As of yesterday I'm officially 38-years old. It's a strange concept - getting older. While I've been here for 38-years (which is hard to believe) I feel more like 28. Although, that's a fairly subjective statement given that I've no idea what it is 'supposed' to feel like to be 38. Each year on my birthday I take the time to reflect what's happened in the previous year and what I most want in the year ahead. I'm always amazed to see that each year I'm a little wiser, a little more confident in who I am and a little more convicted in what I want moving forward. It signifies that I've not fallen asleep at the wheel. Kudos for staying 'awake'.
This past year I've had some pretty major life changes. Most, if not all have been dreams coming to fruition (it's really true, what you focus on comes to be) and all have been incredible learning opportunities for me. One of the biggest changes, as many of you know, is that I've gone from an "I" to a "we" in a new-ish relationship... which, I'm very excited about! It has been a combination of one or all of these at various times: confusing, challenging, scary, amazing, delightful, blissful and empowering. I am, for the first time beginning to understand why people get scared to commit in a relationship. While I love, love, love the idea of having someone on my team who's committed to sharing his life with me, I also have moments of clenching tightly to staying in control. And, what I've learned is that if I want to remain in control at all times, I wont keep anyone in my life for long. In relationship, I'm learning, there must be a relinquishing of control. There must be a mutual trust and honoring of the other person (i.e. I must trust my boyfriend to manage himself - it's not my job, nor does he want me managing him). There are so many things I could say about my learning/s of being in relationship including the value of consistent communication, biting my tongue more often, giving unconditionally, receiving, being vulnerable, talking about hard things (yes, I'm referring to sex and money!) and so on..... All in all, I wouldn't change or trade this incredible opportunity for anything. I prayed for it and so it came to be. As they say, "Be careful what you ask for...."
I've also made some changes on the career front, again moving from an "I" to a "we". I now have a team of coaches that I work with, support, collaborate and learn from. It's a wonderful gift and at times incredibly challenging as relationships can be. Apparently, my 37th year had a theme - relationships! I have learned the value of working within a team however, I've also learned that decisions can take longer (and often do!), that we don't always agree and that it takes consistent effort to stay connected. Bottom line - relationships take work. They are not for sissies.
The last big and MOST important learning for me this past year has been to relax, slow down and act more strategically. This is still a fairly new concept and practice for me however, I am keenly aware of my pace and the rate at which I make decisions (i.e. quickly = impulsive at times). Not that my decisions haven't been fruitful, many have born great success/s. However, I 'know' that I could be (and am) that much more effective if I am MORE relaxed, thorough and detailed in my process of execution. This isn't always the comfortable route for me, but then is there really ever any comfort in growth .... is that not why it's called growth? It's a stretch and in the moment can feel excruciating ... but in the end like a good stretch, it feels good.
Moving into my 38th year I hope for continued learning (and hopeful that it doesn't come with too much pain ; ), an increased capacity for love and a slower pace of life. I know that life / people will continue to show me exactly what I need to learn in order to grow - it always does. It's really a matter whether I'm willing to stay awake and open to receiving and embracing the lesson. The best news is that even if/when I'm not open to the lesson, life will keep on delivering. So, whatever I didn't get in my 37th year, I'll have another opportunity at 38 and so it goes..... sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly....
Here's to another year of 'graceful' (or not so graceful) learning. ; )