Adios 2017 and here’s to 2018!

2018 is almost here, and I just wanted to spend a little time on some writing therapy to go through my year and begin to set myself up for an even better 2018 than 2017. I’ve always found New Year’s a bit anti-climatic and all too often an “easy” time to make a “resolution”. That said, I think any day can be the day you move your life forward in the direction you want, and New Year’s can be that fresh start if you want it. That’s the key though, you have to really want it. Your true intent needs to be to change, not just do the “resolution”. I think one of the reasons people fail those “resolutions” is because it’s more of a wish than a true resolution (def: a firm decision to do or not do something). Set your mind to it and don’t give in until it’s done. Oh, and I suggest having the resolution be a progression to 100%, so when the day comes you fail, it only means you make it longer the next time, and the time after that, and the time after that, etc. It’s a process to reach those resolutions, decide how bad you want it and stick to it though the “failures”.

This all comes at an interesting time for me personally. I absolutely love my life. I have a career of teaching life lessons through the sport of swimming, and get to do that on multiple levels, which has been amazing. My relationship with my wife has never been stronger, as we approach 20 years married. My son is doing his thing as a freshman at a great university, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. My puppy, while still a handful at times ;-), makes me smile. And while there is still so much more I could say, in the end I am alive and get to live my life. That said, it’s not easy to care so much about things and not let stress and disappointment get to you, and boy has the past month been a roller coaster of emotions and stress. (Which brought me to this writing therapy)

Don’t worry, I won’t bore any of you still reading this with a breakdown of those emotions and stress, I more just want to share my feelings. I’ve learned very clearly that I my body does not handle stress well. Similar to this summer, I spent most of the end of December laid out and in pain. Maybe again pushing a little too much with travel, etc, but really it came down to a stressful situation and disappointment. I’ve battled with a question all of my career, and that question is if one can care too much as a coach? I mention stress more often than not because it’s how it all manifests itself the most, but in the end it is disappointment. It is the whole idea of more often than not people not appreciating the heart and soul put into teaching lessons, until they are long gone from the sport. I can wrap my head around that, but it’s just hard to forget about the heartache along the way when you are in the middle of it. I also fully understand that most can’t understand this type of feeling. They don’t care as much about their careers in this way, so don’t understand what they do when they do and say the things that come out.

Okay, so therapy writing does need to have some of that release, but I’d rather not focus on that now. I’d like to continue my process of looking forward in life and staying positive that great life is ahead. It’s been an interesting year for sure though. I’ve spent a good portion looking to improve myself as a person and a coach. I’ve had a chance to work with a life coach, which has been awesome. Thanks Kathie. I’ve read quite a few books on understanding more about what I think life it all about and how I want to live it. The crazy thing is that the more I look to improve, the more I learn about and see my weaknesses (by my own definition btw, not anyone else’s thoughts), then the harder this seems to be getting.

Being the hardest person on yourself can take you far in life, but it also challenges you in situations in which you want to change and improve. The thing is I will always expect more of myself. I know the weaknesses I want to change now, and since I do know, I want it changed NOW! Unfortunately it hasn’t quite worked that way, so I am now working my meditation and other tools to help me during that process.

Life is full of ups and downs. The only way to truly avoid those are to stop trying to move forward, and I’m not ready to do that. I have a lot of life ahead and me, and I plan to life it to my fullest. So I continue to learn my process, how to handle things that come up, and remembering to take care of myself. Yet another skill that I developed in swimming, the ability to just “push through”, that has brought me many great things in life but also takes away from my ability to take care of myself. By my definition, I am “okay” until I am not, which these days is way too late. It’s time for me to learn new ways. Learn when to push and when to step back. When to take care of myself and when I am truly okay, or maybe stop trying to draw that line and always take care of myself in different ways.

As I sit and type this only hours from the new year, I want to end with some things I am grateful for this year. Of course my family is number one for me. My friends continue to be there for me, and I am especially thankful for friendships that seem to be so in line that I hear from them when I need them most. Thank you all.

Here are just some things for the year that I am very appreciative:

> Thank you to the Trojan flyers I get to work with quite a bit and for the very kind words this morning. You’ve made my New Year’s Eve, so thank you!

> TEAMjeff continues to provide amazing support. I had a story recalled to me this month as well. (So obviously not all bad this month 🙂 Many of you may have seen this on twitter, but here is my tweet:

I love the sport of swimming, story shared with me: “saw a MVN kid with a team jeff shirt on,so i asked her what it meant. Her answer, “he’s a famous coach and if we wear these shirts it helps him beat cancer.” my response ,” it’s working, keep it up” Yes it is! Ty @TEAMjeffj

How incredible is that?

> Over 2 years after my diagnosis, I got to see my son graduate from high school and begin his career as a Bear. Something that if I listened to the first Doctor’s I visited, I would never have seen.

> I’m honored to have the opportunities to share my story in the cancer advocacy world in hopes of sharing inspiration and doing my small part to try to help those that will need to take this journey themselves.

> I am also honored to work with some of the best age group and college coaches in the nation and world, and I thank you all for sharing your passion for the sport and the swimmers.

I think that is good for now, and thank you all. I wish you all the Happiest of New Year’s. Be safe, have fun, and I wish you nothing but the best in 2018!

3 thoughts on “Adios 2017 and here’s to 2018!

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