It is December 29 and it is the first night in the year 2017 that I am spending all alone in my apartment! I guess that already says a lot about this year. 2017 has been challenging. For so many of us. For the world. It has been challenging and it allowed us to grow. Me included.
I do not talk too much personal stuff here on my blog, so I want to tell you a little bit about my life and my past year in today’s post. You all know that I am blogging, two blog posts per week, actually. Next to blogging, I am a mother of a 2 ½ year old girl that is not going to day care yet. Also, I have an online business that I created together with my husband 1 ½ years ago. We are still a rather small company and basically all work is done by us. I am responsible for everything marketing, social media, pr, communication, networking, negotiating, visiting trade fairs, getting to know new partners, etc. And I only have 20 hours of work per week, as the other 20 hours are time that I spend with my girl and the rest is family time. Oh and I have friends too. And a husband of course.
It is difficult to reconcile all of this. 2017 was the year where I had to learn how. When I became a mother back in 2015, it seemed the easiest thing ever. I was in parental leave for a year, my girl was sleeping in a sling around my neck most of the time, and I felt great and wasn’t missing anything. We opened our company when our girl was 1 year old and we started off very slowly. There was no pressure, we were experimenting with what it is like to be a business owner, and we saw the whole thing like a game, a little adventure. But with our girl growing and with our business growing, things got more demanding. Our girl wasn’t sleeping all day in her sling any longer, but did now want to experience the world – and I want to show it to her. Also, our business got more serious and we had more and more customers and partners that we had to take care off. All while we still had the same amount of time.
This basically happened in 2017… our business and our girl got more and more demanding and still there was only the same amount of time as always.
Plus my blog suddenly grow. I actually blog since years but I always kept it as my secret. My blog was my secret little space where I could write about topics that I wasn’t really able to talk about in real life (coming from a family of academics it just never seemed appropriate to me to be interested in natural cosmetics, fashion, or food). So I kept this little space of mine secret for years. This changed in 2016 and went on in 2017; I suddenly got invited to events, got to know other bloggers, and started using social media much more. I opened an instagram account for my blog only in the end of 2016 and I have my blog’s facebook page since only three months (someone could have found me!). Now more and more people do actually find my content and with this more responsibility comes.
And I am actually again and again surprised to see that there are some who actually like what I am doing here! Thank you so much for that by the way!!!! It means more to me than you could ever imagine! But that is another personal topic for another post…
Anyway, so 2017 was very demanding. Throughout the entire year there were three nights where my husband and I just sat down to watch a movie. This, as I wrote earlier, is the first night that I am all alone in my apartment and I do not have to be aware of any sounds coming from my little one’s bed to jump up and comfort her.
For the first time of my life I felt really really stressed this year. To a whole new extent. I never really felt stressed during university, never really when I starting working, never really at any point of my life. But I did in 2017. Towards the end of the year I heard a ringing in my ears when things got too much and I got eczema on my belly. Two things I never experienced before.
Some of you may know that I also had a miscarriage this year (I wrote a blog post about it here)!? I lost my second baby in week 13 in June this year. This was a very hard lesson – but not hard enough as I did not really change anything regarding my stress afterwards. I didn’t get pregnant again ever since and I am pretty much sure that this too has to do with the challenges I face.
Then, towards the end of the year, my aunt died from one month to the other. I was very close to her and she died at the age of only 66. I haven’t seen her for two years before her death and this too, was quite a challenge for me. I went to see her grave a couple of days ago and left her a long letter. Since, I feel a little better but it still is difficult for me to see my uncle alone and to know that she is gone forever.
More emotional stress, more emotional challenges.
Finally, there is the fact that I have always been a very independent woman and I always did whatever I felt like. And I felt good that way. Now with a toddler and a company this is very, very different. I cannot just take a weekend off to visit a friend and relax for a while. My girl depends on me (and my husband of course). She needs me. And my company needs me too. And my blog somehow too. And my husband too. This was very, very, very difficult for me to accept and to cope with. It took me months to first find out what actually made me unhappy (the fact that I felt I was no longer independent) and to find a solution for it (not 100% sure I have found it yet). So this too, was and is a topic that is challenging me!
Okay. But now to the other side!
I learned SO MUCH this year! All of the above taught me so much. And even though I am still so far from everything I want to achieve on an emotional and spiritual level, I already learned so so sooo much. My husband and I learned so much about our love, our relationship, our life as business partners (and yes, we LOVE working together), our role as parents. Me as a mother, I learned SO much about what kind of mother I want to be and how I care for my child, how my emotions are affecting my child and how I can create a happy toddler just by being a happy me. And I learned SO much about myself. I learned about my values, about what I need to be happy, and about what I need to feel loved.
And I learned a lot about stress. I think I now, towards the end of the year, even learned how to deal with my stress and how to make next year much better. The most important lesson for me was to see my stress as a friend. Or rather as a trainer. As someone who is pushing me but also showing me that I am important, that I am needed. So now, whenever I feel stressed, I am saying “thank you stress, for being here and reminding me that I am important and needed!” …
This is actually another huge topic. Are you interested in a post about how I deal with stress? I have a few other rituals that I make to keep the stress away from making me go crazy and I am willing to share if you are interested!? Just let me know in the comments!
Okay, but back to this year. I learned to listen to myself again, I learned to love myself again, I learned to take responsibility for myself again (and not only for my company, my blog, my girl, my husband, my friends, my family…), I learned to understand that it is only me who is responsible for how I feel, and I learned to trust. To trust that everything happens for a reason and that whatever happened this year, it was meant to be and it is good.
I feel ready for 2018. Right now, I do not feel exhausted. Right now I feel ready. I feel good. I feel that in 2018 great, great GREAT things will happen and I am so full of anticipation to experience them! I cannot wait to meet all the people, I am meant to meet, to experience all the adventure I am meant to experience and to go wherever I am meant to go.
I know so many of us had a challenging 2017 and I hope many of us were able to learn from this year. To learn how important it is to not only spread love, but to be love! We need so much more love in this world and in the end, most of my thoughts and especially my thoughts full of stress, all came back to this one topic: I want to be loved. We ALL want to be loved. And when we stress ourselves it is because we want to be loved (for what we do). So let’s be love in 2018! Let’s feel love and be love all while we are doing this, we will see that all the stress and all the challenges we face are irrelevant. Because all that is relevant in this world is that we care, we share, we love.
Okay. I will stop here.
If there are any points that I touched upon that you would like to read more about, please make sure to leave me a comment here or on instagram and let me know. I know this post touched upon a lot and almost nothing in detail, so I will be happy to share more of my thoughts on stress, love, being a mother, being a fempreneur or whatever you find intersting : )
Happy new year and all the best for 2018!