1) Dedicated alone time should be a priority. As a busy mom with a toddler clinging to my legs most of the day, it's hard to get alone time. For the past several weeks I had not made alone time a priority, allowing myself to be submerged in day-to-day responsibilities with no time for myself. After a while this really took it's toll and I became exhausted. It taught me a valuable lesson, which is that alone time is not option. It's something that helps me to be a better mom, a better wife, and a better all around me. Now I am guarding my few minutes of peace a day with fierce intensity. I now take time to meditate, to do yoga, to write, to learn, and to pause and be thankful. This has been paying off immeasurably.
2) The importance of boundaries. In relation to item #1, I learned that it is important to set boundaries. So often I put myself last. I am so busy responding to emails, text messages, telephone calls, and everything else that I don't make time for myself. I over commit or offer to do things for others that I don't want to do in order to be "nice", and in the end I end up short changing myself. This year I am really going to focus on taking care of myself, and learning to say no.
3) It's good to get to know people who are significantly different from you. The other night I had an opportunity to have dinner with some folks I had never met before who were from Texas and Tennessee. They were from settings much different than Baltimore and it was interesting and enlightening to chat and learn about the cultures of their respective hometowns. They also got to learn a bit about Baltimore and our wonderful food scene. Through walking around town they also got to see the city's serious homelessness and disinvestment problem. They both indicated they had never seen homelessness on Baltimore's scale where they live and were shocked by it. It made me realize how I tend to focus on the positive attributes of Baltimore on my blog and fail to show the total picture of the city's reality, which is not all tasty crab cakes and cookies. I will do a better job of representing all of Baltimore on my blog in 2016.
Learn what others have learned at CHATTING AT THE SKY.
"Take time to come home to yourself every day." ~Robin Casarean