My word for 2018 is FORGIVE. It might seem like an odd choice of word for a mompreneur, especially one who is focusing on growing her businesses and online presence. However, I have decided on this word for my emotional well-being and for the well-being of those I care about the most.
I have thought deeply about why I want forgive to be my word for 2018. I wondered why I didn't pick something like soar, succeed or consistent- all of which were strong potentials. There are many reasons why it appeals to me. The main reasons is because I have finally become aware of the amount of energy I waste when I'm hurt, angry or disappointed by someone, including myself. Let me share a brief story with you.
I have a friend who is very dear to me. She and I connect really well on an intellectual level, have complimentary personalities and similar life circumstances. For example, we both have 2 boys, husbands travel, we're semi-crunchy mamas- you get the idea. In September of 2017, she went on vacation. When she returned, I sent her a roast chicken with sides as a “welcome back, don't worry about cooking” gesture. From that day until a week before Christmas, I didn't hear a peep from her. I found out from other people that she'd started a part-time job, but she and I didn't directly communicate for 3 months.
I was devastated. Not only was I hurt at the silence, I was just so angry that she hadn't even messaged me to say thank you. I let it fester and grow and multiply in my heart. I stopped remembering why we were such good friends and instead focused on how she didn't appreciate me. I'm not saying what she did was right. I think sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day of life that we let things slide: things like calling a friend, or sending a brief text message or dealing with that leaking faucet.
However, I also realized that had I just messaged her a few days later and said, “Hey, how was the chicken?” or sent her a congratulatory note when I heard about her job, we wouldn't have lost 3 months. I wouldn't have spent all those days and weeks feeling hurt and angry. In the end, when we spoke, I found out that she had been completely overwhelmed with her new job and with all the transitions she was experiencing. It was never about me, or what I meant to her.
Who to Forgive
After that experience, and thinking back over the past couple of years, I just couldn't bear the amount of time I had lost just being upset. It was ridiculous. I thought about all the positive things I could have done with all that time and energy and decided I would not do that to myself again. So here's my goal:
1- I am going to forgive MYSELF when I feel that I'm not perfect. I'm going to cut myself a break when I make mistakes and I will be kind to myself when I have fallen short of my goals. I will remember that I am human and human beings make mistakes.
2- I am going to forgive my HUSBAND. The poor guy gets so much flak for me. I recognize that I have a Type A personality where everything needs to be done a certain way, look a certain way and he's my complete opposite. Regardless, I will be kind to him, make excuses for him and remember that he, too, is human.
3- I am going to forgive my FRIENDS. As a mom in her 30's with friends in a similar place, I recognize now that is so hard to cultivate new friendships. I will forgive my friends- those who I truly love- and grant them some grace because I would want them to do the same for me if I make a mistake. I will not cut them off at perceived slights and I will always be there for them with good intentions and a kind word.
When I think about forgiveness, my biggest example is my kids. I know there are days when I'm short with them, when I'm less than a perfect mom, when I might yell at them undeservedly or when I might forget something important to them. But they always forgive me. In fact, it doesn't require asking most of the time. Their love for me transcends my mistakes and even though I always try and say sorry when I've made a mistake, it's hardly ever necessary.
So, for 2018- my word of the year is forgive. Forgive myself, forgive my love and forgive my friends- following the example of the two little people who are the life of my heart.
What's your word for 2018?