Happy New Year!
I took the first week of the year off to recuperate from the final stretch of 2023. It was nine glorious days of forcing myself to do absolutely nothing. But nine days ended up not being a lot of time to recuperate from 2023.
At the end of the year and during my time off, I started building my list of goals and resolutions I wanted to begin in 2024. I came up with one singular theme: HEAL YOURSELF.
This year, I’ll be sharing my journey on what I am doing to heal myself. But perhaps, I need to explain what that means. As we grow older, our body changes. For women, we start to suffer from perimenopause. Perimenopause can last from a few years to well over a decade. For those who have a history of cancer or have had surgery, that means the symptoms for perimenopause are heightened. I fall into that category, especially since it was removing a hormonal gland (due to a tumor) that kickstarted perimenopause when I was 38. Almost 10 years ago.
I knew I was suffering from perimenopause in that first year because a polar vortex hit me, and I was stripping my coat off because I was burning up. That’s not how weather works in the coldest January that NYC had seen in a while.
As the years progressed, the symptoms grew worse from night sweats to headaches to every part of my body being in a constant state of pain. 2020 didn’t make things any better. I lost muscle mass rapidly. Spending these last two years doing 10k+ steps 5 days a week with no change meant that I needed to change things up.
Diet and exercise. That is the key to beginning to fix all of these problems. Many people would become angry the second a doctor would suggest this (and trust me, I did, too). But as you grow older, you kind of have no choice. You’re not as young as you used to be. You can physically see and feel how putting off exercise and a healthy lifestyle causes you harm. BUT what they don’t tell you is that you need to focus on healing your hormonal issues.
What they don’t tell you is that cardio will not work. You need to focus only on walking, weight training, resistance training, and stretching (i.e. yoga). Your diet needs to be plant based. You need to drink more water. You need to focus on certain vitamins. Stop using hormone disrupter beauty products. The list goes on with everything you need to change.
But there’s also your mental health. I discovered that hormonal imbalances can trigger anxiety. Trust me when I say I never had anxiety problems until a year ago. Like I said, perimenopause does something insane with your body, and it happens overnight.
So this year, my focus is on healing this body and correcting all of the hormonal imbalances. I would like to be pain free, have my hair grow back, stop hormonal based cancers from occurring, and just get to healthy and focus on living a healthy last half of my life.
Speaking of the last half of my life, healing myself this year also means changing how I approach how I treat myself, especially when it comes to finances. Two months ago, I decided to fix how I approached finances because I was not happy with how things were going. I WORRIED. So 2024 is about making sure to heal that worry. It is incredible how quickly your finances change when you decide to make yourself the priority and not everyone else.
Another quest in my journey to heal myself is to do the things I have been putting off doing and then hating myself for not doing it. SIGH. The life of a writer. I may not be writing here as much because I’ve been working on two novels (at the same time). Sometimes it takes a writer 8-10 years to write a book. Most of the time, it’s the inner dialogue we are having with ourselves as we embrace our fears, instead of just creating what we know is already in our heads. This year, I am forcing myself to finish the books and create an ongoing writing system, so that I am always writing and publishing my work.
I started pitching my work and it’s funny how the publisher that you know in your gut is going to publish your work starts doing their due diligence.
When I took a class at Conde Nast College in London, one of the things the editor of Allure magazine kept telling me was my strong points were my writing and my photography. That led to a class with Nigel Barker and I started doing some fashion photography, as well as street fashion photography. Of course, when life keeps happening, you stop doing those things because you don’t have the time. Imagine just 12 days into 2024 and I’m being asked to do PAID corporate photo jobs. My friend, Grace, told me that maybe it’s time to get things together. Make this a side gig.
Which leads me to the last topic of resolutions and goals. I’m getting older. I know that maybe it’s just going to be me and Matthew (the Maine Coon) from here on out. I need to start thinking seriously about the last half of my life. I have to come up with a plan to make sure money is always coming in if I can’t work anymore. I have to think about how we’re going to live if I get sick and can’t work. I have to create a plan that will take care of us for the rest of our lives.
It’s funny how when you start prioritizing setting up your finances, creating financial goals, and working on generating passive income (in other words, focusing on paying yourself first and preparing for your future), the universe starts helping you. Two months ago, I was worried about how I was going to pay bills. Then I created a plan to get myself out of the worry. I didn’t care who was asking for money. Any money that came in, I paid myself 10% right off the bat. That is what I earned for myself. That belonged to ME. No one was allowed to have it, except ME. Then, all of a sudden, the universe started sending more money my way. In two months, I came up with 1/3 of my 2024 goal, and 11% of the long-term goal. IN TWO MONTHS. Oh, and I stopped worrying.
At one point, I got a call from Bank of America. There are certain banks that will help you reach your financial goals. While I was on the call, she gave me some financial advice and as soon as I got off the phone, I put her advice to work. It’s like I had an “Aha!” moment. She helped me figure out how to navigate the worst of the pickle I had found myself in, and put myself in a place where I didn’t have to worry anymore. Then the universe followed suit.
Grace told me at some point in our lives when Saturn Returns, everything you didn’t fix in life will become much harder to fix, unless you make sacrifices to ensure you’ve learned your lessons and you actively fix your mistakes. You have 20 years to fix it or things will get worse for you. That is why it is important to fix things that are hurting you in your life. Even the universe gets involved with making things better or worse. But I will tell you something, when you are doing the right thing, the universe helps you continue to do the right thing. If you’re doing the wrong thing, the universe will continue to help you do the wrong thing. See how that works?
So in 2024, you’ll be seeing a change in me. No more procrastinating. Just doing. The only way I can heal myself is to get up off my lazy butt and do something about it. Hopefully, you’ll find what I’m sharing on this journey will help you along the way.