I’ll be honest, 2022 was a GREAT year. It was the first time in my entire adult life where I didn’t work a full time job (nor being home full time with a newborn); the first time I didn’t wake up and immediately panic that I’d forgotten to do something the day before; the first time I had no other responsibilities other than myself and my family (which is not trivial, but I wasn’t responsible for an entire department all-hands meeting!); and the first time that my mental health was actually….. Healthy-ish.
Besides making sure the kids got to school on-time and picking them up at the times they specified; and shopping and cooking meals; and planning family trips; and taking care of the majority of household chores; and and and; I basically did whatever I wanted. Some weeks I worked out 6 times a week, some weeks 2. Some weeks I saw friends for lunch every single day, some weeks none. Some weeks I worked 10 hours, some weeks I worked…. Not at all. It was both liberating and so indulgent. Other than my daily obligations and self-proposed to-do lists, I took naps, read books, went on walks, and watched TV (!). It was a lifestyle that I couldn’t have dreamt of living. Toward the end of last year I unlocked the key to happiness, gratitude. It was like shifting into Buddha-level happiness:
On Monday - “It’s Monday and the kids are going back to school and I get to see my Zumba friends bright & early (I have class at 8:30 am) and I have free time until 4:00 pm, woohoo!”
On Tuesday - “It’s Tuesday and I can go to the store after drop off and prep for dinner, then see my Zumba friends for exercise + lunch! Nap time and then early dinner for us - Sweet!”
Wednesday - “It’s Wednesday and I can respond to those emails sitting in my inbox; and I get to meet with my favorite client (I only had ONE regular client for all of 2022); I am meeting a friend for lunch then food prep and reading and nap - nice!”
I can go on, but you get the gist. Every day felt like a gift. Even when I had back to back to back trips in November I was fine, because I actually scheduled time to pack for the kids and myself AND spent whole days planning out the itinerary for each trip. Every trip felt like a success story because I had plenty of prep time and rest time.
So Merry, I know you’re thinking, this sounds amazing! If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, amiright???
Uh…. except it is kinda broken.
Here’s the thing. Without dedicated time to “work on the business,” I was late getting back to clients, late to invoice them, which meant I never got paid on time. I also kept poor records of my income/expenses. When Ben asked me how much money I made in 2022, I literally did not know. Oof.
I also never got around to write, which is one of those things that feed my soul. When I first launched “Be Merry,” one of my favorite things was writing blog posts. They weren’t meant for anyone in particular, more just a self-reflection for my own sake. But when I tell people about my business, that’s one of the things I consistently hear, “I love your blog posts!” And it fueled me to continue on my path.
With my free-wheeling schedule, I never dedicated any time to writing, and therefore never actually wrote anything. Blech.
Further, with all my lunch outings and girl dates, I spent sooo much money. Again, it’s not that our family couldn’t bear the expense, it’s more that I was literally spending more than I made. So, fun for me, but not the most financially prudent thing for myself or my family.
And finally, I didn’t set any parameters for myself or my business Besides my daily chores (and volunteering at the kids’ school), I really didn’t set any goals or bounds for myself. I could work out for 10 hours, or no hours; I could get back to clients today or tomorrow (or next week); I could invoice them at the beginning of the month or oops, let’s bill two months at once.
Today is January 5th. And I, for one, am thankful that this is where an artificially designated start of something is a good place to make a change. Since the start of the new year I’ve been thinking about how to make changes to my daily life; to set structures and boundaries. And see how we can make things work a little better.
And since writing it down makes it accountable, here it goes. For 2023, I commit to:
Update Be Merry income spreadsheet
Learn one new Zumba choreo
Exercise 3 times
Write 1 blog post
Check-in with existing clients
Invoice clients the first week of each month
Post to MV Moms for new business
Update Be Merry expenses spreadsheet
Write “thank you” notes to new clients
It’s a new year and In the rain/grayness I’m enjoying a quiet moment of reflection, and saying thank you to the universe and all of you for supporting my journey toward living a fulfilling, meaningful, love-filled and joy-filled life. I wish the same for you. <3
And if you’ve got some goals of your own, let me help you achieve them! email@example.com for a free consultation.