What a long strange trip it’s been

what a long strange trip it's been

More Blogging Silence

I wish I could say that my recent blogging silence was because I unplugged over the holidays. It wasn’t. I actually had several power working days over the winter break where I sat down to work and what seemed like just a couple of hours later, it was dark outside.

In between the days my son Jake was home with me for winter break, I worked on my latest project – a 10 Day Social Media Challenge. Another project where I spent a couple of months writing the challenge copy, creating emails and newsletters and making images to post on Pinterest.

I also bought two new workbooks to help me keep moving forward – one to help me write out my business plan and the other one, to create a personal life plan for 2014. I’ve never done anything like this before so I figured, why not? And you know that touch of OCD in me loves to be organized.

The business workbook was SO worth it! I reviewed everything I did last year, added up all those social media stat numbers and looked at what worked and what didn’t. I figured out which products and services most of my money came from and where I was off balance. The coolest thing about the process was that I found my focus of how I’ll help solopreneurs with their social media. Then I pulled together a list of products I’ll create in the coming year.

I’ve done a few plans like this before but they were never so detailed as this one was. The whole experience was a huge confidence boost and gave me some direction of where I want to go in 2014.

And then there was the personal life plan …. it was inspiring to think about how I could write down all these dreams, visions and the list of my things I’ve wanted to do and they would just come true. As I filled out most of the personal workbook, it really started the wheels turning in my head. I scribbled some notes for future blog posts that you’ll see over the next few weeks.

So I was writing … it just wasn’t here.

Do Nothing Day

Last year I started reading daily financial affirmations in a book called The Wealthy Spirit by Chellie Campbell. In several places in the book, Chellie tells us how important it is to take time off to recharge and enjoy the life we’ve worked so hard to build. I’m one of those people who will ‘yeah but’ you to death about why I can’t take the day off and then complain about how tired I am.

I was so inspired by my personal life plan that I planned my first Do Nothing Day. (Yeah, I know. I read the book for the whole year and it took me until December to finally take a planned work day off. Give me some credit here – at least I took a day!)

I asked my good friend Gennia to go to New Smyrna Beach with me. Most of the tourists go to Daytona Beach but us locals, we love New Smyrna. It’s less crowded and it’s one of the few places left in Florida where you can still drive on the beach. There’s nothing better then to pull up to a patch of beach sand and unpack your beach chair in front of the ocean.

It was a perfect Florida day – 72 degrees with a slight breeze. It was a jeans and light sweater kinda day. We started at a restaurant on the beach, drank a few coconutty fruit drinks and the talking began. We talked about our pasts. We talked about what we learned in 2013 and our goals for 2014.

Then we moved the Do Nothing Day party to the beach. We plopped our chairs out in the sand and watched the waves come in and out. We talked and shared and laughed so hard that we had to wipe the tears away. The day disappeared.

When the temperature started to drop, Gennia looked at me and said, “Do you realize that our car is the last one out on the beach?” The tide was coming in so we decided to have an impromptu ceremony to close out 2013 and welcome in the new year. We drew a circle in the sand and stood in the middle of it.

closing ceremony

As the ocean came in, we took turns proclaiming what 2013 meant to us and what we learned. Then we shared our hopes and plans for 2014. It was empowering to say these things out loud.

I highly recommend that you take the time to do this. You might feel silly at first but once you get going, you’ll be amazed at how the words just flow out and then comes that moment of clarity. I know because it happened to me that day.

After everything I went through in 2013 – all the lessons I learned about myself, all the struggles to control things that I couldn’t, all the victories and the defeats. The biggest lesson I learned in 2013 was this:

It’s not about having the strength to hold on but the courage to let go.

Photo credit: Losing Hearts

19 thoughts on “What a long strange trip it’s been

  1. Oh my goodness. What a great post! I laughed and I cried. Okay, I teared up. I feel empowered after reading it! I’m so glad that you got so much accomplished during the break and love the do nothing day and it sounds like you spent it with a great friend!

    • Thanks for always showing me your support. My friend and I have felt so powerful after it happened. Its an interesting feeling when you say these things out loud. And I’m curious to see which things on my list actually happens.

    • One of my goals is write more. I already set wordcount goals for myself and I’m going to take a writing class to help me write articles for other sites. So I’m right there with you … I’ll be reading your site too 🙂

    • That doesn’t surprise me that you’re working on a life plan workbook too. You’ll have to post something about how it’s going. I’ve already seen some things come true for my business because I wrote it down. I can’t wait to see how this year pans out for my personal life with this new workbook 🙂

      And yes, we loved our closing ceremony too! We already agreed that we’re going back out to the beach at the end of this Dec and have another closing out the year ceremony.

      Did you do a closing ceremony too?

  2. Penney, It was the best way to end 2013/begin 2014. On the beach, stuffing our faces, running our mouths, wind blowing, sun shining, talking strategic plans – it was perfect.

    After our impromptu closing ceremony, the awesomeness of the moment settled as we drove – unexpected and so cool. Here’s to having a future closing ceremony on a beach in the Caribbean.

    • It certainly was! We WILL be doing this again at the end of this year. It was so refreshing to go into this year knowing that we worked through everything, talked about everything and had that special moment at the end as the tide was coming in.

      The Caribbean? Now, that’s a cool goal for 2014 🙂

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