Letting Go of Guilt - my 2017 recap

So I've been wanting to do a re-cap of my 2017 for a while now. I've even sat down with my laptop to start the process a few times. But every time I've started typing the words fail me. So I've given up. 

This time though, I'm going to push through.

What can I say about 2017? First off, it was a bit of a blur. While it was happening, it felt like it was passing wayyy too fast. And now that I'm looking back it seems like I can't remember everything that happened in detail like I'd like. 

Here's what I can remember happened for sure:

Overall, I had a pretty good year for the most part.

Yes, there were some difficulties. I lost my last living biological grandparent, experienced some physical health issues that I'm still currently dealing with, and moved out on my own again (so I'm re-adjusting to the finances that come with living alone). 

But I realize there are so many whose situation is worse than mine, so I try my best not to complain excessively about the lows life can bring.

However, for all the things I successfully accomplished in 2017, there's a list of things I didn't accomplish. At first when I was thinking back on my 2017, I was feeling pretty good about my year. Then I started flipping back through my planner and saw the goals I had written down but never got to cross off.

And at first I was disappointed in myself. I started asking what I was doing last year that prevented me from crossing those items off of my "to achieve" list. I immediately forgot all the things I had managed to make happen underneath the looming shadow of the things I hadn't. I really started feeling like I had basically wasted the year away.

Guilt /gilt/ noun: a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation.

That's what I was feeling. Like I had ultimately failed in 2017. Sure, I had a few shining moments - but did that really outweigh all that I hadn't accomplished.

Then this morning as I was walking my dog I had a realization. I gotta let go of that guilt. I can't focus on what I didn't achieve last year, residing in this space of self-pity, "woe is me"-ness. Nah. Because how will that help me moving forward in 2018 to achieve anything? (Hint: it won't). 

Truthfully, I feel like there's always something lingering around to feel guilt about. Always. 

  • Guilt I don't pick up my camera everyday to shoot.
  • Guilt that I'm not creating enough on a consistent basis.
  • Guilt that I don't always want to post to instagram. 
  • Guilt that I don't focus enough on growing my business. 

So. Many. Things. To feel. Guilty. About. 

But I don't wanna spend my 2018 drowning in guilt. I have no desire to start my year off with those feelings looming over me. So instead I'm going to look at what I didn't achieve in 2017 and figure out what held me back, then use that information to re-assess my goals in 2018 and plan accordingly. I'm realizing that I have to release the guilt and replace it with grace. Life isn't perfect, so why should I expect myself to be? Everyone has their own journey, so I shouldn't feel guilt that my path doesn't match the next person's. I shouldn't hold myself up to their standards - it's not fair and it's not realistic.

So looking forward to my 2018 and how I want it to play out, I think release will play an important role. 

Releasing expectations. Releasing disappointment. Releasing negativity. Releasing stress. Releasing guilt.

Whatever your new year is about, whatever plans you may have, I hope you learn to let go of guilt and replace it with grace as well.

Happy New Year <3