Hi, my name is Janet.

I am a life and wellness coach, program consultant/facilitator for A Fresh Chapter, a certified Daring Way facilitator, occupational therapist, yoga instructor, global citizen, mother and a grandmother. I started on my career path more than 29 years ago and everything I have done has led me to this conclusion: WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO CHANGE OUR HEALTH AND OUR LIFE PATH! 

2020 hit me like a ton of bricks, and I am sure most people feel the same way. Hindsight is 2020 has a whole new meaning to me. As we move forward to a new year I look forward to what all these new lessons will bring to fruition.

I had been moving to doing most of my work online so when the stay at home order hit, I was mostly ready. Although most of my work transferred to online I was still working outside of the home and lost that income, so I had to adjust my budget accordingly, but found myself doing just fine with less income as I was spending less money. A few weeks prior to the toilet paper rush I  purchased a butt load ( pun intended) of toilet paper just because paper products were on sale (thank you Mom for teaching me to be thrifty). I used the food I had in my cupboards and freezer prior to going for a grocery store run and found I was able to get by for several weeks. I was appreciative that I have the skills to get by in a pandemic and also realize that I have become accustomed to excessive buying. We can get by on much less than we think we can! 

I grew up in a time when we had to type on a typewriter to do a report in school and got through college without a computer of my own. So, needless to say, technology is not always my friend. I usually give up quickly. Well, as I am working alone at home now it is just me and this computer. I learned very quickly how to take the time to problem solve, google search and just try things. And, not once did I lose information or did my computer explode. That was very freeing. We have the ability to learn and grow at all ages and stages of life.

I found out that I am truly an introvert and was very grateful to be forced to stay home and not have to go out and be social. I guess that is why I choose activities I can do alone. I love my friends and going out for a good dance party, but I get my energy from the quiet, having time to process and a good conversation with one person at a time. I also learned that zoom can be a place of connection when done correctly and as a therapist working with kids, my families have had some great break throughs with their kids because they are doing the work daily, not me doing it once a week. We each have different ways of being in the world. Do what works for your needs. 

When I have imagined having all the free time in world, which I did not have in the pandemic, by the way. I worked longer and harder this year than I ever have. I imagined that I would spend my days exercising, doing yoga, being creative, cooking meals, talking with friends, meditating. Well, that is not what I did and it really helped me to realize that the Maslow hierarchy of needs is a real thing. You need to take care of your basic survival needs before you can work on self-actualization skills and that is what I have experienced most of my adult life, but have always strived to fit those practices in when I could. Many times my self care practices felt like a source of stress because I was already exhausted and still had 101 things to do, but I always found that even when I am tired, those practices bring me to a place of peace and joy. My lesson here is forgiveness for not meeting my expectations to do all the things I want to be doing but don’t have the time for and that even 10 minutes of self care is better than none.

When you live in a year with a world-wide pandemic, natural disasters that continue to get worse every year due to climate change, systemic racism, a political divide that has separated friends and family, and a president that won’t concede an election, you cannot stand back and be silent. It does not mean that you cannot allow others to have their own view, but I can no longer be silent to make others comfortable, which has been my go to in life. My voice matters and honesty is a must right now in all conversations!

So, how am I going to use this information I have learned from 2020?

  • I have learned that even being somebody that does not rely on material goods for happiness that I can do with even less and that when I am conscious about my consumption, I spend less and I then I can work less. Get out of the consumerism cycle!
  • Every day is an opportunity to learn and grow and we can do many things we never even imagined if we just took the time to try it. You are your own best resource!
  • I need alone time to reenergize and there is nothing wrong with that. Know yourself and do what works best for you!
  • I am doing the best that I can and I don’t have to live up to the ideals of anybody but myself. I choose how I spend my time and I do what matters to me!
  • Relationships are built on honesty and acceptance. I must show up in all relationships as my most authentic self!

What have you learned about yourself in 2020 and how can you use it to inform what you want in 2021?

Here is to 2021!