Spring is my most significant time of year. April is my time of reflection and evaluation. As a Taurus, it’s the time when I check the box on one more year of seasoning and experiences while I blow out my birthday candles.
And then May. Pure delight. Coming out of the drabness of winter, May brings color, glow, and warmth. It’s torture to be confined indoors in May — there’s simply too much to see and touch. I LOVE the spring!
As I reflected last month throughout April, I inventoried what was an extraordinary year of personal growth. In the spirit of celebrating this gorgeous spring weekend, I’m sharing some highlights here.
Last May I did something I’d been wanting to do for a while — I joined a BBQ team for the Memphis In May BBQ Fest. BBQ Fest is a big deal around here. I loved being part of a team that really pulls together and works hard to have a safe and comfortable place for our teammates and their family and friends. We have a lot of fun and we all pitch in. I’m back on the team again this year and BBQ Fest is only five days away!
I learned my EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) and now have a much deeper understanding on how to bring my strongest EQ traits to the forefront in both my professional and personal life, and how to better manage my weaker EQ traits so that I don’t undermine myself as I strive for great outcomes. In case you’re interested, my top three EQ traits are Interpersonal Relationships, Social Responsibility, and Optimism. My lowest is Impulse Control — which really explains a lot, actually. My EQ coach, Jillian McLaughlin of McLaughlin Mentoring and Leading Challenges LLC, has been a tremendous asset and has brought a lot clarity and motivation to the way I handle myself.
I dug in on some tough scars from the past and got myself to a stronger place in terms of coping and moving on. This was pretty tough work and it took months of introspection and journaling. Surely this is the type of work that lasts a lifetime. I have a ton more confidence in myself and my independence at this point; in fact, I feel rather unsinkable. It’s a priceless feeling.
I decided to let go — of a lot. One of my favorites quotes that I came across this past year was: I’m learning to love the sound of my feet walking away from things not meant for me. Along with letting go of what’s no longer serving me well, I was able to invite in and make space for so much more of what brings me joy and positivity.
I walked in two big rainstorms. That was fun and refreshing. I recommend it.
I went camping for the first time EVER. We were camped along the Mississippi River and I woke up each morning super early to watch the sun rise on the river. It was incredible. I even survived not showering for two days — and that’s something that surprised everyone.
I said the second-hardest goodbye of my life, and it was to my beautiful girl Cooper, my first dog and unarguably the world’s best dog. Cancer sucks. It was devastating and unexpected, but I decided to believe that she wouldn’t have left me if she didn’t know I could handle it. We were so lucky to have a few final days together so I could comfort her and spend time with her. She understood how very loved she was. Here she is, snoozing right next to me long before cancer was a thought.
I took up yoga and meditation. I saw a ton of live music and caught dozens of sunsets on the river. I took lots of walks and drank a lot of wine. I had deep conversations with friends and binge-watched Netflix. I watched the Eclipse with Cooper from her favorite spot in her favorite park.
All in all, I lived a full year. Another year is now in the works, and I’ve got some pretty big stuff planned. That’s for another post, but suffice it to say there will be plenty more to write about!