2017 has been a year full of joy. Every September I set an intention for the year and in September of 2016 I chose the word joy to sum up all of my hopes and goals for the next 12 months. At that time, joy to me meant welcoming new life, spending quality time with others, and giving back.
This past November, I had the priceless experience of witnessing the birth of my niece. My mom and I spent a week with my sister in Virginia and got to be there to welcome Anya Janine Wheeler into the world. Also in 2017, my husband and I have continued our tradition of weekly Sunday suppers at our parents’ and spending time with family and friends alike as often as we could. In addition, I have given back more this year to causes I care about, volunteered over the holidays, and continue to participate in giving back opportunities at my work. All of which have given me so much joy.
However, the most joyful result of this past year was finding out we are expecting our first baby, a boy, in March 2018. Joy just begins to describe the overwhelming feelings I have about starting a family with the man I love.
With all this in mind, it’s time I picked a new word to describe my hopes and goals for 2018: slow. Slowing down is not an easy thing for me and, since becoming pregnant; it felt like a challenge at first. Luckily, I got a little bit of practice when my husband and I went on a vacation to Maui in June. Hawaii taught me a valuable lesson, that I have learned once before, but, over the years, allowed it to slip away. To sit in the sand a little longer, take the unmarked path because you have no where else to go, and drink in the magic of each and every good moment. The relaxed vibe I felt on that trip was enlightening and, upon our return, I was determined to continue that laid back feeling.
We had been trying for a baby since June of 2016 and I had grown increasingly impatient each month, hoping for a positive result on pregnancy tests. In addition, after just a few months of going off of birth control, I was diagnosed with PCOS, which was heartbreaking. The stress of trying to conceive had become too much so, after Hawaii, I just let it all go. I let go of thinking of what specialist we should see next, should I use a different ovulation test, or researching the next natural supplement to enhance my fertility.
As soon as I let go of what I could not control, I found out, a month after getting back from Hawaii, that I was pregnant. That is not to say that my anxiety stopped there, but anytime I had a moment of doubt or worry, I remembered Hawaii and the commitment I made to myself relax and slow down. I am happy to say that, despite an increased appetite and heightened exhaustion, I am happy, healthy, and 16 weeks along to meeting our son.
For more inspiration on how to slow down this fall, I really enjoyed this post on The Fresh Exchange. With all that has been going on in the world and with holidays just around the corner, we could all benefit from infusing some slow-down routines in our lives 🙂
Do you pick a word of a year every fall to focus on for the coming year? If so, I would love to hear what yours is!
In Love, Peace, and Slowing Down ~ xo