Wow, what a year 2019 was! It was truly full of ups and downs, trials, struggles, sadness and depression mixed with some of the happiest days of my life. I think this has been a turning point year for me 100%. I lost myself, found myself, hid myself and grown strength I never knew I had in me.
This year I went on some cool adventures, with the family to New York (our 9 year old had never been), which was SO awesome, I love the city. Tim and I did a few couples’ trips to Hawaii (to see Eminem in concert) and also to Napa for the Bottle Rock wine and music festival. We went to Temecula a few times and joined a few new wineries. A party bus to Temecula for my birthday as well as a Post Malone concert (I am SO into his music these days).
This year was our 20 year wedding anniversary, such an AWESOME milestone. We’ve really been through a lot together through all of those years as well as grown up together (since we were only 18 and 19 when we got married). Marriage is a lot, A LOT of hard work. It’s not always pretty but in the end if you can communicate with one another and both parties can admit when they’ve been wrong and work through the good and bad, it’s totally WORTH it. I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my marriage right now, it’s been a heck of a ride and I am super blessed to have Tim by my side.
I also turned the BIG 40 this year. I actually am not that sad about it. I feel GREAT and young (ha ha most days), I mean maybe a little more sore after a good hard work out, but I am just feeling blessed that I have made it this far in life. I have HUGE goals in 2020, I’ll get to those later. But I am excited for this new age milestone and chapter in my life. I feel pretty badass for 40, not gonna lie. ;)
This year has been super challenging as well…I lost my dad unexpectedly in September to a massive heart attack. It was quick and very unexpected (he was 58) and really shook me. Life is so short. I want to live it to the fullest and FORGIVE easily, love hard and just be a kind person. You really never know the secret struggles people are going through and sometimes it’s just best to show love and kindness, you could be a light in someone’s day just by smiling.
I also just found early December that I have a form of skin cancer, melanoma on my face (chin area, jawline thank goodness). I won’t lie to you, once I found this out I really thought I failed myself. I have been slowly pulling myself out of a dark hole (just kept sinking since September really) and it’s been really emotional and tough. Thank GOODNESS I have the most amazing friends and family who have really talked me through things and been so loving and supportive through my sadness. I know it may not seem like a big deal to some…and that’s ok…but I do suffer from anxiety and depression and I work REALLY hard at not allowing my mind to get too heavy. When trauma and tragedy happen (and I do consider sudden death and cancer tragic), it’s just a huge trigger for me and it’s super easy to slip into dark days. BUT, I have Jesus and my faith…I have essential oils and hot baths…I have loving, caring friends and a husband…I have my business and kids…I have exercise (boxing has never felt so good!)…I have meditation. I also have a strong will to pull myself through because I’m genuinely a happy, bubbly person and I prefer that over sadness.
This year, in 2019 my word of the year was ACCEPTANCE. At the time I wasn’t really sure why I picked it or how it could pertain to me, I just kept coming back to it. Hind sight I can totally see it. I have learned to accept what I cannot control. I LOVE being in control. But sometimes life throws you some major curve balls and it’s ok to accept what you cannot fix. It’s ok to let go. It’s ok to accept yourself for WHO you are in that moment of your journey. It may not always be pretty, but when you can come to some level of acceptance, you find yourself a bit happier. I’ve learned SO much this year.
Looking forward to 2020…I am very excited for the new year. For now I have some really big plans and goals, some I will share with you and some I’ll announce later on in the year. My word for the year is going to be COMMIT. I tend to be a bit of a procrastinator, this year I want to commit and succeed at what I commit to. Right now one of the goals I have set for myself is to complete a Spartan Super race in May 2020! I am SO EXCITED about this goal, I really wanted to do one before I turned 40 but so much happened this year that I decided to give myself a little grace and shoot for 2020. I’m really trying to get a small team together (mainly my brother and my sis-in-law) but if in the end it’s only ME, I’m going to do it solo with a smile on my face.
I have other goals such as fitness (nothing too crazy, I’m at goal weight and just working on some minor toning and tuning, ha ha), business goals financially. I want to meditate and do more yoga. Another thing I’ve learned this year is that I need to slow down sometimes. I tend to be on over-drive ALL. OF. THE. TIME. I’ve been told it’s the Scorpio in me. Ha! I’m working on that. Flexibility and yoga in on the top of my goal list for 2020. I’m excited to share more later.
So excited for another amazing year in the photography business, I will have some new and different types of mini sessions planned as well as my regular yearly mini sessions. I want to book THREE times as many newborns so if you know any expecting mamas, pleaseeeeeee pass my name along, I truly appreciate it so much! Thank you to all who have made it this far (you’re the real MVPs). I wish you all a very BLESSED new year, may we all be happy, healthy and wise.
xo – Melissa