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My birthday is this week. Typically, most Leos like to celebrate the entire month. But this year is different because my Mom just passed away. It will be the first year where I won’t have a parent to call and wish me a “happy birthday.”

Birthdays are always a marker for me. I know most people use January 1st for new beginnings.  I’ve always used August 7th. It’s my time to change and re-evaluate, deciding what I do and don’t like in my life.

I’ve decided to share my journey of transformation with anyone interested in this new blog. It’s always been helpful to me to know I am not alone in this ever-changing world. Hopefully, you will feel the same. I promise that as I become more comfortable with putting myself “out there”, I will become more transparent.

The Cycle of Life

It’s been a challenging year. First, the loss of my Mom. Then, Cali, my amazing Cairn Terrier, has been having health issues, which is typical for a dog her age. She recently turned 15, and even though she’s tougher and stronger than most dogs half her age, I notice her eyesight and hearing have diminished. It makes me sad to watch her struggle. It hits me right in my heart and, honestly, I cry. Then, I remind myself that I need to be brave for her and pull myself together. I don’t like seeing her decline.

I lost my Dad two years ago, my Mom a few months ago, and to lose my girl would be like losing my heart because she is my heart. I can’t imagine my life without her. But then Cali will go to her hydrotherapy appointment and do a fabulous job, and I expect her to live forever. Those are moments of joy!

When my Mom passed away, I didn’t give myself a lot of time to grieve. I had a big upcoming event in June and having that focus helped keep me grounded. I felt a compelling need to move forward and make it fabulous!

Taking Time for Me

Once the event was over, I decided it was my time. This summer I have been moving at my own pace, reading more romance novels than I care to admit (but, hey, they’re lightweight and easy to digest). I’ve also rediscovered the public library. I walk the 30 minutes there and back several times each week giving me time to think, listen to motivational audios and add steps to my daily FitBit count. Did you know that they have no limit to how many books you can take out as well as books on audio and e-books? It’s fantastic and makes me feel quite rich!

Thank you for sticking with me so far.

Let me tell you a little bit about the name of this blog series: The Year of Choosing Me.

When I discussed this idea with my team, they were so excited. It was one of those goose bump moments when you know you are on the right track. Whether you define “choosing me” as focusing on better self-care, not settling or learning to put yourself first, I believe that if we don’t own our power, we will never have the life we desire. In other words, STOP giving your control away. Even though I’m pretty good at stepping into my power, I see lots of areas in my life where I’m not. That’s why I’m learning to choose me.

I believe that there’s a lesson to be learned when we lose someone we love. The message that keeps popping up for me from my Mom comes from the movie “Dirty Dancing.” There’s the infamous line where Patrick Swayze says, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.”

Well, in the year of choosing me, nobody puts me in the corner. That means it starts with me not putting myself in the corner. Yup, I’m committing to taking personal responsibility. Let’s see how it goes.

If this blog resonates with you, please share it with your friends and comment below.

Until next time,

Choose You,

Kate