Out With The Old, In With The New

Avett Brothers Concert on New Year's Eve 2014"Happy New Year." I thought about those words as the balloons and confetti fell all around me in what seemed like slow motion. Time stood still inside me as I watched it move all around me.

People embraced, and kissed, and cheered as I stood there... watching, feeling empty, completely detached from the scene I was standing right in the middle of. A part, but apart.

A few moments later Taylor, the vibrant young lady beside me, threw her arms around me and said "Happy New Year!" and jerked me out of my silent time warp. She was alone at the concert too, so I'd invited her to sit in my extra/empty front row seat. I smiled and wished her a happy new year too as we hugged, two strangers enjoying a night alone - together. The moment ended, the music resumed and the concert carried on...

Life goes on, always, whether you're ready or not.

And so do we, right along with it.

I participated in the event as fully as I could. I smiled, laughed and enjoyed lots of great conversations. I danced, got lost in the music, sang along even. I was at an Avett Brothers concert, and they have an amazing following - some of the coolest (mostly friendly) people on the planet.

It was New Year's Eve. Everyone was in good spirits and making the most of the night. Until it ended that is. As I walked out of the venue, again feeling like I was strolling along in slow motion, I saw couples fighting and people crying... and I just kept walking, processing all the dynamics of the human condition along the way.

I was alone, but I wasn't.

My festive little hat invited lots of comments, and was a nice conversation starter. I took a shuttle to and from the venue, so "we" all went and left together. It was a good outing and a really nice time for a single woman in her 40's. (that's me.)

I got back to my room and couldn't sleep, despite being exhausted from a full night following the long 8-hour all-night drive to get there. I sat up and watched a movie on my laptop via Netflix. Anything to drown out the thoughts. Or worse, the void. Sleep didn't come easy, and I had a hard time finding the motivation to head back home.

I wasn't sure why I dreaded going home so deeply. I just knew that I did. I processed those thoughts as I went through the motions of packing my things, getting into my car, and blindly following the voice of the navigation through turns and merges.

Twice I had to pull off the highway. The first time because I began crying uncontrollably. The second because I just could not go on. I was somewhere on Black Mountain in North Carolina. I got a room there, where no one knew me, where no one would judge me, where there was nothing of my own to have to face... and I curled up in a ball and slept for a few hours.

It was after that last break that the thoughts started to unfold, and I began to realize why I was struggling so hard to take myself home. I dreaded going back to everything that isn't done, that isn't ready for one year to end and another to start, that I'm so behind on - all the things that feel so overwhelming.

I started making a mental list of changes I wanted to make. Everything from health to routine to work habits - all of it. As the miles wore on I thought, "I can do this."

I did finally get home. I slept as long as I could, woke up and made a coffee, then walked around in circles a bit... feeling very lost, taking stock. Where to start? What to do? "I've failed on so many levels, at so many things" I thought to myself.

The list I'd made in my head the night before now felt overwhelming and impossible. I decided to let it go, with one long exhale, and embrace where I am right now. I forgave myself. I accepted that this is where I am.

The new year is meant to be a fresh start, but it didn't feel that way at all. I brought so much clutter and chaos into this new year. I meant to take care of all that in December. I think I tried. I did make a serious effort at least.

Ahh well. "It's all behind me now," I thought. It's time to start again. Pick right up where you left off... and figure out a better way of doing things. A better way of handling things. A better way of living even. I told myself:

"You can't change overnight. Start here. Start today."

β€œYesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa

It took me a couple of days to break out of the mental fog as I continued processing my thoughts. I didn't feel like being sociable. I didn't feel like talking to anyone at all.

I stayed away from social media, turned my phone off, and forced myself through the necessary motions: cleaning, dealing with old paperwork, working through the tasks. That's one thing that always does the trick for me, that breaks me out of a funk: a sense of accomplishment.

"Who cares if I'm late. Who cares if I'm behind. Who cares how long it takes me. This is going to be the year I get my shit together. Starting today."

Nobody really cares, except me.

No pressure.

"HAPPY New Year"

Those words floated through my head for days. I thought on the word "happy" a lot, and what it means to me. In usual form I made a list. At the top were the words "This is what happy looks like." There were four things that made the cut, that went on the list, and oddly (you might think) "a mate" or a relationship was not one of them.

I did ring in the new year alone, that's true. Not entirely alone, but not with a close friend or anyone special. And yes I felt lonesome. Not because I was alone, but because I was disconnected from myself. There's a big difference in being alone, and being lonely.

So what did make the list? My body and my health. My home. Dog training. And last but not least: taking my business to the next level. Those were the four things that stood out to me when I envisioned myself at my happiest, and smiling.

I decided to start a Gratitude Journal, first inspired by my friend Crystal and confirmed by a post on ETR I received via email a few days ago. I particularly liked "the science behind it" discussed in that post.

2015 Gratitude Journal

It's a start. πŸ˜€

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." - Epicurus

I like the quote above. It really puts things in perspective. My life now, and my lifestyle, is something I worked hard to achieve. Still, we have to keep dreaming, keep moving, keep setting new goals and continue improving. Always improving.

On that note, these are the two books I'm reading - along with Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System (again). Both were recommended by close friends, and look like an ideal read for moving my life in the direction I want it to go:

.....

 

Nobody's life is perfect.

If it were, they'd be dead.

The very definition of perfect is "done". πŸ˜›

We are all exactly where we are. We came from one place and we're heading toward another. We're all different, we all have a different path, and we're all on our own unique journey. There's no contest and no comparison. Your life and your goals are unique to you, and mine to me. The only real deadlines are those we set for ourselves.

For awhile there I was stuck in a self-imposed purgatory, "a space between". I worked my way through several transitions layered on top of each other, trying to figure out which way to go with no real vision of where I was going or how to get there.

I had a bit of a meltdown letting certain things in my life go, but I did - eventually. Letting go is hard. Change is hard. I don't do well without a clear vision and a plan.

"The space between" is a place I would certainly drown if I stayed there very long. And so I'm back to planning. I have my "what happiness looks like" list sitting front & center as I do. For the first time in a very long time, I can see myself smiling... again.

It's nice to be home. It's nice to be back in forward motion again, too.

Here's to amazing new year ahead...

Here's to letting go of the "old" and getting excited about the "new". Here's to a wonderful life - and the fact that we have the ability to create one. *cheers*

Best,

p.s. Here's a quick video I took at The Avett Brother's concert on New Year's Eve. I love to watch Seth Avett dance. πŸ˜€ THAT makes me smile!

The words, suiting: "There was a dream, and one day I could see it. Like a bird in a cage I broke in, and demanded that somebody free it..."

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn’s unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews…moreΒ»

Discussion

  1. If I weren't me I might have started crying reading this... but I'm me. πŸ™‚

    I know a lot of what you speak. I've been in business for myself for 13 1/2 years. I've had a couple of very good years, a few horrid years, and some that were middlin'. The one thing I've never ever really had was a feeling that I was actually in control of any of it. That's the part that depresses me.

    You know what? Over the past two weeks I've come to an epiphany. I'm 55, with only so many years left to make a real mark in the world before Medicare age, if I even qualify for it (I might have to ask my accountant about that one of these days). I'm in a business where if I can just take the next step I could be financially set in two years. Starting Monday, I'm going to get it done... one way or another.

    My blog post on Monday will talk about a brief bit of it, but I figure it's one of the most important things for all of us. What you wrote here is important also, so you know I'm going to share it. Good luck and success to both of us in 2015!

    • Thank you for the share, Mitch - and for your thoughts here too. πŸ˜€ I'm celebrating 18 years in business next month (February 2015) and I've had a lot of great years. Being "financially set" is a great goal - it can make such a big difference in your life! That said, obviously money is not everything... but it can certainly help. πŸ˜‰

      I found it interesting what you said about not being in control of any of it. Why do you think that is? That's the one thing I do feel - that I have complete control over my goals, my lifestyle, my personal and professional growth & improvement, etc. When everything else is a variable you *cannot* control, it's nice to have a few things you CAN.

      • I say not in control because most of the work I've gotten has come more from the effort of others than from me. Sure, I networked to get to know people, but I've only gotten a few things because of my own marketing efforts. Thus, others ultimately got to control what I said and did... kind of.

        But this year... taking control of it all, or at least giving it a real shot.

    • Good luck, and Happy New Year to you too. πŸ™‚

      You don't need 2 years.

      This year is definitely it. You're going to make it!

      Big!

  2. thanks Lynn for this post, this is the first time i read this quote and i like it.

    "Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." - Epicurus

  3. Your words struck a chord Lynn (as they often do). I too have been contemplating the meaning of 'happy' lately - it is such a personal thing and something I think everyone should take the time to be honest with themselves about.

    Another book that is an interesting read is "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin. I'm really enjoying this one.

    Happy New Year πŸ™‚

  4. I'll look that up, Samantha - thank you for the recommendation! A few months ago I was reading a book on happiness. I'll save the title and details for my official review, but suffice it to say I felt like throwing the book out the car window - and myself right behind it. lol. That should make for a fun review. πŸ˜‰ haha.

    You're right - happiness IS a very personal thing. That said, there are five basic elements that affect your overall well-being, which I discussed a few years ago in this post: http://www.clicknewz.com/2650/5-elements-of-well-being/ And then later followed up on in this post: http://www.clicknewz.com/2689/happy-revisited/

    I like the concept of looking at it as a chart or graph, as tangible areas of life I can actively work on.

  5. That's exactly what the Gretchen Rubin does! She uses lists, charts etc to check and monitor her progress. You might like to have a browse through her site http://www.gretchenrubin.com/

    Love the second post you linked to, particularly the statement "Positive life change isn't just going to happen to you". At the end of the day - if you sit around waiting to be 'happy' it will never happen.

    • Very cool! Thanks for the link. πŸ˜€

    • Thanks for the recommendation. πŸ™‚

      Checking it out.

      I used to use lists at one time. But I've moved away from that towards substituting my lists for mindmaps.

      Mindmaps can be used like lists (something I didn't know before). And are extremely flexible.

      And the thing I like about them is that they're fun ...

      ... and ...

      ... a quote that I noticed from Gretchen's blog ...

      β€œOddly, though, lists are reassuring. We become aware of this if we scrupulously follow a recipe, which is essentially a list of ingredients and actions; but if we give this β€˜list’ too much importance, we leave no room for the imagination.”

      ... mindmaps leave a lot of room for imagination. πŸ™‚

  6. "We understand happiness and are grateful for it, because we've been through sadness and we understand how that feels."

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year 2015, and all the best ahead.

    Sorry if I'm a bit late with this. πŸ™‚

  7. Lynn, I remembered what I did during the holiday while reading your post. Just like you, I used it to meditate about my life for the past years. What are the things I've and things that I failed to do. I disconnect myself to all the people around me and ponder many things. Consequently, I realized that world wouldn't stop revolving because someone else choose to separate. Keep striving and moving forward is what we need in order not to left behind. Letting go what holding you back and embracing all changes that will happen is important for us to grow wisely and productively.

    • I agree Raffy - the world certainly does not stop turning & churning even when we take a pause ourselves. That said, sometimes taking a step back and doing an evaluation can be really good for you... or it was for me. It helped me to regain clarity and focus, and make some big decisions about my direction going forward.

  8. Great Post, looks like you have an awesome new year. i know im kind of late, but better later than never

    Happy New Year.

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