My word of the year: Fuck!

Over the past ten years my partner, Tim, has been a witness (and sounding board) for my crazy ideas, dreams, pivots, challenges, accomplishments, and resilience. He recently brought to my attention that I am living the life I manifested, and while this sounds like a corny line from a Ted Talk, he is not wrong.

Ten years ago, I was a single mom working full-time to support myself and my two children. I remember my days being scheduled in 15-minute increments with zero allowance for anything to go off course. Thoughts of things going wrong, like having car trouble or getting sick, were cause for panic.

I was extremely rigid with my time and energy, at first to merely keep going and ultimately to accomplish my goals. This highly disciplined approach served me well during a period where I built myself back up after divorce, a shuttered business, and being financially insolvent with a tanked credit score, however it was not suitable for a thriving life.

Once out of crisis mode, and with the foundation I had established, I began to think about enriching my life. I didn’t know exactly what I was yearning for, but it was around this time that I began studying yoga philosophy and a journey of self-discovery ensued. Within five years I held the position of Vice President of Marketing, I was debt free, financially secure, and in a healthy loving relationship.

I continue to challenge perceptions of what it means to have a “good life” and the past year was a period of tremendous personal growth on this front. In 2023, while working at a large technology company, I was navigating my professional and personal lives without a congruence of values. I stayed too long at a job because of the perceived value and this wreaked havoc on my nervous system because I wasn’t living in my integrity – a tough reality with life altering effects.

A year ago, my first thought each morning was: Fuck. I can’t believe I have to get up and do what I have to do today.

After an intense year of personal work, I’ve experienced a complete turn-around. Now, my first thought of the day is: Fuck! I can’t wait to get up and do what I get to do today! 

Here’s what I get to do each day –

Wake up when I feel rested.

Coffee ritual and quiet time.

A brisk walk with my dog Zeus.

Check in with friends and family.

Work or write.

Cook a healthy meal.

Short walk.

Work or write.

Read, meditate, or quiet time.

Gym, yoga or hike.

Dinner and social time.

Prepare for deep sleep.

There are moments I find myself thinking my life is pretty awesome, but then, I begin to question if it is realistic and can be sustained. As if what I am doing now is temporary – a gap until what’s next kicks in – and I must return to being a cog in society’s wheel of perceived success. Then Tim’s comment about living the life I manifested wakes me up to a new reality:

This is what’s next and it’s the quality of life I envisioned and intentionally created.

The shift to this current state can’t be attributed to a single thing, but rather my desire to feel deeply connected to what matters most to me. The difference is how I view myself and Maya (the illusion) of the material world. Simply put, I no longer negotiate or live outside my terms and values: I am driven by creating, sustaining and enjoying a quality of life where what matters most to me gets my time and energy.

I have been working toward achieving this vision for over ten years and it continues to be my North Star. The well-being framework I use to ensure alignment and progress is:

  1. Feel good physically and have a positive outlook on life.
  2. Foster meaningful friendships.
  3. Be energized by work.
  4. Manage my money well.
  5. Feel a sense of community belonging.

My journey to a more fulfilling and meaningful life flows through peaks and valleys. There are moments of joy and revelation intertwined with challenges and disappointments, but I know I am on the correct path because there is a grounded undercurrent that feels peaceful in my soul. Plus, there is this evidence:

Physically, mentally, and spiritually I feel stronger than ever.

I have supportive and loving friends and family.

For work I am writing and advising a wellness technology start-up.

I am financially secure with a solid plan for retirement.

For the past 18 months I have had the privilege of traveling internationally and living throughout the western U.S. and this summer I will return home to Seattle.

Each of us can create a quality of life that aligns with what matters most to us. It starts with a vision and by living in your integrity. The path towards your version of a well-lived life may be rocky, but a sense of peace will guide you.

Just begin.

8 thoughts on “My word of the year: Fuck!

  1. Congratulations and thanks for sharing! Working on my own path to a healthier work life/balance vs heavy corporate stress and burnout. Great inspiration!

    1. Awareness is the first and most important step. Sounds like you’ve got that covered. Good luck, Bob, and be well!

  2. Yes, and F*ck all this “stuff” in my way. Need declutter support, I quickly lose momentum/motivation when more space / having less stuff or too much stuff is all I think about. Every drawer, closet and cupboard is full. The Garage is almost full. Any advice? I do all the things you do, and prioritizing this closet/ garage clutter issue is pissing me off going into a new year with same old problem. No elbow room, and my “stuff” has some value, and I’m lazy about selling my stuff. And I sometimes cry when giving to charity – at myself for spending so much $ on junk 🙁

    1. Ah yes, I hear you. Travelling for the last 18 months, and my walk across Spain, helped me enjoy living with less stuff. Start with what causes you to buy stuff (are you filling an internal void?) and next time the buying impulse pops up do something else instead – bake a cake, take a walk, call a friend (hello:-))

  3. Love, love, love this! I’m excited for your journey and resonate with so much of what you noted: single mom, completely stressed, financially in upheaval, knowing you needed to shift to what truly motivates. Thanks for bringing us along. (You had me at “swear words.”).

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