Important Questions to Ask Before the New Year

Happy Friday, loves!

This year has flown by, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. December is one of the busiest months of my life in every nook and cranny. It’s Christmas, which brings with it a month of events that are some of our very favorite of the year. It means shopping and planning for holidays and hosting the holidays and spending time with the people I love the most. It means school activities and parties and performances every time I turn around. December is also one of the busiest months of the year for me in terms of work – my clients have so much they want done this month on top of the everyday work I do for them…and I’m exhausted from 5 am wakeups, late bedtimes, and hotel living every single weekend this month (packing is the worst, right?).

But, it’s also the time of year I find myself sitting down and thinking about my life the most. December is like the bedtime of the year. It’s like that moment you lie down in bed and close your eyes, and you start thinking about the day, the things you did, the moments you lived, and everything you accomplished from your to-do list so that you go into tomorrow with a fresh perspective and a calm demeanor.

That’s what December is like, and this year I’ve found myself asking a question I haven’t really asked in a while.

Who am I, and who do I want to be?

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At the risk of sounding conceited or eliciting all the eye rolls, I really like who I am as a person. I have my moments, of course. I drive too fast. I have little patience. I might not be the greatest people person. I’m high-maintenance and I know what I want, and I know that comes across as snobbish and off-putting. I recognize that I will never be everyone’s cup of tea – and I’m not upset about that. I make mistakes, and I’m imperfect. I also know that I’m dedicated. I’m loyal. I will do anything and everything for the people I love the most. I’m a really good mom even if I joke about being mediocre. I’m a good wife. I always have a clean house and car. I’m really, really good at what I do, and I have a long list of clients who are very happy with the world that I do for them. I’m successful and smart. I’m fun. I tell a great story.

Most importantly, I’m imperfect…but I learn from my mistakes. I view them as teaching moments. I like to see where I went wrong, what I can do better next time, how I can re-arrange my thoughts and make them better, more accurate, more meaningful. I’m open-minded, and I can see everyone’s point of view and side of the story (after I have a complete meltdown of impatience, frustration, and rage).

But, who am I versus who I want to be?

I feel this is so important to revisit every so often. I haven’t revisited this in a while, and that’s why I think it’s been on my mind so much this month. And, with the year coming to a quick close, I want to be sure I end this year on a high note and start next one in the same manner. So, here are the questions I’m asking myself; questions I think we should all ask ourselves so we continue to grow and thrive rather than remain rooted and still.

What kind of mother am I, and what kind of mother do I want to be?

I’m impatient. I don’t care much for defiance or rule-breaking. I snap. I lose my patience. I’m playful, loving, kind, and fiercely protective of my kids. But, I’m also sometimes disconnected. I’m busy with my clients and my work, and there are not enough hours in the day. I find myself sometimes asking the kids about their own days only to realize I didn’t hear a word they said. Sometimes, I find myself rushing through the simplest parts of the day just to get them checked off the list, and I find myself not enjoying them.

I can’t change that one hundred percent. We are busy people. We like to travel, and we like to enjoy our lives – work hard, play hard my friends – but I can be better. I’d like to be more intentional with my time, and I’d like to be less connected as a mom. I want to be a more connected and present mom who finds joy in the simplest things. Rather than ushering the kids out of the kitchen while we make dinner, I’m going to make it a point to let them in to help. Sure, it’s going to slow things down. There will be more of a mess, and I’m sure it’ll take every ounce of our patience, but I’d like to more connected to them in those moments. Let them have those little things, stop rushing, stop looking into the next thing rather than the current moment.

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What kind of wife am I, and what kind of wife would I like to be?

Impatient, demanding, and my expectations are very high. Very. Very. Very high. I know this, but I’m going to throw half the blame at my husband for that one. He’s extraordinary, and he sets the bar so high that even I had to move my own expectations up several levels to meet his bar. So, yeah; his fault my expectations are so high, right?

I want to be sure I’m the kind of wife who never forgets to put my husband first, even though sometimes I do forget. I’d like to be the kind of wife who brings out the best in my husband all the time. When I think about het kind of wife I want to be to my husband, my initial thought is that I want to be the kind of wife who is so good at being a wife that every single time my husband sees me or thinks of me or hears my name, he smiles without even realize it. I want to be more intentional, more giving of my time, and less demanding. I want to be more playful and more spontaneous and more in the moment with him. More present, if you will. I think I do a pretty good job of that as it is since I really, really like the guy, but there is always room for growth, right?

What kind of friend am I, and what kind of friend would I like to be?

I like to think I’m a pretty good friend, but I also think it’s because my friends are so amazing that I can’t be anything less than the same in return. I might be a little forgetful sometimes, but I’m always there for you if you need me. I keep my circle small and tight, and I like that because (well, because I don’t like people, if we are being entirely honest) there aren’t too many people who are like my people – and I don’t want anyone in my circle who is negative, petty, ugly on the inside, or lacks motivation.

I learned this year that some people never grow up and mature into the kinds of adults I’m accustomed to surrounding myself with. Some people lack motivation, and they lack purpose and fulfillment – they are idle. They have more time on their hands than they know what to do with, and their unhappiness translates into ugly behavior. It’s unfortunate, but it’s taught me a lot about the kind of friend I definitely do not want to allow myself to become (and, more importantly, it’s taught me to be very careful about who I associate with, because ugly behavior rubs off on people just as much as the great behavior….definitely not something I’m proud of).

I always want to be the kind of friend whose friends know this about. If you are sitting at my table, and you get up and walk away, there will not be any negative discussion about you whatsoever. You will never worry. I want to be the kind of friend who always makes you feel safe, comfortable, and like you want to up your game. I always want to be the type of friend who cheers you on, listens, and celebrates all the amazing thing you do/achieve/say/think/whatever. I want to build you up and make you feel as if you are the most amazing person….with some sarcasm and a lot of laughs.

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What kind of person am I to myself, and who do I want to be?

It’s taken me many years to grow into myself, and I’m good with who I am – mistakes, poor choices, bad moments, and all. I like me. I’m strong, I’m capable, I’m successful, and I live a very, very good life with people I love the most.

I want to be a little more selfish with my me time. I want to be a little more intentional with my kids and husband. I want to be less connected all the time. I want to find a better balance of home and work – which is difficult when your office is in your home.

Here’s what I’m working on right now to become the best version of myself in terms of refining the small things and pinpointing what I need.

  • I use do not disturb on my phone, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I get so much more done with the DND on during the day. But, I’m changing it up a bit. I turn it on during the day so that I don’t have all the interruptions while I’m in my office, and I also have it come on automatically at 8 pm. But, I think I’m turning that to 7 pm, and I’m spending that additional hour being more present and engaged.
  • Wi-Fi Off. My husband turns the wi-fi of fin the house from 5 to 7 each night on every device the kids can use. They have to play outside or play games or spend time with us, but our wi-fi is still on. I’m going to have him shut it down.
  • Put my phone away. I’m okay about this, but I’d like to be better. I will grab my phone after everyone has gone to bed and take it with me to the couch and sit down and peruse or text or whatever. I’d like to stop that, and leave it in the bedroom and be more present with my husband after the kids go to bed. Nothing is so urgent that it needs my attention in the evenings. The kids are home with us. I’m done working until the morning. It can all wait. My brain doesn’t need the stimulation or the emergencies of others or whatever – I’ll check it if I want or need to, but otherwise, I’m putting it away.
  • I’m good at this, but I can always streamline and improve – and I’ll continue to do just that.

I hope that you are all asking yourselves about the kind of person you are versus the kind of person you want to be, and I hope you we all take the time to make improvements. There’s always room for it, and that’s the beauty of being in control of your own life. It’s your life. You make the decisions.

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