As 2016 comes to a close, I always use this time for reflection and for my immediate family. I think about the things I learned this year and the things that I've done. I think about where I was mentally and physically, and where I'd like to be this time next year. I haven't written in a while because of the lack of time and energy. As much as I wanted to keep writing and posting recipes I didn't prioritize it. My pregnancy has been the forefront of my attention along with indulging in whatever my heart desired. Last year I said that time is the most valuable thing. That was what I learned. This year I spent a lot of time celebrating and enjoying my life. It was my goal this year that I would spend more time on being in the moment. My reading goals were not too high this year so I didn't read many great books but I watched a lot of good shows and found happiness each day in the simple things and in doing so I gained a lot. I feel good about this year.
1) Prioritize your immediate family before anyone else. Sometimes you feel like you're obligated by the closeness you share with others because you want to be supportive and show how much you care, but everyone doesn't have the same heart as you and life is always changing so you can't expect people to stay the same either.
2) Keep your distance from the bullshitters. It takes a lot of energy when you're trying to be positive, and do things that make you happy, then along comes someone who can't keep it real and makes excuses. Don't take time to confront fake people, simply ignore them. I knew I matured when I realized everything doesn't require my reaction. I don't have to call you back, I don't need to keep in touch, I don't have to respond if I don't feel like it, I don't have to spend time and energy to explain why I'm cool and distant. I'll be civil if necessary, but we don't need to have small talk.
3) Stay on top of your nutrition and education on nutrition. I suffered from cystic acne suddenly and severely in the last 5 years on and off. Through this journey learning about nutrition, and fitness and how everything works in the body, I learned that while yes dairy is bad for you, and causes more acne, it's basic mineral deficits that I overlooked in all this time. I was scared to get pregnant thinking of what would happen to my acne and one day it was through learning via weekly baby development emails that I need 1200 mg of calcium a day, that I cured my acne issue since Sept. It's not 100% gone as there will continue to be breakouts from the hormones in pregnancy from time to time and in conjunction with what I eat but it is outstanding compared to what it used to be. I have seen the best results from simply adding 600mg of Calcium, 250 mg of magnesium added to my probiotic, fish oil, and prenatal vitamin. I have splurged a little and indulged in some dairy I've been missing for a while but I will keep it to a minimum.
4) Always pray even when things are good, but especially when you're strength is being tested and you want to give up. I went through a really shitty situation last month where my identity was mistaken for someone else, and I was blacklisted from a network for healthcare. Yea let that sink in for a second. I couldn't eat, sleep, do simple things, be myself, or even get help until speaking with one of my best friends who works with attorneys. As much as I've been a strong advocate for fighting back against injustice, I had no strength left in me as a pregnant woman who just needed to get my appointments and move on. It lasted for about 2 weeks, on one of those dark days when I had no idea if I'd find a resolution, I went to my altar and just sat there and prayed my heart out, asking for guidance and direction. In one day, I had a game plan and was able to move forward. God knows what you're going through he just wants to see how long you will take to come to him. Even though I have found care elsewhere, it still haunts me knowing the cruel and corrupted world we live in. You don't know what injustice feels like until it's happening to you.
5) Take inventory of your surroundings. Carefully assess who is who. You don't have to stop talking to these people as they are likely to be your family and supposed friends, but recognize who is who so you don't get bogged down by drama, and/or end up in your own feelings. Who cares if you're sad? Who motivates and inspires you? Who do you admire? Who tells you like it is? Who always gives you sound advice? Who comes just to see? Who can you be 100% real with? Who can you carry a deep conversation with? Who takes responsibility for their actions? Who is fun to be around? Who is constantly comparing themselves with you? Who is watching and copying your every move? Who doesn't have their own priorities in order? Who doesn't keep their word? Who has attention seeking behavior? Who's values don't line up with yours?
6) Anybody can do anything. I don't care for politics but this election has been quite an eye opener and defiled most of my core beliefs: a) You don't have to be qualified apply to that job anyway. b) You don't have to be kind or even a decent person to get ahead in life. c) Facts don't matter, emotions do. d) Money is the root of all problems and solutions but has all the power, so make as much money as possible. e) People don't have the capacity for love like they used to. f) Intelligence is at the lowest point despite being in the age of information. g) Humanity is remarkably deficient, the only hope we have is our children.
9) Knock off at least 1 bucket list item. I always wanted to see Beyonce live in concert and I did so earlier this year. It was a phenomenal experience and I was happy to have the chance to do that before starting this new chapter of having another baby.
10) Start a gratitude jar, or get a planner that helps you focus daily on your goals and new mindset. The one I love and use all year is this one because it's not too big and fits in my purse. It's great for staying on track with appts, dates, school activities, deadlines, grocery lists, food diary, notes to yourself, cataloging 5 ideas daily, or simply positive messages to yourself. There are bigger versions and other types where it's strictly a to-do list format. The prints are beautiful as well.
May you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!