If I could sum up 2018 in one word, it would be growth. Professional, physical, and personal growth.
It was a big year in the House of Drum, and with it came some very tough seasons. My story is not unlike others - I, for whatever reason, felt the need to “be it all”. I felt that I had to be THE working mother with a big time job who is fabulously in-shape and fully engaged with her family. I have always been a hard worker, so I knew that if I just worked hard enough, I could make it all come true. So I tried. I landed an amazing job where I would be surrounded by truly inspiring people. I cut out carbs are became married to my workout routine. I rode my bike to work. I signed up for half marathons. I made plans with my friends, and I still had Sunday night dinner with my family.
I did all of this for 6 months before I began to crash, but if I am being honest with myself the spiral downward started pretty early on. My body started to quit on me first. I started gaining weight because I was barely getting 6 hours of sleep a night. I was tired and cranky - I was snapping at my husband, child and dogs more than I was telling them I loved them. When I was at work I was constantly stressed that I was not performing as a mother, and when I was home I was constantly stressed I was not performing at work. I was frazzled, and was convinced it was my failures that were to blame.
In a typical stubborn rookie move, I dared not speak of my struggles to anyone because that would be “admitting weakness”. So, I tried to persevere until one day over the summer during lunch with a co-worker. We got into a discussion around schedules when I recounted my daily grind. Her response was something I will never forget - she did not scold me for taking on to much (which typically would give me the opportunity to gloat and lie as I said "I can handle it") nor did she fawn over my ability to be that person who I had dreamed of becoming - she simply sat back for a second, and said "wow - that is stressful". For whatever reason, that comment and the look of pity in her eyes was like a mirror and I could actually see myself clearly for the first time in months. My schedule WAS stressful, I was STRESSED, and I was doing it to myself. This realization stopped me dead in my tracks and I knew something had to change.
Over the next several months I poured myself into unpacking my schedule. I devoured books to help me create a plan because clearly I had no idea what I was doing. It was hard at first, and slowly but surely progress was made. I began to find balance. I began to feel a shift in my priorities and expectations. I began to celebrate small wins and to give myself grace when I faltered.
Personal growth is challenging, but if you are willing to take it on, the reward is sweet. Although my story is not unlike others, the tactics I utilize to to find balance in my life are as unique as I am, and I would not have found them had I not swallowed my pride and asked for help. If there is one lesson I took away from this year it would be to ask for help early and often. In a world full of brilliant people, there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Seeing as how it is the beginning of the year and most people are fired up to achieve the a year of lofty goals, I thought it would be nice to share the list of books that really spoke to me. Each one of these books brought something very special to my journey. I am excited to share them with you, and if you have any questions please know that I am always happy to grab coffee (either in person or virtually) to chat about them in depth.
Happy Wednesday, friends.
High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way by Brendon Burchard
Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shanua Niequist
Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
Health and wellness
It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Dallas Hartwig & Melissa Hartwig