Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin - December 2019

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December 2019

A Year of Challenge, a Year of Discovery

Our referrals continue to be one of the best ways clients find us, and we deeply appreciate it! for your trust and confidence. Thank you 2019 was a year of personal growth for me. In December 2018, it was a hectic time for my family. My family was met with a few health challenges that significantly impacted our lives. Several doctors suggested our family eat an anti- inflammatory diet —no dairy, gluten, soy, corn, refined sugar, dye, or peanuts. We took a deep breath and dove in. The change took a lot of our time. Getting a quick bite to eat at a restaurant was not an option. We planned for every trip away fromhome tomake sure we had meals and snacks for each day. We spent every weekend researching recipes, finding proper substitutes for ingredients, and prepping food for the week. Nearly everything had to be made from scratch. In the beginning, it felt like we were drowning, and any little thing that did not go as planned sent us spinning. I’m embarrassed to say there was a lot of complaining, throwing our arms up, and saying,“Why us?!” Thankfully, we hadmoments of clarity when we knew there had to be a better way. Our mantra became“Take one day at a time.”However, I began to feel lost. I was so concerned with our food plan, our health issues, keeping track of the medication schedule, and trying to give my children the love they needed that I forgot about me! Somewhere along the way, I developed an unwritten goal: Fight hard for myself. I decided to not be guilty. In order to be the best mom I can be, I must also be my best self, whichmeans respecting and giving time to the things that bringme joy. I want my children to see me do what I love because I want to teach them to do the things they love, even when it is not easy. Joy is contagious, and I wanted to be sprinkling joy all over my family. I started out by making a list of activities I enjoy. Guess howmuch time I spent doing those things? None. A few items on the list included spending one-on-one time with

my husband, reading fiction books and stories of inspiration, playing the piano, running, and doing yoga.

Because time was limited, I did not make a goal to read one book each month or run three times a week. Instead, I made a rule: When the feeling hits me, do it. Doing an activity I loved just one time was enough to push me to do it again and again. One book I read called“She’s Still There”shared the idea that“beautiful creations take time.”I found this idea comforting, and it encouragedme to stay committed to the process. I also learned frommy most difficult runs in the summer that our greatest improvements are achieved by pushing through barriers. A year later, I am joyful, and I feel more balanced. Over the past year, I read 10 incredible books. I alsomade time to run and do yoga. I play the piano while my boys dance around in the living room tomy music, andmy oldest son has now taken a liking to the piano. The joy of playing the piano was contagious. My husband and I had a week-long, restful getaway, and the more date nights we have, the more smiles you see on our faces. Through all the food prepping, cooking, and baking tomeet our dietary criteria, we have become quite the chefs. We canmake a mean chocolate cake with frosting and creamy homemade gelato. We eat delicious, healthy food, and our bodies thank us for sticking to the plan and not giving up. Most of all, I amproud that we have learned to“respond”instead of“react”to challenges. We complain less and experience more gratitude and patience. Instead of living in difficult moments as if they’ll last forever, we know it is only temporary. Life moves in waves of ups and downs. When we are“down,”we know we will soon be“up,”and that is encouraging. During this holiday season, I’m looking forward to doingmore of the things I love, like watching Christmas movies, riding the Polar Express, driving in the cold with the family to look at Christmas lights, drinking hot cocoa, and simply just being with the people I love most. Heading into the new year, I challenge you to honor yourself and do something you really love. That one simple stepmay lead you to experience personal growth that lasts the whole year. Happy holidays!

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