Did you ever think you’d live through the twentyteenth of Mapril and the longest spring break in history when the days of the week didn’t matter anyway? As a parent, you were questioning if your tweens/teens would survive after being quarantined together for, well, FOREVER!

I hope you and your family enjoyed Christmas together, making the most of our current situation. Thankfully we’ve just passed the shortest day in the longest year in history, so we’re on our way to brighter days.

Read to the end and I’ll share my secret for putting Christmas gifts away!

But first, here’s a summary of how the pandemic rolled out for me. It’s been a gift in sandpaper as my Coach would say. Wonderfully and painfully transformative, like a caterpillar fighting to escape its cocoon before its wings were ready to fly. I’m a little impatient and Type A 🙄

March – My last day at a client’s office was the 24th, and my phone started ringing off the hook on the 27th as parents reached their limits with teens (and partners) home 24/7.

April – Let the staycation begin! Sleeping in and completing projects like fixing a king size duvet that took over the basement floor, took 2 people to move around and 4 days of sewing. My phone started ringing again on the 7th when virtual learning was announced, and moms were reeling with the extra workload, trying to juggle 2-4 kids schedules with one iPad/laptop.

May – “Holy shit, this is real and my business isn’t coming back!” Maybe all those phone calls are a sign I should pivot to primarily working with families, my hearts passion? My husband and I had a very honest financial discussion with our teens to manage expectations and develop a new budget.

June – Panic sets in. I did lots of deep breathing and finding clarity to create a private FB parenting group with weekly content and LIVE Q&As.

July – Rewriting my website and creating programs from my heart in an authentic voice I’d previously decided wasn’t professional. So many limiting beliefs!

August – Nothing is working. Nothing. Back to the drawing board to dig deeper. I forgot how to wear pants with a fly and belt.

September – You know when you just know? I took a call from a lady who found me on LinkedIn and it led to the most perfect, amazing business support I’ve ever had. My pants don’t fit anyway so Lulu’s and sweats it is! Zoom fatigue is real, please stop.

October – Starting over for the 3rd time and finding the passion and words I’d buried deep in my heart, along with more work than I’d ever done for more days in a row that I ever imagined, leaving a permanent butt imprint in my desk chair. Death by Zoom is becoming a thing.

November – Over 200 people register for my webinar! Still feeling like there’s a firehose in my face and an impossible number of tasks while working 10 hrs/day and letting go of fitness and healthy eating. Shocking revelation – I kept getting bigger!

December – Launched my FREE 5 Day challenge and (over 400 people have taken so far) my 8-week program starting January 19th. Reached my finish line by 6pm on the 23rd and enjoyed 3 FULL days off! Ok, 2.5, and they were amazing!

I’ve signed up for a weight loss program because in the event I’m required to wear dress pants in 2021 and this train needs some brakes before it grows into a new wardrobe!

As promised, here’s my secret to getting those presents away in perhaps already cluttered teenager bedrooms. My anxiety flares up when my environment feels overwhelmingly messy so this is critical for good vibes and positive mental health (we do this for birthdays as well).

1. Christmas presents must be put away by January 1st – Many times the presents are left under the tree or put back under the tree after use as we all appreciate the gifts we received.

2. An equal or greater amount of ‘things’ must come out of the room before the presents go in – Trying to keep our house at a low to medium level of clutter feels epic around Christmas. When the boys were little, I would help them and there was fierce negotiating. Letting go of items they LOVED but no longer used was an opportunity to give to those with less.

3. Plan the trip to donate so everything is bagged and at the door – Decluttering only works when the items no longer used/needed actually leave the house. Sometimes the boys would come with us if we were donating but either way, they were involved in the process to help them connect to gratitude and compassion.

This year has been a gift in sandpaper

I learned things (so much writing and technology) that felt hard and rarely worked the first time, shared experiences I’ve been afraid to talk about and uncovered clarity from piles of BS in my heart and head.

The opportunity to follow my passion and empower families to heal emotional pain and build healthy, respectful relationships isn’t one I would’ve given myself. I was drunk with the familiar and playing it safe was more important.

What’s been your gift in sandpaper this year? Maybe it was more time with family, an opportunity to see simple things you overlooked, learn a new hobby, explore your community or work on yourself. 

I’m wishing you and your family a Happy New Year full of rich relationships. Join my FREE masterclass below and learn my 3 pillars for creating an honest, connected relationship that lasts a lifetime, WITHOUT having to be a perfect parent.