Last Month of the Decade

I keep seeing social media captions going around about how this (December 2019) is the last month of the decade, and asking, how will YOU

Make it the best yet!
Achieve that goal from 10 years ago!
Do that thing you swore you would!
Make every moment count!
Etcetera etcetera etcetera

Ten years is a long time, and this idea that we’re supposed to all-of-the-sudden-make-it-all-happen bothers me. It’s like looking at that “overnight success” in the news or on Instagram, and flat out ignoring the decade or more of all the grind, perseverance, failing, getting back up, changing course, making adjustments, but not quitting, to get to the moment of reaping the rewards of having made it. Let’s not pretend as if there’s ever an actual a moment where we’ve hit our mark, we’re done, we’ve made it, and now let’s just kick back. Nope. After goals are achieved, we humans evolve, grow, and typically reach for more, even if looks completely different from the original plan. Personally, I’ve always felt turned off by motivation through fear and scarcity, and feeling pressed to sprint to a finish line.
This perspective of mine won’t be news to you if you’ve been reading my blog for a while. You already know that I think things take time, diligence, and patience. That I favor breaking big projects into manageable bits, setting small achievable goals to feed and support your larger ones, making small changes and building on them over time. And that I’m also a massive fan of being kind and gentle to yourself as you’re striving to make change and grow.
And what about enjoyment, and focusing on reflection and celebration? This year, I’ve loved seeing people share their “2009/2019 challenge” photos on social. I find it fun to see how very different and also how similar everyone looks, but I especially love the related reflections they share. Personally, it’s been quite a decade. Things are just so different today than they were 10 years ago, here are some highlights:

– Moved from LA to NYC, New York is something I never thought I’d do
– Gone from brunette back to blonde : )
– Lost weight, gained weight, got off the weight hamster wheel and into fitness **(okay, I still care about my weight – working on it)**
– Evolved my entire business, and built something new and so much more a fit for ME
– Made friends, and lost friends
– Grieved loved ones, life and relationship changes

In some — really significant — ways this has been the hardest 10 years of my life. I’d be lying if I said I was grateful for each and every challenge, but what is true for me is because of the challenges, I am better. I work much harder to keep my reactivity, judgment, and frankly sometimes, superiority, in check. This is an ongoing workshop and challenge for me. Also true for me? Even with all the tough, really tough, struggles I’ve faced, it hasn’t just been only hard. It’s been fun, surprising, uplighting, rewarding, perspective and eye opening. I feel more confident, more thoughtful and more self-loving than ever before. I am aware more than ever of my privilege, and I try to spend it wisely by lifting others up and amplifying other voices. This is also a work in progress.
The last 10 years serve as a clear reminder: Nothing is all one thing. I learn this key lesson again and again. Things are just complicated, and suffering is more pronounced when we resist the complexity inherent in our experiences. Conflicting feelings are simply part of being human. Wishing it weren’t so, ignoring or avoiding this truth, is just not helpful.
It makes sense for me, looking back on the last decade, that I have many seemingly conflicting feelings about it all. Sure, I COULD try to figure out how I can squeeze more into these last few weeks of the decade, or sprint to get at least some traction on that 10-year old goal (a goal that maybe doesn’t even fit any more!), or beat myself up because I’m not where I thought/hoped/planned to be ten years on. But because I am a firm believer in this true-ism: “How you do anything is how you do everything,” I’m not gonna. Ironically, as part of my reflection, I’ve noticed that when I am harsh with myself and filled with regret, I find that I shrink and hide, which only inhibits my ability to learn and change. Did I hit every mark I planned to this decade? NO. Not really, not by a mile. But I hit others, some unexpected and some that in reflection now make perfect sense. And meanwhile, I weathered some fascinating twists and turns.
So I’m taking time to reflect on this past ten with kindness along with a spark of joy and fun. Even upon the stuff I would change, or that makes me cringe. For me, being real AND kind with myself has amplified my ability to grow, and has helped me be better, do better, to love more and to love myself and others more fully. So I’m doubling down. Join me! Can you take time to consider your last decade through a reflective lens? You don’t have to like everything you find. Instead, just acknowledge what you find, and see how it led you to this place. There is no need to sprint, or over-effort, or be harsh on yourself; all that came before has led you to the now and will guide you on.
Happy 2020, friends!
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