Here we are already into the second weekend of the New Year. Where did time go??? It is overwhelming to me that it is a new year already! Most likely, it is because we took off for Alabama with our family on Christmas night. Thus, avoiding any holiday letdown for the entire week in between the holidays. I even took down my Christmas decorations before we left. I’m not a scrooge, but I have been known to have them down before noon on the 26th. I like my house in order. I knew I was coming home to a lot going on and didn't want to start with my least favorite job ever!
We had a great holiday week together as a family. We enjoyed the beach, fishing, and of course, some shopping, but best of all just hanging out together. I spent New Year's Eve with my two favorite guys (hubby and grandson) while the kids went out to check out the Florabama. I find it unreal that God has brought to me a place that I am so content to be without alcohol every day, but especially New Year's Eve. It wasn't until late in the day New Year's Eve that I gave any thought to drinking. And that thought was simply, “I do not miss those New Year's Eve parties one bit.” I believe in miracles, to say the least! To be up early on the first day of the new year, walking the beach without anyone in sight was truly a glorious way to start the year.
I know that we all put a lot of focus on goals and we talked about that here last week. I listed in my journal on January 1, 2017 what I had accomplished in 2016. In doing that, it helped to point me in the direction of what I needed to continue to improve in 2017. This year, instead of doing that once a year, I'm going to check on my progress once a month. Time flies by so quickly.
I don't want the first 6 weeks of each new year to be my most productive, when the opportunity is there all year long. I want to continue doing my best every day, but sometimes I need to be reminded of what my best is.
As I took that beach walk, I reflected on the words I had in mind to focus on for the new year. I was conflicted between two of them and was trying to decipher which one to go with. Then, I had this thought, “Sherry, is there some rule that says you can’t have both words?” That makes perfect sense since I am not good at denying myself much of anything (working on that) or following rules, so two words it is.
AUTHENTIC - real or genuine; not copied or false
DEDICATION - feeling of very strong support for or loyalty to someone or something; the quality or state of being dedicated to a person, group, cause, etc.
Quite a mouthful of words, wouldn't you say? There is so much promise and possibility in these two words!
When I put them together and apply them to me, this is what it looks like: To be genuine in who I am. I faked who I was for so long that even I didn't know who I was anymore. In recovery, the idea is not to go back to who I was. Truthfully, I can’t stand her. I am so thankful I get a do over! Every. Single. Day. I want to be transparent so when people hear and see me, they see who I really I am.
To dedicate all of me to loving God and loving who he is asking me to be. If I do that, I am beautiful inside and out. Then truly, everything else falls into place.
In a nutshell I am dedicated to being authentic.
So, how am I going to go about that? Well, as Brené Brown would say, "It’s about having the courage to show up and be seen.” For me, authentic means being real and letting others see the real you. I did some of this last year with a public talk about my addiction and I started my blog.
Believe me that was hard; it was the true definition of “the courage to show up and be seen!” I felt naked! Surprise though, I have more to say. God has put it on my heart to keep going, don’t hold back. There have been times I have kept quiet, when I should not have. I cannot pick and choose my audience. I don’t get to decide when to be authentic depending on who I am with or where I am. It’s every single day.
This is my theme, my mantra, my goal for 2017. It is, however, not my identity. That can only be found in my God. I am counting on him to help me step out in this.
Believe me, I have lots of goals to better myself in 2017, but they are all tied into those two words. However, when I fall I will pick myself back up, dust off the crap that held me back, forgive myself and move on.
If you know me at all, you know one of my genuine weaknesses is sugar. I told myself “Sherry, you are off the sugar buzz when vacation is over.” Indefinitely!
So, we are home one day and I had exercised and ate clean for every meal and snack. I proudly patted myself on the back after dinner and and shut off the lights in the kitchen. My way of saying, kitchen closed. Genius!
Then it happened. I came across (hello, you were in the pantry) a lonely box of Russel Stover chocolates. They were left from Christmas. Unopened. Not only did I partake (excessively), I was like Eve and put them in front of Adam (Craig) as well!
I was so mad at myself! I had to take my own advice the next morning and move on. I didn't just dust off the crap, I threw it away. I’m always strongest before dawn.
Anyway, I am going to keep going with these words in this New Year. Do my best to be real and keep throwing away the candy.
Peace on your weekend,
*If you have a word (or more) for the year please share it with me on my Facebook page or in the comment section below!