Oh the memories.
This was my first home after I left the shelter. 900 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 1 very tiny bathroom. The washer was in the kitchen and the dryer was in a closet in another room. The kitchen floor was a hodge-podge of different laminates pieced together to form a somewhat workable floor. The bathroom was between the bedrooms and made it really awkward for guests if the kids were sleeping. There were holes in the kitchen and living room walls that I patched up the best I could, but never got around to painting because I couldn’t even afford a gallon of paint. My bedroom wall was splintery wood pieced together to hide even more holes. It was in a neighborhood where there were people shot and you couldn’t go to the park without seeing some kind of drug deal or being threatened.
But it felt like a palace. It felt like freedom. It felt like hope.
See, we were coming from one bedroom with a twin bunk bed that the three of us shared. So two bedrooms, a private space for me, was about next to heaven on my list. We were coming from a shelter with 150 other women and children, so solitude, the ability to have quiet, was an answered prayer.
I loved that house.
I loved that the landlord let me rent it. Because I shouldn’t have been able to. My credit was in the toilet, I had unpaid evictions on my record, and I had no “good credit” with anyone. All I had was my word and my story. And she believed in me and trusted that I could make it work. So I did.
We lived there for two years before upgrading to a nicer, newer home.
That was the house where I decided to upgrade my life. The house where I started back to school. The house that I started my first job that I loved. The house I was in when I started to open my heart back up a little. It was a house where growth happened. Even though I couldn’t see it at the time. Even though all it felt like then was work. MOre of the same. Trudging uphill.
Looking back, I can see how those changes have impacted my life, but at the time, I just felt like I was doing what I needed to do in order to survive.
I was embarrassed that I was on state assistance, embarrassed that I couldn’t even afford a little run-down place like this without help.
But because of that, I made the changes necessary, one small step at a time.
Which brings me to 2018. The Little Big Year.
Here I am, with a beautiful home, a wonderful job that I love, and a happy little family. Our life is pretty stable these days. Not a lot of struggling or scraping by. And I am so incredibly grateful for that.
But I have become complacent lately, and upon becoming complacent I became bored. And boredom led to a bout of depression.
I don’t like to feel like there is no more to accomplish, no more to do.
So, in 2018, I am going back to basics. Back to the little changes that make such a tremendous impact on what my future might hold.
I have no resolutions for this year. No big “I am changing EVERYTHING going forward from this day” attitude. No big announcements of weight loss or monetary goals.
Instead, I have determined that 2018 is a year to focus on the small habits that will impact my life long-term.
This is the year where the little things become the big things again and life moves in a positive direction as I go back to the basics of becoming who I want to be.
I wrote a list of 12 habits I would like to implement in 2018. Each month I will focus on only ONE small habit. I will do this until they are engrained into the very fiber of who I am, a habit that becomes me. It will not be a dramatic change, but over time, I am excited to see what the growth looks like.
Here’s to a new year and a new lease on life! I am excited to see what happens.
Did you make New Year’s resolutions? What is your plan for 2018? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear it!!!
Happy New Year Shannon!