Lessons, growth, change, improvement
Every Book I Read (or Listened to) This Year
More and more each year, I’m grateful for the gift of time with my family and friends. Spending quality time with people is one of my favorite things. I’m a true extrovert in that way. The more time I spend with people, the more time I want to spend with people.
This year has been rich with quality time and experiences with so many people that I love. From a ski trip with Justin to the full family being together in South Carolina to a quick trip with my mastermind group in August and even more in between those things. I’m humbled and just truly feel so grateful for the time and travel I’ve gotten to enjoy this year.
In the middle of the year, I experienced a mental and physical shift that forced me to look inward and ask myself, “how am I really doing?”. It was necessary and while I’m still working on being honest with myself when I answer that question, I’ve already been able to recognize things in myself that I can change for a healthier lifestyle and mental state.
I share a lot of the positive and happy things with you here online, but I want to take a moment to write out some of the things swirling around in my head that I want to improve or work on for next year. It’s getting harder and harder to be vulnerable online, but I think vulnerability and honesty are what make this space important.
5 Things I’m Working to Improve/Adjust for next year:
One. I’d like to be more in tune with myself, mentally and physically. The older I get and the more I grow in my work here, the less time I spend paying attention to myself. “K8smallthings” and “Kate Bryan” are the same person, although I’ve noticed that the challenges of my job have made “K8smallthings” a harder person. I have less patience and I can be defensive when I don’t really need to be. Inbounding endless, albeit often benign, feedback has taken a toll on my patience and I’m sorry that I allowed that to happen. I want to restore a bit of softness back to myself and learn better boundaries in how I manage hateful commentary that comes along with this job.
Two. I want to prepare and be proactive in learning about my kids so I can support them as they grow. The best way I can do this is by reading books recommended by parents further along the road than me. I want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me with anything they are going through, and I always want to make sure I have the time, attention, and grace to listen and support them. I also need to be better about spending one on one time with each of them. I simply haven’t made this a priority and I need to. It’s challenging because despite ensuring that the other two WILL get a one-on-one date with the parent, we’ve had to manage hurt feelings of being left out when we’ve done one on one stuff in the past, especially with the boys. They are so close and we really treat them like twins in a lot of ways, but that isn’t reason enough to not prioritize one on one time with each child.
Three. I want to celebrate career success and feel confident about my work. I’m a “head down and keep going” kind of person, and Amanda, who I’m so grateful for, does such a good job of making me stop and notice the career wins. I am so proud of how far I’ve come in both sustaining and growing this space online, especially since it has all developed out of a creative hobby when I had extra time in 2011. Influencers, and this industry, continue to be an area that people seem to enjoy demeaning and devaluing, despite its marked success, and I want to ensure that I’m doing my best work to add to the unique, creative, and impressive community of other Influencers!
Four. I want to prioritize finding and investing in friendships. One of the hardest things to admit is that I’ve felt quite lonely this year. I had a notable shift in my social life this year, for a few personal reasons, and I’ve simply felt lonely. I work from home, I exercise at home, I’m a mom to three young kids, and I don’t have a lot of free time to commit to developing friendships. Finding friends in your 30’s is hard! I’ve had to work through feelings of being used because of my “fame” through my work, and it takes me longer to trust new people because I want to ensure they want to foster a friendship because of a personality match instead of my Influencer status. It’s hard to type this out if I’m being completely honest, but it’s been a challenge that I’ve had to acknowledge and work through this year.
Five. I want to give and serve more. I don’t know exactly what this means yet, but I’m hoping to really nail it down at the beginning of the year. Giving financially is something we do regularly, but I’d love to find more opportunities to give in other ways, like through my time, skills, etc. I want my kids to see this and hope it inspires them to do the same.
There is so much more, and so many more sweet memories from the year, but these were just a few things at the top of my mind that I’m hoping to work on next year.