Can you believe it is the new year? It is 2016. TWO-THOUSAND-SIXTEEN.
How in the-
I can’t even.
I wish I could truly put into words what all 2015 did for me. I gained confidence and found direction. I found my niche, something that was strongly lacking before. 2015 was freedom. Today is the first day of 2016, and I wait with anticipation of what is to come.
Paul and I are entering 2016 with our heads held high, a fresh dose of confidence in the newness we have at hand. We are feeling ambitious, anxious, ready for change. We are truly thankful. We are thankful we had the ability to buy Christmas gifts this year for one another + our families. We are thankful for inside of our cozy apartment. We are thankful for food. We are thankful for feeling healthy and content. We are thankful for side tables by our bed (That’s for real as of last night!). It is the little things. I mention all of these things, because over the course of our marriage these haven’t always been a given.
We are ready to begin investing in things… don’t ask us what yet… we are still figuring it out. But investments are on the to-do list. Saving money anywhere we possibly can in order to purchase a home by September tops our list. We are currently sitting with Time Warner Cable on the phone canceling our cable with an Amazon Fire Stick on its way in the mail. I gotta admit, I am a tad nervous about canceling cable, but being I only watch the news and Gilmore Girls as of late, this could work out just fine.
2016 isn’t a year I have a list of resolutions to “get fit” or “go to the gym more”. Nah, this year isn’t about physical health, it’s about mental. It is about being emotionally healthy. It’s about laughing and loving more, fighting less. Emotional health plays the greatest role on my physical health; the two are highly intertwined. It is about saying no when I know I am exhausted, and getting in bed (lights and TV off) by 10 PM. It is about vowing to sit at the dinner table with my husband at least three times a week, putting one another first over our jobs. It is about setting down the computer or phone to talk one on one with my husband, asking him about his day while actually looking at him. It is about fretting over the little things no more, and being more flexible. It is about going with the flow, letting go of things that I shouldn’t have such a tight grip on, and asking for help when I cannot. It is about finding a good counselor, because why not? Every good leader says they go to a counselor at least once a month, and I want to follow their lead.
Seeing a counselor has such a bad stigma that comes with it. Only people who are messed up go to counselors or psychologists. (News flash, we are ALL MESSED UP. You are in good company.)
This year is about loving people well, but I cannot do that if I am not taking care of myself. I cannot extend grace or love as I hope to if I am running myself dry. Anybody else become an agitated, short fused crazy when they are tired? Oh, just me? Okay. 😉
I cannot serve people or work well if I am eating gluten when I know what it does to me. This is the year gluten is GONE. Fully. Dunzo. No more swollen skull, no more fatigue, no more stomach aches. Done.
Emotional health comes only when we value ourselves, our time, our feelings, and our instincts. We all act as though we cannot hear our body telling us, “Slow down, please. I am begging you, slow down.” Then, before we know it, our adrenal glands are blown out and we can hardly get ourselves off of the sofa due to a lack of motivation and sheer exhaust. (I am serious, take it from someone who has Adrenal Fatigue.) It is a thing, you can seriously blow out your adrenal glands. Now, I pay the cost for it, all because I didn’t listen to my body for 10+ years. My body now has a hard time coping with stress, because I literally ruined its ability to.
THIS YEAR IS ABOUT TAKING CARE OF MYSELF.
I feel icky saying that. I can think it, but writing it out feels gross. I fear people, so I fear there are some of you saying to yourselves, How dare her be so self consumed. But, listen to me, it isn’t selfish to say “no” for the sake of keeping the body God gave you healthy. We live in a society that says if you aren’t working, you aren’t doing anything. So days off are hard, because we feel like we SHOULD be doing something. We start to tell ourselves we are worthless for needing rest…. isn’t that ridiculous, though? We are humans. We are designed to literally HAVE to sleep. Stop feeling shame for being human. Even further, we aren’t made to work 24/7. Work to be able to live, don’t live to work. Work hard in your designated time to work so that you can enjoy all that life has for you the other hours of your day.
I could gain 5 pounds in 2016 (I hope I don’t), but even if I did and 2016 brought in emotional health, I would be perfectly happy. Take care of yourselves. Stop thinking that ONLY means getting to the gym or watching what you eat. Your physical and emotional health affect one another, so do watch those things, but pay more attention to your emotions this year. Get your mind healthy.
Rest. Get sleep. Have sabbaths, you guys. Take a full day to rest. No work, no emails. (Sounds CRAZZZZAY, I know.)
Last night, after a month of running around from one person’s house to another, Paul and I decided to stay home, just the two of us for New Year Eve. We could have whipped together a last minute party, we even talked about it, but we decided the best thing for us was to be still. We made a fancy dinner (pork chops with braised pears!), drank wine and champagne, sat in our pajamas in our bed with our new side tables next to us, and wrote our “to-do” list for 2016 to help our marriage and get emotionally healthy.
I will take this house, please. 😉
Read what we have for 2016, and I hope it inspires your list of resolutions. I hope it encourages you that you’re not alone in whatever it is you struggle with. I hope this reveals other people, Paul and I, also struggle. So much so, that we have to make rules about when to NOT do whatever that said struggle is.
1. BUY A HOME
3. Say bye to Angie (my car)
4. Add to our savings
5. 3 dinners a week at the table
6. One date night a week
7. Quarterly vacations/get aways
8. One BIG trip
9. Good community
10. Visit family at MINIMUM once a quarter
11. Say “I love you” before we go to bed NO MATTER WHAT
12. Every morning pray together
13. Read bible together 3 times week
14. Finish Harry Potter Series
15. Fight LESS
16. Be more healthy: Spiritually, Physically, Relationally, Emotionally, Financially
17. Less TV, more reading
18. Intentionality in friendships
19. More patient
20. More gentle
21. Tithing 10% a month
22. Value sleep more
23. Better at loving in the other’s love language
24. Bake more for Paul
25. Cook more for Hannah
26. Sabbath/ Marriage Day
27. Others focused
28. Read You + Me Forever by Francis Chan together
29. Be generous with 2% of our income to others
30. Take Presley to dog park at least 2 times a week
31. Weekly planning together on Sunday evenings
33. See a counselor regularly (because why not?)
We love y’all. VERY much. Happy New Year, friends + fam. We are grateful for you. We write out lists for our year not to be upset if these don’t all happen, but simply as something to strive for. We know that if God doesn’t bring us a home or three meals a week together at the dinner table, he is still God and he is till good.
Han (AND PAUL!)
2016 is celebrating TWO years of marriage?!