Viewing Life Through 2019’s Rearview Mirror

Rearview Mirror described in the body of the post

“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it’s amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful, it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.”

~LR Knost

As 2019 winds down, reflecting on my ordinary, mundane, and routine life sandwiched between amazing and awful moments I’m grateful. I think the above quote about life resonates so deeply with me is because of its simplicity. Even so, a small part of me can’t help but feel that when life isn’t amazing or awful then something must be wrong. However, when I really think about it ordinary is the sweet spot.

This time last year I was riding high on the first publication of CAPTIVATING! a free, accessible online lifestyle magazine. Then as 2018 neared its end, I went into a deep depression that I thought I couldn’t rebound from. Yet I did, and what’s even better is I’m ending 2019 more enlightened. In my very first post of 2019, I ended it by saying “I’ll continue to hopefully come out on the other side more enlightened.” When I made this statement there wasn’t a map for me to follow to enlightenment but believing in possibilities created the pathway. Here’s a look back, through blog posts, on the timeline of how I arrived here:

  1. 2019 New Year Fresh Outlook
  2. Managing Social Anxiety & Sight Loss
  3. Empowering Young People to Soar With Passion & Purpose
  4. Max Peterson Scholarship Gives Joy, Love, and Wholeheartedness
  5. My Path From Poverty To Possibilities

The Amazing, The Awful & The Ordinary

Photo of Ariella is described in the body of the post
Ariella

At the beginning of this year, I couldn’t have imagined I’d have amazing opportunities to travel. Interacting with people in person was so meaningful and enhanced the virtual relationships we previously developed. Likewise, meeting new people and developing new relationships helped me to grow personally and professionally. Oh, and the most AMAZING thing happened last week when my granddaughter, Ariella, was born.

While traveling, meeting new people, and a newborn fall into the amazing category at the other end of the spectrum is the awful. Devastating news in the form of a broken relationship, a friend’s cancer diagnosis, and another friend’s death were painful. Each of these situations profoundly affected me causing a great deal of introspection, and today I’m still processing my feelings.

Learning to appreciate the ordinary has been a little tough but at the same time rewarding. It’s been tough because I made some difficult but necessary changes in my life and I’m finding this is constant. The rewards, on the other hand, have been less stress, more meaningful relationships, and a greater sense of self.

Enlightenment

In summary, I’ve found life and the journey to my self-discovery a continual, exhausting, effort that requires focus, truth, and vulnerability. Many of us struggle daily with doubts about our worthiness and we try to find the answers outside of ourselves. The thing is, self-compassion which can only come from the inside allows us to embrace our worthiness. When you know who you are, no one else can define you. Owning your worthiness places you in a position where what others think about you is no longer important.

From my heart to yours I wish you the happiest of holidays!

And if perchance, this time of year is a struggle for you please know you aren’t alone.💔 You must know, You Matter!

If you need encouragement, I leave you with a teaser to the song my friend Vicky wrote.💖 You can check out the lyrics here: Know You Matter and be on the lookout for the single to drop in January 2020.

Correction:

In the original version of this post, I included what I thought was the teaser of Know You Matter. This audio clip is the correct file.

Image Descriptions

  • Featured image: Photo of a car’s rearview mirror reflecting the long road behind the vehicle. White transparent “2019” is overlaying the reflection.
  • Photo of Ariella sleeping in her bassinet. She has a little pink knit cap on her head that perfectly matches her rosy cheeks and she is wearing a long sleeve tee

25 Comments

  1. I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and very interesting blog. I’ll come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon.

    1. Hi Angelilie, I’m Steph, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for visiting and commenting. I’m preparing for an out of town trip but as soon as I’m back next week I’ll be doing the blog rounds and will be sure to include yours.

  2. The older I get, the more I see that ordinary really can’t be beat. It’s not always exciting but for me, it’s very reassuring. Like, if this is how it normally is, it’s pretty cool. I can handle this thing called life. Congratulations on your granddaughter! Great post and thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Parker, thank you for reading, commenting, and for the congrats. Today, I read a really good post “What if All I Want is A Mediocre Life?” by Krista O’Reilly-Davi-Digui at http://www.alifeinprogress.ca/want-mediocre-life. After reading her post I looked through her blog, watched her in a couple of video interviews and wow, it feels like I’ve known her my whole life. Whenever you have a moment if you haven’t stumbled on her blog check it out.

      1. I did read it. Wow. That’s one of the best posts I’ve ever read and so true. It’s no wonder that it’s still getting comments years later. Thank you so much for sharing it. I read and commented and followed!

  3. I love that quote, Stephanae. What wonderful wisdom to end a year and enter a year. Congrats on the Amazing (especially that baby!) and I hope you found hugs and comfort while dealing with the awful.Happy Holidays and have a new year with the scales tipping toward awesome while you enjoy all those ordinary days between. They’re a blessing too.

  4. Love the quote Steph. I’m adding it to my collection. And I totally agree with you – experiencing the jubilation of the highs and the devastation of the lows, means that the in-between or the ordinary can be a welcoming, sweet relief. Thank you for a brilliant post and warm congratulations on the arrival of your granddaughter, bonnie, little Ariella. Merry Christmas my beautiful friend and sending you good wishes for 2020. Xx

    1. Hey Wendy! Oh, it’s so good to hear from you. How are you? Thank you very much for coming by, commenting and your sweet compliment on my little granddaughter🤗😘 I know that you’ve been through the fire and I hope that life is giving you your well-deserved sweet relief. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family Wendy. 💓

  5. You are such an amazing person Steph, and have accomplished amazing things! Your granddaughter is a sweet blessing! Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas holiday!

  6. Ariella is beautiful – may you have a wonderful first Christmas with her, Steph. Our lives are in synchronicity somewhat, lurching from illness to crisis to funerals in my case. The wonder of our blogs is that we can share exactly as much as feels comfortable – sometimes more than we would to our family. You are so right that it is the ordinary that is the bread and butter of life. Some of my happiest moments are chatting with the checkout operator at the supermarket or the gardener. Today I went to the car wash and the young man queried the extra money. I laughingly said, “that’s your tip but I will take it back if you want…”
    Merry Christmas my friend and looking forward to our meeting next year. I will be offline for a while over Christmas.

    1. Hi Kerry, thank you. It didn’t take much for little Ariella to worm her way into my heart. This year has been one of revelations and growth that I never thought possible. Your examples of ordinary moments are spot on and resonate with me. Oh and I like how you handled the guy at the car wash. Making someone else’s day with the smallest gesture of kindness can cause the warm fuzzies to nearly swallow us whole. I can hardly believe that in less than two months we’ll get to meet in person. Merry Christmas Kerry to you and Teddy. I’m also taking time offline except to do some blog visits.

      1. I am so looking forward to meeting you. As I get older I find that little children and animals make me go weak at the knees – even when they don’t belong to me! You would be so proud of me – I went to a party last night and didn’t have social anxiety. Everyone seemed delighted to see me after a long absence and I enjoyed it. Wow – can’t wait for 2020. 🎆🎆🎆

      2. Awe, Kerry this comment made me so happy to know that you didn’t have social anxiety at the party. Just thinking of parties (holiday variety and others) gives me anxiety. 2020 is gonna be EPIC!!

  7. A powerful and inspiring post, Steph! Thank you for this rearview of your year. It just brought me some insight, “to embrace our worthiness…” as I think of my guiding word for 2020. Well done for all that you have achieved this year, and here’s to hoping for abundant opportunities in the new year.

    And, and you granddaughter is so adorable. You can’t ask for any better Christmas gift. 🙂 Congrats to you and to the parents! May she bring you and the whole family joy and laughter during this festive season, and always! <3

    1. Awe Khaya, thank you so much for your comment about the post and my granddaughter. You know, it would be so cool if we could meet in person because I think we share many commonalities. If this year taught me anything it’s helped me see that openness can lead to greater insight and I’m so grateful. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and I have to go back to your recent post and comment. As always it was a great read and required some thought on my part. Thank you for being in my circle Khaya!🤗💗

  8. Great post! I’m glad you made it through 2019 with such grace! Blessings for a sweet holiday season and a new year of much fulfillment. Congratulations on the new Grandbaby!

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