getting paid to work, I must hold up my end of the bargain. It also matters because there is always room to grow and I can’t grow unless I do the work. It’s satisfying to work hard and do well (or learn the lesson).

Some action steps: outlining my CPLP training plan | talk to K about her experience | setting performance metrics for the year | developing my training + consulting page on EJBlog | continue to apply only for jobs that stretch my skills | reformat my resume + linkedin | brainstorm new team management strategies | create a list of motivators for when I’m feeling stagnant | maintain weekly posting goals for EJBlog | Take on new Resume formatting clients | spend 6 hours a week prepping for CPLP exam

Growth is hard, it includes struggles, stretching, and letting go. Growth is also necessary. I have spent the last 18 months feeling like I am a victim of circumstances, and in reality, I have control of how I perceive my circumstances. Would I like to do something new after being in the same role for the last 8 years? Absolutely. Is there still room for me to grow while the Universe figures out what that next role is? Definitely. There is always something to learn, so let’s go learn it!

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2019 Goal Setting Series: Community.

I won’t lie. This topic has been difficult for me to articulate into words. The social construct of | C O M M U N I T Y | is hard to nail down into a few words or action items. Enter the all-mighty Google.

| C O M M U N I T Y | a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristics in common. Also, a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

I suppose part of the difficulty is that in the age of social media, we claim community in…well…everything. A Facebook group about your favorite show? Community. Your Instagram followers? Community. The group of people that liked the same photo as you? Community. It’s not a bad thing, far from it actually. But, it does challenge how we honor and value our personal connection with those around us.

I spent the majority of 2018 very lonely. I wasn’t alone, physically, but I was longing for a sense of community after being part of, what I now understand as, an artificial community. I thought I had found my people, that I was finally surrounded by supportive individuals. I wasn’t. The aftermath was rough, and it was even more difficult to understand why it was so rough. Eventually, I understood and that understanding drove my desire and goal to create a meaningful community in 2019.

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The big picture goal: I have a community of people that I trust, honor, and celebrate.

This matters, because: Life is difficult and having a loving community is a form of self-care. Having reciprocal trust in individuals that will hold you up and that YOU can hold up is what life is all about.

Some action steps: daily gestures of kindness + love | volunteering | fundraising for causes that I care about | filling an address book + birthday list | take more photos with people | schedule time with people | send birthday cards, track | celebrate important milestones for my people | know/love/honor my tribe | create a leslie knope style celebration calendar | be a source of L I G H T.

I am hopeful that by building a community around myself, I will be less anxious about social situations, and will celebrate success by hosting people in our home during the holidays.

What will | C O M M U N I T Y | like in 2019?

Loving | Celebratory | Caring | Trusting | Active | Positive | Supportive | Thoughtful

—> For more in my goal setting series, go to the original post here.

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My Thirty-Fourth Year

Today is my thirty-fourth birthday.

I’m not a big birthday celebrator, especially considering how close my birthday is to the holiday season. Two weeks, to the day, from Christmas Eve. As a kid, it kind of felt like an extension of the holiday season. As an adult, it’s more like any other day. Which, I suppose is similar for most.

Today, I’m going back to work after over 21 days of vacation, quite frankly, 21 days of being at home is a few too many. I’m ready to get back to a routine and some normalcy. Don’t get me wrong, endless Netflix binges, hanging out in my yoga pants, and constant dog snuggles were amazing, but dude, homie needs something to do!

One of the benefits of having a birthday in early January is that when I set intentions and goals for the year, it’s like two birds, one stone. 2019 will be the year of | E M I L Y | – in case you didn’t already know. Maybe it’s a nice gift from the universe that for my birthday, I am going back to normal life with a new intention, goals, and foundations for the year ahead. Thank you, Universe.

my thirty fourth year

This year, my birthday wish is simple.

Health for my family + friends, the ability to continue growing + learning, and the luxury to continue planning for the future.

 

Here’s to another trip around the sun!

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Why “Light” is my Word of the Year

What F I R E S you up?

Stop. Take a second. Think about it.

What fires you up? What are those little things that fuel you to make what matters happen?

What F I R E S me up? creating pretty things | jamming to good music | color + patterns | supporting communities + causes + the world | giving gifts + writing love notes | family time | laughing with my tribe | talking with like minded people | brainstorming + strategy | yoga | getting words on paper (or a screen) | facilitating conversations

light + book

These are the things that I want to build a life around, they are what make me feel like I have stepped into the truest version of myself, my light. Rebecca Campbell explains “light” in her book Light is the New BlackWe each have a light within us waiting to guide us home. Our soul purpose is to shine this unique light in a way that only we can. In doing so, we spark something in another and inspire them to do the same.” 

To me, Rebecca is showing us that the things that fire us up and make up our light are gifts. They are our gifts that are meant to be shared with others. So that list, it’s my guiding foundation for the year ahead, I want to focus on cultivating opportunities to use my gifts, growing, and honoring them.

When it came time for me to chose a single word that would exemplify my year, I had three words in mind. Honor, growth, and light. My goal is to honor the person I am, be comfortable and ambitious in my growth, and to follow my truest light.

Honor | High respect | esteem |  integrity | worth | reliability

Growth | developing | maturing | expansion | progress | blooming

Light | Stimulates sight | ignite | make something start burning | illumination | bright

When it all gets filtered down into one word, light is what I’m working toward in 2019. 2019 is for stimulating sight, igniting, illumination, and brightness. 2019 is for L I G H T.

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So, did you take the time?

Did you think about what fires you up and how you can use your gifts in 2019? Because you have them, and they are there to be used. In an effort to sound like your resident hippie guru – follow your light, my friend, follow your light.

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2019 Goal Setting Series: Home.

Home is a lot of things. It’s more than a series of walls and rooms. Home is where you are safe, loved, and comfortable. As I went through my PowerSheets prep work for 2019, one of the common threads that I was able to identify, were things that reminded me of home.

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The Big Picture: I am intentional with maintaining our home.

This matters, because: When this house becomes ours I want to be able to take pride in the home we’ve built. Home is about more than just relaxing, but also about being accountable to more than just ourselves. As we come closer purchasing the house that we live in, Justin and I keep building a list of things we want to do to improve the house and make it our own. I want to ensure, that we also focus on taking pride in this building as our home.

Some Action Steps: Working with Winnie on listening and responding to commands, creating a weekly cleaning routine + schedule, clean dishes every night before bed, maintain yard through each season, create a household budget, grocery shop + limit eating out, increase + monitor our credit, simplify by getting rid of what we don’t use, ultimately apply for a mortgage.

I am looking forward to the continued comfort that this house provides us and to growing as we build our home.

—> For more in my goal setting series, go to the original post here.

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8 Lessons I Learned in 2018

The last 364 days threw a lot of different things, people, emotions, situations, and issues at me. Some great, some initially perceived great, and some… just plain ugly. Looking back on year I realized just how even at the age of 33 there are lessons to be learned.

1. Not everything needs a social media picture or caption. Social media is so consuming that I have started forming habits where whatever I do, I think about how I could caption it if I posted it on Instagram. It isn’t pretty, but it’s reality. I am working toward adopting the philosophy that: “yes, if something happens and it wasn’t posted to social media that it was real.”

2. Money demands responsibility. Not respecting the value and necessity of money is immaturity at its finest. The thought that having spending money for whatever you want and remaining ignorant of the impact it has on your budget, credit, and ability to succeed is irresponsible. Which brings me to…

3. Things + food don’t satisfy emotional needs. Buying crap you don’t need or eating food your body doesn’t need do nothing positive for your emotional stability. Instead it creates an illusion that you can rely on these external things to be happy or content. Instead, imagine how much more satisfied you’d be with a body fueled by healthy foods and regular exercise and a bank account that allows you to pay your bills and go on vacation.

4. Some relationships aren’t meant to last forever. About halfway through the year a few of my relationships took an unexpected turn. At the time it bordered on devastating, I was hurt, obsessing about what I had done wrong, and lonely. It took me several months to realize that not all relationships, no matter how crucial they were at one time, are meant to last forever. I created my own version of closure.

5. Negativity is toxic and contagious. Constant negativity is not only toxic to yourself, but also those around you. It sucks the life out of a room and infects everyone around you. Why waste the effort on trying to not be positive? Don’t be a soul sucker.

6. My marriage is worth honoring with time, effort, and energy. Being married for eight years, going through the accelerated lifestyle that Justin and I have had to endure has certainly taken its toll. As our lives became less chaotic it became apparent that we also had to get out of our role of patient and caregiver. Our marriage is a partnership that deserves our time, effort, and energy. Our partnership deserves to be honored.

7. It’s okay to still not know “what I want to do when I grow up”. People are constantly growing, learning new things, and discovering new passions. The 40-year career with the same company is no longer the standard, and that’s okay. Instead of trying to force a single job title, I’m choosing to grow and utilize my gifts in my career.

8. I don’t have to be everything. I want to, oh do I want to be everything. But I can’t. It’s impossible and, quite frankly, exhausting. I don’t have to be everything; I just have to be me.

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