2020: Did You Survive or Thrive? (*spoiler – either answer is totally valid)

I’m laughing as I look back at my post from January 4, 2020. I wrote, “I’m really optimistic about 2020 – I think big things are going to happen for me. I have no proof of this, just a feeling.”

Well big things certainly did happen for all of us!

Despite 2020 being a year that none of us could have predicted, I don’t look back on it with disdain. 2020 was different for sure, and not what I expected, but it still brought me a lot of good. (P.S. It’s okay if this is not how you feel! It’s okay if you never want to hear the word 2020 again!)

My focus word for 2020 was “thrive.” I just wanted to feel good about myself, and to make more time for things like exercising, eating healthy and spiritual growth. Amazingly, by the end of the year I find myself doing exactly those things – I’ve been jogging again and even lifting some weights at home (I joke with Dean that he better watch out since I’m getting so muscle-y). Around mid-August I started being more purposeful about the food I was eating (less sugar, more veggies). And with some encouragement from friends (or perhaps more accurately, accountability) I have made more time to pray and meditate and do feel like I’ve grown spiritually this year.

I know not everyone is able to express positive feelings about 2020, and that’s okay. I’ve seen many iterations of the following, but as the image states, it’s okay if all you did this year was survive.

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5 Ways I’m Coping While Waiting for Pregnancy

2020 has been a year that has given us so many reminders of how little control we really have in any situation. We like to pretend that we have our lives totally planned out, that we will be able to do what we want to do when we want to do it.

But then, SURPRISE! Life never works out that way.

Over a year ago, I really thought it was the right time to try for child #2. Literally last December I wrote a post about my decision to try to get pregnant again, and the emotional roller coaster that it had been. I never expected a year later that I would still be writing about attempting to get pregnant – and I really hope a year from now I’m not going to be writing about it anymore!

Each time that you see only a single line on a pregnancy test (or your period starts) is obviously disappointing. Some months it hits me really hard, and others I experience only a mild emotional reaction. I’m intentionally trying to make sure I stay in a healthy mental state as I continue to go through this process.

What does that look like for me? Below I’ll share five ways I’m coping with the waiting and monthly disappointment:

1. Pour my energy into areas where I am making definitive progress

Every month that you don’t get pregnant can feel like a failure. Maybe you didn’t get the timing right… maybe if you were eating better or exercising more… or taking this or that vitamin… You need to have areas in your life where you’re feeling successful and can be proud of what you’re accomplishing. I have two things that I am investing in right now: exercising and writing. After my foot surgery, I wasn’t sure if or when I would be able to run again, but I have been slowly working up to running over the past several months. And it has felt wonderful to watch my body make progress and get stronger! My other activity has been writing – writing daily. Writing is something I easily get lost in, and achieve “flow,” as some would call it. I’ve been waking up early to write every day, and have found a lot of joy in being more disciplined with my writing process.

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Improving Relationships with Others through the Enneagram

This will be my final post about the Enneagram, rounding out a short three-part series. In my first post, I described how the Enneagram helped me understand myself better and fostered self-growth, after I figured out and accepted that I was a Type One. My second post shared how the Enneagram helped me appreciate my spouse more and navigate conflicts better in my marriage. 

This post will talk about how the Enneagram can improve your relationships with everyone else: coworkers, friends, family… anyone. 

After learning what another person’s Enneagram type is, I can begin to understand why they would think and act the way that they do (which is crucial if they think and act differently than me!) It’s easy to judge the actions of other people when they don’t line up with what we think we would do in a situation. We often assume the worst about others: they are simply being inconsiderate, they haven’t thought it through, they’re living in ignorance…

Instead of immediately judging others for doing things differently (I’m looking at you fellow Ones!) we can ask ourselves questions like:

What would motivate a person to do that or act like that?

Why is a particular issue so important to them?

What internal struggles could this person be facing at this moment that might be influencing their actions?

Motivation is a huge component of fully understanding the Enneagram. Two different types on the Enneagram could perform an identical action for very different reasons. This is why you aren’t supposed to identify another person’s type for them – only they will truly know their own motivation for doing or not doing something.

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