Yesterday, my friend Lori won Instagram with this post: If 2017 were a person it would definitely be Felicia. As in, Bye Felicia! Difficult as 2017 was for me and my tribe, and as much as we really want 2018 to be a clean slate, some things will carry over, and new challenges will present themselves. But because of 2017, I’ll be better able to handle whatever 2018 throws at us. No, 2018, that’s not a challenge. It’s just that I strive to see the positive side of things, and as I head into 2018, I’m equipping myself with a few lessons learned from 2017. Actually, what follows will more likely be a continuing education.

  1. Practice self-care.  Just last night, my husband told me that I pour so much positive energy into him, the house, our special needs dogs, our family and work, that he doesn’t know how I do it. Truth is, for much of last year, I didn’t do it all that well. When the proverbial poo hit the fan multiple times last year,  and grace eluded me in handling some situations, I discovered, for the first time, that I do zero self-care. I thought I didn’t have time. Now I know this is something for which you must make time. I am a nurturer by nature, but you really can’t care for others, if you don’t take care of yourself first. It’s kind of like being on a plane and needing to put your oxygen mask on before you can help others with theirs. I’ve also discovered that my level of self-care has a direct impact on how I respond to the poo. More self-care = more grace. What is self-care? What does it look like? I hinted at it a bit in Wholistic Health: Certifiable 2. It’s the whole diet, exercise, sleep, meditation, etc. thing. A lifelong learner of the hard way, one of the best inspirations came to me a few months ago, as I was getting back on my feet and dusting myself off. I’m so very excited to give you a sneak peek into a project I’ll be working on in 2018 and beyond: “Wholistic Whealth.” You already know the origin of Wholistic. I’ll share how the word “Whealth” was coined soon, along excerpts of my game plan for getting there, as well as opportunities for you to join me.
  2. Be Thankful. I am usually grateful for everything, but I backslid a little this year, by focusing on the not-so-good things too much. I can’t remember who posted this on Facebook, but thank you. The idea to be thankful for every day. I now literally thank the Lord for another day,  every day. Sometimes, in the morning, sometimes mid-day, some nights just before I go to sleep. Even if I’m not feeling it, somehow, it helps. As I told my husband, we know that there are many people close to home and across the globe who would gladly have our worst days.
  3. Be Kind. Being kind doesn’t cost anything, but being unkind can wreak permanent damage. Kindness can be a smile to a stranger, and the joy of a smile returned. Kindness can be practicing the pause. Pause before speaking. Pause to trace places with the other person. Pause to push negative thoughts aside. Pause to think of a compliment. Pause to be present. Pause to realize the other person may be dealing with challenges of his or her own. Kindness may not be reciprocated; in fact, just the opposite might happen. So, I’ll ask myself, will this matter 10 years from now? And here’s the biggie: I will strive not to take the opposite of kindness personally.

There’s a deliberate order here. In order to be thankful, and to have more opportunities to be thankful, I need to take better care of myself. In order to be kind, I need to take better care of myself (self-care = grace) and be thankful (worst day by whose perspective?).

Any lessons learned from 2017, Oils & Spoils reader? Any new hopes for 2018? I’d love to for you to share by leaving a comment or message. Happy New Year!