I’ve done a lot in the six days of this year: Six garbage bags of unnecessary stuff to the curb, four work days, three work outs, one coil replaced in my car. (OK, the Christmas tree is still up…don’t rush me!) My husband and I briefly toyed with asking Santa for a new house, but we went with our gut that this is not the year for that project.
So what is this the year for? Most of my years have been for working. When my Disney Channel gig began at ten years old, work was also play, and I kept playing hard throughout my developmental years. (Work, school, and my side-job of secretly beating myself up inside for being imperfect…all you introverted perfectionists understand.)
My 2000s seemed to be for learning how to live in the real world. 2003 was for learning how to live without my mother. 2010 was my last year for being a hot mess. My twenty-teens revisiting NYC and taking a chance on Nashville were less for work and more for waiting. And 2015 was for meeting my husband<3 That was also the year for working hard again. Every other time in my life, I was drawn into my work’s orbit, enjoying how the gravity of the project kept the momentum going. This time, I was not addicted to my work. I know now that being a workaholic is not necessarily the same thing as working hard.
Last year was about finding my balance again: I love myself, despite my imperfect, exasperated heart. I am at peace with letting music come and go. I listen to talk radio all the time…until I miss 106.7! I don’t let anyone pressure me about how I pursue Jesus. I can experience the Holy Spirit in my life, even without a church home or planting my nose in the Bible every day. I allow myself to be “out of the office”. I take weekend trips. I have family time. My cell phone makes no noise unless I turn on the volume. No text beeps or email dings. If it’s an emergency, you call and my watch vibrates! I even like work again! Working hard at the close-but-no-cigar-goals taught me that my true career passions point away from the spotlight and towards helping other artists pursue excellence in their spotlights.
There is a season for everything, and I do not regret what I went through to be handed the priceless stories, training, and wisdom from each season of my rollercoaster life. I would not be the encourager, coach, wife, or friend I am today without those gifts. 2018 was for ridding myself of much built up anxiety. Now that that road is clear, I can press forward again. My 2019 is for the grind.
Of course “to grind” traditionally refers to friction, to the point of breaking down and crumbling, but let me break that down to you another way: As I grow, reach out, and press into this year’s work and play, I believe anything in my life that doesn’t need to stay will crumble and fall away. I believe that seasons of past gifts will be blended into the refined blessings to come in this newest year. I have no New Year’s resolutions, but I have gained a new hashtag: #twothousandGRINDteen