10 things that worked for me in 2013

18 Dec

We are officially on the eve of my daughter’s first birthday. Un-freaking-real. It feels like more than a year has passed. Since so much life has happened in the past year, I wanted to take 5 minutes and reflect and come up with 10 things that I think I did well this past year:

1. I practiced mindfulness: OK, so I’m just starting right off with some hippy-dippy stuff, but it’s true. I’ve been guilty in the past of going through the motions, and not really engaging with the people in my life and things going on. This past year was a huge wake-up call that life is short and I’ve got to be present and mindful.

2. I let go of scheduling: I still maintain multiple color-coded Google Calendars, but I see them as suggestions for the direction of my days. There’s many days where my plans come to fruition and I’m able to work from 5am-9am after putting Moselle back down to bed. But, there’s just as many days that doesn’t work. I don’t subscribe to sleep-training Moselle, so I try to not live by the numbers on the clock. I practice mindfulness so I can meet her needs and fit my work in during her low-activity times of the day (see #1).

3. I turned everything upside-down: If you asked me a year ago today what I thought I’d be doing right now, I probably would’ve said “enjoying a morning coffee while hooked up to the breast pump to pump milk for Moselle while she’s at daycare, then going out to ABC Construction site or conducting XYZ training before picking Moselle up at daycare and finishing my day at my home office. In Minneapolis.” The only thing that’s true is that coffee is a huge part of my mornings. In California.

4. I reached out: Sure, I’ve got an obscene amount of connections as an open-networker on LinkedIn, but my business-related reaching out was still limited to the people who’s email addresses I know by heart. By reaching out to connections that I either have never met in person or only briefly, I was able to bring in new business to my former employer and to myself as an independent consultant.

5. I put myself out there: Today is my last day working for ehs International, Inc., a consulting firm. I decided it was time to truly put myself out there as an independent consultant, something I’ve expected of myself for the past few years. Now became the time and it seems that timing was right.

6. I focused on my family unit: I used to think phrases like “family first” or “looking out for number one” were super cheesy and even selfish. The cliches came true after Moselle arrived: priorities became clear and family now comes first. I make decisions based on what is best for me, my husband and daughter. No one else will look out for you like YOU.

7. I stopped judging: well, kind of. I now actively silence that inner hater voice that sometimes chirps when I scroll through Facebook…

8. I embraced my roles as wife and mother: and domestic engineer, or whatever you like to call it. I run this house. I keep it clean, I learned to cook, I hung things on the walls, I call weekly family meetings. Yes, of course I run it like a business, but a fun one. And YES, there’s a separate Google Calendar called Ferri Family. I’m still ME.

9. I revisited myself: I made a note-to-self in my Evernote called “be me again.” I listed silly things that people associate with me, that for whatever reason had fallen by the wayside. Things like: say my jokes out loud, exercise every day, smell good, wear cute workout clothes. Pregnancy made me feel like a vessel, like it wasn’t really me, and life wasn’t about me. In the year after having Moselle, I’ve had to consciously work to bring Abby back.

10. I grew up: Busted, I can’t think of a #10, so this one summarizes my year. I’m 32 years old and I feel that I’m finally at the point where I’m able to look back on lessons I’ve learned and really put them to use. My life is an example for my daughter.

What worked for YOU in 2013?

3 Responses to “10 things that worked for me in 2013”

  1. Karina Mellen December 18, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    Nine years later and I still don’t feel like “me”, rather my identity is based off of my relationship to my kids. I wonder if all mothers feel this way? I’m sure in part it is due to my decision to be home and put everyone else first all the time, and that I do need to make the effort to put myself out there and focus more on me, but I don’t even know how anymore. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll do fine.

    • abbyferri December 18, 2013 at 10:31 am #

      Karina,
      I think it’s just your new “me.” Obviously life changes BIG TIME with kids, and you probably never will be the you that you used to be. I think we just keep adding badges to our vest: mother, wife, grandmother, etc. It all is rolled into you. Sometimes we just feel like a snowball rolling down the hill, picking up snow (new roles and responsibilities) uncontrollably and without ever stopping. Maybe that’s just how it is, we don’t get to stop and just be, we have to keep moving and adapt? Don’t ask me to continue this analogy when springtime comes and the snow melts… the snow never melts in my analogy!! Sorry!

  2. pschimenek December 18, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    And this post, my dear, made me smile! This is all I had ever hoped for….you are truly successful as a wife, mother, PERSON!! Yay for you! High frickin 5!!

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