For the last 15 years I've been posting my Theme for the Year on here, and I never worry about coming up with a word or phrase that will capture what I want to focus on but this year had me stumped until it came to me: ME
A few months ago I was in the middle of worrying about two friends at a time that both were going through upset. And I tried to be there for both of them and I think I was a good friend but later during some conversations about each issue they were dealing with - open heart surgery for one's spouse, heartbreak over a relationship for the other- I realized I had been exhausted by situations that turned out fine and there was nothing I could have done about either.
I'm not a people-pleaser but I am a huge people-helper; not consciously and also not always helpfully. When someone shares a problem with me I take a piece of it and try and "help" them with their burden. This comes from trying to make things OK when my folks were going through their divorce and it helped make me feel I had more control over my life and environment but it's not a healthy practice.
Add to this both of these dear friends had supported me when I went through a bad break up a few years back. Sure I had helped them when they were in rough times but something felt like I still owed them this almost extreme empathy when they were in pain. I was wrong.
I've gotten way way better over the years practicing observing and not absorbing people's drama and asking myself if these are my monkeys or not. But when talking to these friends they shared they don't need my help just my ear and compassion.
There are times when we need to step up and repay people's kindnesses but I had kept these friends' buckets full of love and friendship so they didn't need anything from me.
2023 was also the year I became completely debtfree. I know some have been for years, decades or had never even carried that burden but when I left the relationship I was referring to I left with nothing we shared even the car I was driving.
I'm stepping into 2024 owing no one anything, so in that vein, even though it doesn't come naturally to me, I'm going to try and focus exclusively on:
What's best 4 ME?
Meaning, not worrying about anyone else but myself. I know that's sound selfish which is why I warmed you into it. But frankly, it's none of your business what I'm focusing on so ha 😜
That's my invitation for you to join if you want. Let's try to not worry about anything but our own fitness, finances, romances (although follow along with Tay and Trav's if that floats your boat) or anything else that will bring us joy, health and happiness.
I mean I am going to need you to vote to save democracy, but that's not til November!
So how about we tend to what needs tending but along the way practice serenity and giving up worrying about anything not in our control or to our benefit. The people in our lives want what's best for us and us being at our best is what's best for us all!
Happy New Year 🥳 and Cheers 🥂 to all there is in store for ME 😁