I am filled with gratitude for the year, which has nearly passed; milestones were reached, and goals were achieved. I experienced health scares, financial concerns and some sadness. However, there were many joyful moments, where my heart and soul were filled to bursting. Overall, I was brave, I was committed, I was challenged, and I was often carried by beautiful people who showed up for me.
Let me share with you a summary, with a special thought at the end.
This year I have completed my third year of full-time University study as a mature aged student, on the path of attaining an honours degree then PhD. I have fallen in love with the communication space; specifically, how we can use in-person and online communication to share our message and comfortably and authentically share our uniqueness. I am intrigued with the question, “how can we individually and at an organisational level build understanding, inclusiveness and a feeling of belonging, for our self and others, into our day to day activities?” My growing passion has been encouraged by a group of beautiful and supportive people at my University; as well as, friends and family members. The hurdles I have had to jump to continue studying have been made easier by those cheering me on. I am so very grateful; because without them during my times of self-doubt, let down, exhaustion and confusion, I know with certainty, I would not have been able to keep showing up as my best self.
Furthermore, this year, I celebrated an age milestone. I clicked over into my 50th year. I have known for a long time, (by design as well as blessed circumstance), I am surrounded by wonderful, genuine, caring, resilient and empowered women. I am honoured to be a part of ‘my tribe’. For one of my half-century celebrations, these women gathered to share, enjoy, toast, and pause in the blissful moments of friendship, love and laughter. On the night, I looked around the table and felt so blessed, supported and humbled in this circle of women who I call friends and family.
Some of the past months have also presented a few challenges; health issues for myself and family members, accepting what I couldn’t control and finding a better way to deal with disappointment, a period of financial worry, and taking the time to unconditionally show up for friends who were going through their trials and life-changing events. All were exhausting, and at times I don’t know where the energy came from to keep getting out of bed each morning and keep an optimistic outlook. However, I did just that. When I thought I was nearly empty, or there was no point; a person, a thought, something I’d hear, read or watch, or, a sheer belief deep inside of me would rise telling me that I wasn’t done yet. I pushed through the doubt, disappointment, let down, sadness and fear. I picked myself up, dusted off, focused on what needed to be done – and began doing it. Wherever that came from, I am grateful.
Finally, I am immensely grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. I believe, due to my openness to be teachable and learn, my ability to be adaptable and keep showing up, and my resolve to put in the work, allowed me to see and grab each opportunity. As each day passes the network of people who surround me increases, and I will never stop learning, changing and growing. I have doubted myself and my abilities more times than I can mention; however, there is always someone reassuring me, “come on Kirsty, you’ve got this.”
How I wrap up this year, 2019, is by thanking my family and friends for believing in me, by appreciating and valuing the strength, purpose, and goodness that fills me, and by being grateful for the opportunity I am given to create a life I am proud of living. I am committed to sharing what I learn, be of service first, and be aware of the voices not being heard and give them space to talk. I think I am close to finally accepting all of me and what I can add; which is a pretty cool feeling.
To sum up, I will attempt to answer what has got me through, and the commonly asked question, “how do you do it?” I believe practising gratitude every day is my secret weapon. Gratitude reframes my thoughts and refocuses my mind. Also, a deep knowing that I am not what I can’t do, I am what I can do – then add a stretch. Further, I know the answer to my most troubling questions is out there; all I have to do is ask the right question and be prepared to listen and act on the response. Importantly, I know I am not alone; as well as, I get to choose who is in my tribe. Most importantly, I know when I take notice of the good, it multiplies.
My wish for you is that you experience joy often, personally and professionally, and view your world through the lens of gratitude.