I love the excitement and anticipation of beginning something new, whether it be a new goal or a new habit. George Eliot said it best when she said, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” That’s exactly why I love a fresh start!
In junior high I remember going on a church retreat where I made a decision to follow Jesus and the choice radically impacted my life. Neither of my parents went to church at the time and I didn’t really know much about the Bible. I had a spiritual experience, which resulted in an internal shift. I’d always loved people, but my faith now gave me a new purpose and meaning for my life. Jesus became my example of how to love others well. I now wanted a physical fresh start to go along with my spiritual one, so I convinced my parents to send me to a private Christian school for high school. I wanted a clean slate where no one really knew me or judged me for my past, but where I could start fresh and be who I now was, a Christian. I looked forward to being around those who shared my faith and could help guide me in this newfound direction for my life.
Today, I continue to be motivated by the opportunity to create a fresh start whenever I choose. I believe our lives are blank canvases (fresh starts) and the only thing holding us back from creating the change we want to see in our lives are the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. As much as I wish my daughter, Ellie, still had her Daddy and our family was whole again, it’s just not the case. I’m choosing to take all the valuable lessons I’ve learned from marriage, parenting, love, loss, and faith, and take them into my fresh start in order to give, grow, and be better than before.
I use my enthusiasm for a fresh start to inspire me in many areas of my life. Especially when I’m overwhelmed, lost, or a little down. One of my favorite ways to create a fresh start is through simplifying my life, AKA: getting rid of stuff. Nothing annoys me more than feeling like I wasted a day pushing the same papers around. I want to spend my time creating, writing, reading, learning, speaking, coaching, exercising, connecting with family and friends, and playing with Ellie. These are the things that light me up. Although I know the less exciting elements of life must be managed, I’m learning how to work smarter, more efficiently, and create better systems, so I spend less time with stuff and more time doing what’s important to me.
Recently I read a great book called, Better Than Before, by Gretchen Rubin. It’s about creating habits in our lives. It was so valuable I’m re-reading it. Inspired by this book to create a habit of simplicity, I went through every room in my house over the holiday weekend and donated what I did not use or want. Ellie also got in on the fun as over the years she’s collected a mountain of toys. To my dismay and excitement she got rid of a third of her stuff. She, too, loved the results of walking into a simple and organized room with only the things she used and wanted.
On Tuesday morning when I stepped back into my home after spending the Fourth of July at my parents’ ranch house I felt 100 pounds lighter. Upon seeing the countertops free of clutter and everything in its place, I felt relieved I could manage the things I had and, because I had less stuff, I had more time to spend on the activities I crave! It’s a work-in-progress, but by creating this fresh start I’m creating a strong foundation. The results? I’m feeling more creative, more empowered, less overwhelmed, and less stressed!
What area of your life could use a fresh start? What step will you take today?
Please do share either in the FB comments or blog comments, so I can encourage you along the way! You’ve got this! Remember it’s never too late to be what you might have been. Love and Blessings.
PS – So my new nighttime habit with Ellie went great for the first four days (see last week’s post here), however I realized I’m OK if the weekends are different than the weekdays, so we watched Despicable Me on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!! ☺ Feel free to share your results, too! Would love to hear about them.
PPS – If you’re looking to motivate, inspire, and encourage a group you are a part of, I would love to come share my message of how each and every one of us can transform our most challenging times into the most meaningful and purposeful path for our lives. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org