Happy New Year, everyone!
Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy and happy year!
January 1st is slightly overwhelming – I feel like I need to make all these goals on how to live my life going forward.
2016 was a big year. I took the leap and switched jobs, taking on a more challenging patient population and leaving the comfortable routines behind. Simply turned the big O-N-E and it was amazing to see how far we have come in a year. I celebrated my first year as a dietitian, which was so surreal… I have been so amazed to see how far I have come since that first grad class/internship rotation/first day of work. I was able to get away several times this year, connecting with family, friends, and colleagues and indulging in amazing experiences and food.
But as much as 2016 was an amazing year full of excitement and joy, there were some rough patches… the blog broke during the transition between hosting sites, the GIGANTIC case of nerves during my first week of the new job, and the occasional thoughts of “Am I good enough…?”.
As I reflect back on 2016, I have found that there are ways to take those rough patches and smooth them over for a more balanced, healthy 2017.
In both my job and blogging, I have occasionally looked at my work and the work of other and thought, “OMG, what am I doing? Their work is clearly superior and mine is junk”. From worrying that I am not working my hardest at the hospital to getting frustrated that my pictures do not look like my favorite food bloggers, the stress of comparison weighs down very heavily. It is absolutely exhausting physically/mentally/emotionally when you compare your actions to those around us. And I am completely through being exhausted.
So I have decided TO STOP COMPARING myself to others.
I know that I have the skills to be a competent dietitian who provides excellent patient care. I know I have the skills to develop recipes and photograph them well. I need to stop focusing on other people and start focusing on myself and my actions… because how can we continue to grow without knowing what needs to be truly improved upon.
Take a Breath
One of the most gut-wrenching moments of 2016 was when I was having a pretty rough week of work coupled with a frustrating stretch of recipe development. Between the exploding hospital census and my inability to get a recipe the way I wanted it, I was done. All I can remember of one particularly frustrating day is grabbing my office keys and pager and going for a walk outside while sobbing to my dad on the phone. I had never felt so frustrated/helpless/overwhelmed in my life. My dad told me one thing…
Because how can we actually sort out what is wrong when we are sobbing on the phone surrounded by traffic and crowds. Taking that mental break and taking a deep breath helps give a moment of clarity. What is wrong and how can I fix it? Best advice ever, Dad!
Do Joyful Things
I love blogging. And I love the amazing people who read along. But, as much as I love it, blogging can become a chore. It is a blur of recipe development, deadlines, photo editing, and social media scheduling algorithms. On some days, the last thing that I want to do is sit and blog. But I love the creative process. I love putting together recipes, dancing around my kitchen while stirring pasta sauce, hanging precariously off furniture to get the perfect shot, and interacting with you on social media.
The creative process GIVES ME JOY.
So while I hate having to go through 100+ photos for each recipe, I love the process that gave me those 100+ pictures. I love talking with you about recipes and different ingredients. I love the moment when you know you have taken the winning shot. Going forward, I will focus a little less on the end product and a bit more on the joyful journey!
Today starts a new year. A new opportunity to view the world with fresh eyes. A first step in accomplishing the goals I have set out for myself for the next 365 days… I can’t wait to get started.