In 2015, life got busy. I took on a new job, planned a wedding and got married – maybe my busiest year yet. Suddenly it was January of a new year. I wanted to give myself the month of January to come back to HSL with a renewed perspective. I began by reading my post from Dec. 2014 when I completed my first goal setting session. I did the same exercise and added an honest reflection of my life since I began blogging.
Her Savory Life began with one objective – to teach myself and others how to define life success in new terms. Looking back, I can see how my philosophy on building a happy life has evolved through my own teachings and experiences.
A chapter-by-chapter review:
Early 2014: After the “Greece epiphany,” the first 6 months of HSL were focused on living in the moment – enjoying lots of food, culture, family and all that Philly had to offer.
Late 2014: That summer I left a job that had unilaterally defined and driven my obsession with corporate success. I walked away from a stellar reputation at a reputable company – one that could have carried me through a 30-year career. And for that reason it was the riskiest, most pivotal learning opportunity of my life. I went to an ad agency – thinking it was the catalyst I needed to get away from the corporate ladder and dive into my creativity. It turned out that the agency environment wasn’t any closer to helping me live meaningfully. Another risk, another reward. It was during this period that I turned the focus of HSL toward actionable and tangible methods of living happily. I began meditating, practicing gratitude and studying philosophy. I gained more clarity about who I am and what I DIDN’T WANT. Thus my journey pivoted once more.
Early 2015: I had just taught my first “Happiness Workshop,” and was gaining momentum, but realized this passion of helping people live happily is truly a long game. I needed more time to learn and test happiness theories while I continued working in communications. In the short time that I left the big corporate job, I had learned so much more about myself that I was able to target the right environment for my day job and define my own success metrics on a holistic level. I now work for a CIO – I write all of his communications and drive his engagement strategy. And while I chose to work for an executive again, I found one who understands that there is more to life than what you see on the outside. The first thing he asked me in my interview was, “what gives you meaning and what is your life’s purpose?” I knew this was a step in the right direction...
Late 2015: Wedding planning was in full swing and when I wasn’t at the day job, I was planning. Geoff and I learned that we are very resolute about who we are and what we want, even when it goes against the grain.
Early 2016: Today I’m picking up where I left off…and taking all of these lessons with me.
My Top 5 Lessons for 2016:
1. It is OK to not to be able to do it all. It took one year to finally realize that I shouldn't apologize for needing down time. We all do – and it became a matter of letting myself focus on the things that were crucial and letting go instead of being hard on myself for not doing everything.
2. This journey is a marathon, not a sprint. This sounds so cliché and I cringed when I typed it but it is so true. It also directly compliments #1. As long as you aren’t stagnant and open to learning from everything that you are doing, you are making progress.
3. Surround yourself with positivity. You won’t always be able to control people in life who are toxic, have major egos or don’t agree with how you do things. But you can control who impacts you. This is one of the hardest to do but so worth it when it clicks.
4. Love is my faith. The process of wedding planning was a mirror to who we are as a unit and why we understand each other. There were a lot of resources and templates available but we chose our own path. While writing my wedding ceremony, I was reminded that love is and has always been my guiding light and I am proud of my unwavering stance on love as my religion.
5. Everything is about getting outside of your comfort zone. Again, cliché statement, powerful result. Ever since I started HSL I have been out of my comfort zone and don’t see myself getting back into one anytime soon…