reclaim: to rescue from an undesirable state, to regain possession of, to recover.
I’ve jokingly referred to 2014 as the “Year of Reclaiming Kristen”. It makes it sound like a laborious undertaking, but what it really means to me is that I’m being more mindful of what I need to do to be the best version of myself, and also recognize what hinders me from being that person.
Somewhere along the way, with each move around the country, each unfamiliar town, all the unfamiliar people, and a few lofty challenges thrown in for good measure, I had become a less lovely version of myself. Stress, anxiety, depression, plain ol’ tiredness…whatever you want to call it…these things swallowed my energy and burdened my mind and body. There were days I just felt hollow, like the girl I knew and enjoyed being got left behind somewhere. And I hated it. But I didn’t know how to fix it. So I just stumbled through those dark days, doing the best I could, and hoping that it would get better.
I can’t point to a single moment when the change began, but it did. I got tired of feeling hollow and sad. And I decided to stop. Just like that.
Like I shared last month, one of my new year’s resolutions was to acknowledge and embody that to best love and bring joy to others, I need to love and bring joy to myself. This idea and mindset really started taking shape and framing my perspective and actions in the fall – and it’s been a great mantra to remind myself of throughout the days since then.
It’s nothing revolutionary. For me, it’s been regular exercise, a good night’s sleep, being mindful of what I eat (so long, gluten), saying “no” if I need to, prioritizing my time…you know, basic stuff. It’s being mindful that neglecting my health and well-being affects those around me. It’s recognizing that sometimes you need to take a minute (or a day) to recharge and regroup. It’s accepting that there are going to be hard days and seemingly insurmountable challenges in life. But you do what can, you take it one day at a time, and you control what you can control. You get through it with the help of people who love you even when you’re not at your best. You hope and pray and trust that good things are ahead.
I’m encouraged. Not because the reclamation and reformation process is complete, but because it’s happening. I’m laughing more and stressing less (…or at least trying to). I’m looking forward with hope in efforts to not stumble over what is behind me. Life presents us with continual opportunities to make choices and decisions – and this includes how we choose to face the day, how we handle the unexpected, how we interact with others. And I’m choosing joy, grace, and love.
The best is yet to come, friends. The best is yet to come.