Bend Without Breaking

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How many resolutions have you broken already?

Last year I chose the word Fitness to guide my choices for 2012. It was an appropriate word as I took my martial arts training to a Whole ‘Nother Level. I stepped into last year knowing that I’d be testing for my 2nd Degree Black Belt in Muay Thai Kickboxing. Part of that test included running 3 miles in under 33 30 minutes. If you know me, running isn’t my thing. But I made it my thing. I even ran in a 5 mile race and a bunch of 5k races. Oh, and did I tell you, I ran the Spartan Race in August to humor support my brother, Michael.

Not only was I training my butt off (by the looks of it, I could train some more of it off), but I was also reinventing my professional career in Information Security. I did that silly thing – took a full time job with really great benefits and almost 5 weeks of paid vacation. In return, my job required two crazy certifications which meant I had to study my brains out. Honestly, when I took the exam for my certification as an information systems auditor I thought my head was going to explode. I hadn’t studied for a test that required significant brain power in nearly a decade. My head hurt. But I passed.

After that test, I had to sit for another intensive training and exam to become a certified internal security assessor for the payment card industry and my company. Oh joy. (Are you bored yet?) More brain aches. And resentment. Both my daughters were home visiting for a week and momma bear couldn’t take time off from work due to training and a $%&* audit. But I passed. And I met the deadline for the internal audit. One day later I was on a cruise ship for seven glorious days. I napped. Every. Day. And drank way too much wine.
mama and her bear cubs

Between my physical fitness training and my professional career fitness training, I was exhausted. Oh and did I mention that as soon as I came back from my cruise I was drowning in an external compliance audit at work? At the end of October I tested for my 2nd degree black belt. Six hours of physical exhaustion. But I passed…out.

I forgot to tell you that I also snuck in a little financial fitness by paying off my husband’s truck three years early. Yup. Three. Years. Early. Cha cha cha. Happy Dance.

The holidays were a happy, crazy blur. I ate too much at Thanksgiving. I slacked off going to the dojo. I stopped running because it got too cold outside. The audit at work reached a fever pitch. Everything became important and urgent. I drank too much wine. I put on a few undesired pounds. I turned 49.

My youngest bonus daughter and son-in-law bought a house and closed December 14. After two years and three months, they were moving out. (2010-2011 my husband and son-in-law were deployed, which is why bonus daughter and grand baby moved in with me.) Bittersweet because my pumpkin doodle granddaughter, Olivia, has been living in my home since she was 15 months old. The greatest gift I can give to this precious family is emotional fitness. It was time for them to move from the safety net and protection of our home to a home of their own.

The external audit finished on December 20th. I mentally checked out. From Everything. 12 straight days off in a row. Heaven. Sweat pant bliss. Don’t bother me, I’m watching Dr. Who. Christmas came and went. The kids moved out. I did nothing I thought I was going to do. I still haven’t written two articles I agreed to write. I did manage to write the book review. Most likely the most important thing I did for myself because it convinced me to press pause and reset my goals. I waffle on the work I do with stepmoms. I teeter-totter with my network marketing business. I’m not fully committed to either. And I’m pretty sure it’s because they both spread me too far from living my life closer to my center. Maybe it’s time for me to sit in silence and reassess my priorities and listen to what my heart truly desires.

The one word that comes to mind for 2013: Flexibility. I’ve chosen this as my word for 2013. It’s my guidepost for goal setting and decision making. Flexibility is about knowing my options so I can make informed choices. It’s about softening my mindset so I’m not rigid in my thinking. It’s about creating a flexible financial mindset so I can achieve my financial goals in 2013 without feeling like I’m strangling myself just to pay off my Jeep Wrangler by the end of the year. It’s about a return to yoga (both teaching and practicing) so that my mind, body, and spirit have more space and more movement. It’s about opening my mind to another martial art – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I’ve already hit the mats twice to practice and I love it.

Like a tree in a storm, I want to bend without breaking.

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