This year has felt so exhausting, challenging and frustrating. It has also been incredibly empowering, exciting and full of so many blessings. I’ve invested in my mental health more with weekly counseling, listening to some great books, reading my Bible more and being more vulnerable in my closest relationships.
This year I have learned A LOT about myself and how I want to live my life in the upcoming year and instead of making resolutions, I decided I want to LET GO of 3 major things that I have carried for years and believe will allow me to have a healthier upcoming year!
1. Putting myself last.
We really normalize women (especially moms) putting themselves last and they suffer greatly because of this.
Many times it even enables others to put us last which in return results in feeling unfulfilled and can also be harmful to others becoming who they should be without being so heavily dependent on us.
For years, I have put myself last and in many ways others don’t even notice. I’ve done it with my kids, my marriage, my friendships, my family. I make these sacrifices that go unnoticed and in many ways aren’t even necessary and I can only blame myself. I am in control of my actions, not them.
It’s easy to get frustrated and resentful with others without taking accountability in the matter.
No one is making me put myself last, I am choosing to do that for various reasons. Sometimes we do it to gain love and admiration or because it’s the definition I was taught of being a good mom, wife or friend. I’ve even believed it’s a great way to show people you love them when there are many other ways to do that effectively without sacrificing who you are.
In my life this can look like:
- eating my food after everyone else is served
- leaving the last piece of bacon for someone else
- saying yes to my kids activities even though I’m exhausted and need to stay home
- Only working & striving for my dreams when no one else needs anything from me
- Cleaning more than anyone else because I don’t want them to be too tired
- Not asking for what I need, but constantly assessing everyone else’s needs
- Watering down my feelings and being passive when hurt and upset
- Not asking for help when I need it
I could type 101 ways this shows up in my life and even though I’ve gotten better at this, I know I need to do more.
My mental health depends on it.
Loving myself as well as I love others.
Taking time and space to be alone and take care of me without guilt associated. Dismantling in my life this toxic idea that I should come last to love people in my life well.
Some ways I plan on doing this better next year are:
- Taking the last piece of bacon when I cooked it & am still hungry (joking but not haha)
- Clearly communicating my needs and feelings in relationships vs just catering to theirs
- Asking for help in all areas of my life
- Reading books to continue the work of letting go of these false messages I’ve absorbed
- Taking time upstairs to be alone, meditate or spend time with friends without guilt
- Working through this all in continued counseling
2. Hustling Hard.
I have built this business over the last 5 years and could not be more proud of it, but most people have no idea what goes into creating a mid six-figure business online without working in that field. My closest friends and family don’t even really know what I do or the hours I put into my the blog and my social media channels for it to become what it is today.
There is no get rich scheme and there is no job that you can make money like this without putting in an insane amount of work. Especially in an over saturated market, the people who make it vs those who don’t truly comes down to work ethic.
And in my case, lots of answered prayers.
I have hustled hard for years and I love this job and will continue to transform and mold with the ever changing times of what it takes to be a successful influencer & blogger.
But I am burning out way too much and I know I need to take more breaks when the money isn’t feeling worth it.
This job has made it possible for us to save for my 3 boys to go to college, my retirement, pay off all debt (100K!!), pay off cars, take amazing vacations, give generously, and hire multiple people and pay them well to support their families.
We are beyond grateful.
But working 60 hour weeks and being a full-time stay at home mom too is just not possible for me. It’s not possible to do everything well. Balance is a myth and it feels like this past year I have just been surviving.
Contract to contract. Rushing all day long. Hustling constantly.
This week is the first time in 5 years I took a break on Instagram and didn’t post anything on my feed or stories. Even if it hurts my reach with the algorithm, I’m choosing me and I deserve a break the same as anyone else.
In my life this has looked like:
- Replying to emails right when I get them
- Being accessible to those who work for me & with me 24/7
- Constantly planning and researching if I have a slow work day
- Managing too many social networks vs picking a focus
- Taking on too many brand partnerships each month
- Working most weekends without a full day of rest
- Not taking a lunch break throughout the day
So, what am I going to do different this year?
- Schedule my hours each week and not exceed them.
- I will only work 40 hours a week and completely take off Sunday (no creating content)
- I will take time every quarter to completely disconnect and rest
- I will take off multiple weekends from posting of any kind throughout the year
- I will hire more help & give more tasks to those who work for me
3. Fear in Friendship.
I am working through some resentment issues in counseling and I am so encouraged by the progress I have made while I still have a ways to go. For me my resentment mostly shows up in relationships, but mostly from how poorly I have been treated in friendships, and even by some family members in the past. Most have been related to racism, but some are just other people’s toxic behavior and patterns.
Sadly, they have impacted me so negatively that I have little to no desire to create new relationships with people. This is not like me at all or who I am at the core of my being, but sadly that is what trauma does to you.
You try everything to stay “SAFE” and even my attempts to be super cautious of who I let in my life has still resulted in letting toxic people into my circle that I didn’t know were, until it was too late. Sadly, you can’t see everyone’s true colors until you’ve already invested time and energy.
Sometimes, certain situations bring out who someone really is and you can’t see that until there is pressure, heat or an issue in the relationship and that is scary.
However, I am focused this year on letting go of this fear in creating new friendships. Trauma since high school has made me believe that people are not safe and being alone is better than letting people hurt you or realizing the horrible prejudices that exist in their hearts.
I want to be my old self, full of love.. assuming the best in people with healthy boundaries in place. Does this mean I won’t be selective in my friendships?!
Of course not.
I will be cautious, but I no longer want to be so guarded that I don’t even allow relationships that could be such a blessing into my life.
Fear keeps you alone, and sometimes even settling with the relationships you are currently in when you know it’s time to let them go.
So, this year I’m not going to be trusting my own instinct alone, but I will be putting more of my trust in God. That He will bring positive people in my life and show me when to walk away, as well as establish healthy boundaries.
I won’t be taking these 3 things into the New Year with me. I will be taking freedom, peace, more balance, healthier friendships, better boundaries and a new love for taking better care of myself. I hope you will do the same!
Charlotte M Borges
I am glad to see that you are willing to step back & make some time for yourself. One of the things I have done for myself, is to read or listen to the gospels many times in order to see how Jesus lived. One of the things I noticed is that he took time to get away & spend time alone & in prayer with his Father. If Jesus needed time to rest & time to pray, how much more do we. I have tried to use Jesus as my example. We need time to rest. Asking for help has always been hard for me as well, as I have always tended to be very independent. After I was in an accident, I was forced to ask for help. That was a help for me. May God bless you.
This resonates! Thank you for sharing!!!
I’m so glad!
Thank you for sharing this! I will definitely be putting myself first in some areas, taking better care of myself, and creating more balance in the new year also!
This is SOOOO GOOD Hava!! SOOO GOOD!!! I can relate to so much of what you’ve shared. Thank you for being open, honest & transparent. Making myself a priority & taking time for me is something I was just talking to the Lord yesterday about, AGAIN, after my physical therapist reminded me of the importance of it and I NEED to do it. Uggh…it’s been such a struggle! I inconsistently make steps of progress. My family is CONSTANTLY reminding me the importance of this. Bad habits can be hard to break!
Enjoy your blog! I’ve been reading it for some time now but today is the first time I am actually writing a comment. I did so immediately after reading it! I’ve had good intentions before but never did. Taking the time to do something I want! ????
Thank you for being real & sharing with us. I live in the area and would enjoy meeting you face to face sometime! Blessings & Congratulations on all of your accomplishments, including “Sisterly Success” which is so awesome! I don’t know you & your sister but I’m so proud of you!! ???? The Lord is so awesome!!
Grateful & Blessed!
Thank You so much!!
This was soooo good!!! Thank you so much for your transparency! This article blessed me so! God has been dealing with me on some of the things you mentioned also! It really hit home! Praying God’s blessings over you and your family in the coming year!
Great article, Jehava. We love you!
I LOVE your blog and messages so much
Thank you for sharing this! This is exactly what I need! Thank you for enlighting me