Years Go By

by Brenda Loan

April is the month that I turn another year older.This year has taught me many lessons. These lessons can be beneficial to others as well.

Like everyone else I have had to make many adjustments this past year. As I approach my 52nd birthday at the end of the month I am taking stock on what I want the next year to look like.

As the Pandemic ramped up last March, my work exponentially increased. As I tried to help my clients adjust to the changes I lost sight of my own needs. I was consumed by the challenges they were facing and before I knew it I was feeling exhausted and lost. It was so easy to work all the time and be checking phones and email, leaving my family and personal needs unmet.

In the year to come I am pledging to take better care of myself and manage my time better. I have recently taken stock of everything I have done for two weeks. This has allowed me to see where I am spending my time. Now I am able to choose the most important things (my big rocks) and re-evaluate where they best fit in my week. As the kids go back to school I have adjusted my workout to fit around getting them out the door. What I wish for you is to take a moment and look at what things are in your week. How many of them are filling you and lifting your spirits? How many fuel your passion? Work to create a balance of the things that lift you with the things that do not.

Relationships have also changed. With most of our large family home all the time (8 people live in my house) it has become a challenge to remain focused on anything for any amount of time. There are some keys things that were missing and really feeding a feeling of disconnection.

In the year to come I want to continue thinking outside of the box. Date night has morphed to long walks and tea in bed. Working to find time with each child alone allows the opportunity to have the conversations that would have been had on the way to school. I wish for you to look at what are the details that are missing for you? Who do you need time alone with to build your connection. Connection is a great deterrent to depression.

Mostly being around all of my family all the time has been really fun. We have dinner together and lots of fun. We have played cards and cribbage, swam in the pool, and had some great bonfires. In the year to come spending time with my family having fun is very important. I plan to schedule several family cook outs to include badminton and fires.

What I wish for you is to take a moment. Look back over what has been great about the last year. What do you want to take into the future? Don't wait for your birthday or something else to start adding things back into your life that make you feel passionate? This time is like no other we have experienced. Our mental health is being challenged and depression is at an all time high. Do the things right now to take care of your mental health.

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