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2017 in Review

I'm going into 2018 feeling peaceful, calm and balanced. Typically I feel juiced up, ready to take on the challenges the New Year will bring me and ready to take advantage of a fresh start. I've written so many of those "New Year New Me" blogs and made so many empty promises but I don't feel that this year and at first I thought I was broken but now I realize I'm not broken, I'm just gray and it actually feels REALLY good. The "New Year, New Me" mentality is so black and white and it gets me every year. I'll admit it is nice to think about a blank page! It is nice to think about leaving crap behind and moving forward unencumbered by regrets and mistakes. A chance to do it over again, right this time...wouldn't that be wonderful...wait a minute! Isn't that called TOMORROW!?!? 

It isn't helpful for me to make a wish list for the New Year: lose weight, make tons of money, get super fit, cure world hunger, the list goes on. On January 1 when I eat a treat, have the day off, skip the gym and don't figure out how to feed the needy I've already failed. Now I have 364 days left before I can try again. Here comes 2019 and I'm feeling devastated because I didn't do the things I wanted to do and feeling devastated is like a giant ink splat on the brand new page that is the New Year. So no more New Year's for me! Just new days...

However, I do think it's important to take a step back and review once in a while and what better day to step back and review than New Years Eve!? I mean I'm off, there's nothing good on TV and I just reopened my blog...(cue twilight zone music) 

I feel like 2017 was the year of false starts. There was a lot of excitement about new beginnings and feeling really settled in my career and then all of a sudden it was like oh yah, NO! Not gonna happen.

I ended up leaving the spa I had been working at for years very abruptly and without warning. It was my choice but it was awful. I saw myself retiring there and without warning I had my back against the wall and I had to make a choice to protect myself and do what was right for me or not to.

The day after I decided it was time to move on I got a call from my boss at Weight Watchers. Another leader was leaving and there would soon be several meetings to fill. She wanted to know if I was interested or available since she knew I worked full time at the spa; what she didn't know was that I had just decided I needed to leave. The timing was divine. Whether or not you believe in God or angels or fate you have to admit it couldn't have been more perfect!!

I was so excited but couldn't imagine my life without massage therapy in it. Massage isn't just what I do, it's who I am!! 

I decided that I could have my cake and eat it too which was of course a terrible idea! Long story short, I rented a room for a hot second and it didn't go well at all so I left. Unfortunately walking away from the business also meant walking away from relationships with people I had known for years. It felt like Deja Vu. First there was the spa and now this!? I thought there must be something wrong with me. I took a lot of time to soul search, convinced I was broken seeing as I was the common denominator in both situations and what I realized was it was me!

I didn't deserve to be treated the way I was by the people I worked for and I had every right to walk away from both abusive situations but it wasn't a coincidence that I ended up working for such similar personalities. I was a pushover and I was drawn to these people because they were so strong, driven and knew exactly what they wanted. I thought that by being around them I would become like them. I liked knowing exactly what was expected of me so that I could follow orders and have structure. What I didn't like was when the structure became suffocating. When giving all of myself wasn't enough and more and more was being demanded. When I tried to establish healthier boundaries the people around me didn't know how to react. When they said "jump" I said "how high?" and when I got tired of all the senseless jumping and asked "why do I have to keep jumping?" they were flabbergasted! 

If I had established better boundaries to begin with, I probably wouldn't have burnt myself out jumping around like a manic bullfrog. I was insecure and weak and I surrounded myself with insecure and weak people; my insecurity came out in the form of people pleasing: if you are happy, I am happy! Their insecurity meant they needed more and more people to love them and fawn all over them. If I did that, I was doing a good job so I got praise and they got what they wanted because I was GREAT at blowing smoke up their asses. Codependency at its finest folks!! 

Realizing how foolish I had been wasn't fun. Realizing my idols were mere mortals wasn't fun either. It sucked but I grew from it. 

I decided I was going to take a break from Massage Therapy. I thought the world was trying to tell me that I needed to focus on working for WW and being a Massage Therapist was something that I should retire from. After about a month away I couldn't stand it any longer and I was hired at a beautiful spa with beautiful people. I did my research this time though and didn't make any impulsive decisions. I didn't know that was possible but it turns out that slowing down and taking a breath can be a tremendously helpful tool. I am always in a rush!! Trying to move forward. Gotta check all the boxes, get everything done.

I don't know where I got the idea that the clock is ticking but I run around like a chicken with my head cut off and end up making no progress at all. I am absolutely a proud Turtle Club Member when it comes to Weight Watchers (meaning I lose weight SLOW) but when it comes to the rest of my life I feel like I'm always on overdrive.

2017 was supposed to be the year I settled into my career and enjoyed the fruits of my labor, instead it became the year I let all the fruit rot and had to throw it away but it wasn't a waste, oh no...all that spoiled created a compost pile and what grew out of that was a career with Weight Watchers and a job at a spa with absolutely incredible people; clients and coworkers. If I hadn't established my healthy boundaries and gone through the discomfort of flexing my new backbone I wouldn't be working for Weight Watchers full time. I wouldn't have met each and every AMAZING member I've met. I would have no idea how absolutely wonderful this job is and how rewarding it is to be treated with kindness and respect. I wouldn't know what I was capable of.
Leaving the high stress environments where I was practicing massage allowed me to fall in love with my career again. Now when I work I'm able to practice with compassion and joy and I truly feel like that enhances the client experience. I'm a better therapist because I'm in a better space both mentally and physically. I miss the clients I worked with at the spa dearly but I am so much better off now than I ever could've been then.

It was terrifying to take the leap of faith, but essential.

2018 might be a New Year but I'm not trying to be a New Me. 2017 was a crazy year with a lot of false starts, a lot of growth, a lot of challenge and a lot of lessons. I'm going into 2018 feeling humble but strong and ready to tackle whatever comes next. I know I can overcome anything because I already have overcome so much.

17 Things That Rocked in 2017
(in no particular order)

1. Got back to meetings as a member
2. Grew a backbone
3. Ran a half marathon
4. Started blogging again 
5. Celebrated 7 years of wedded bliss
6. Went from 3 meetings to FULL TIME!! <3
7. Met HUNDREDS (and counting!) of amazing members
8. Started working as a Massage Therapist again
9. Started journaling again
10. Hosted our second Thanksgiving and Christmas in our home
11. Grew a lot as a couple
12. Had a girls trip with my bffs
13. Ran another half marathon
14. Introduced FreeStyle
15. Was requested as a leader at several at-works (they really like me!)
16. Started to find the gray
17. Gained tremendous amounts of confidence in all areas of my life



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