A Birthday Reflection

By Kim Strobel

February 14, 2018

How to Embrace the Highs and Let Go of the Lows

This month, I’ll celebrate my 44th birthday. And like most people, when that big day approaches, I start to take stock of my life and ask myself a few questions (some of them kinda tough).

What was great about this past year? What was difficult? What were the “pretty” parts … and what was downright ugly about the past 12 months? What do I want to concentrate on for the new year, and what needs to be let go of from last year?

I’ve been contemplating these questions lately. But to be honest, I’ve not made a lot of headway just yet. It can be hard to nail down the answers to questions as big as these.

See, throughout the year (even week by week, or day by day), I fluctuate in my confidence levels. I’ll have intense periods of inspiration, where I’m firing on all cylinders, knocking it out of the ballpark. I’ve got it goin’ on, and I’m living up to my full badass potential!

Then there are the not-so-badass moments. When I worry that I’m flopping as an entrepreneur … or that I’m being a naggy wife … or a terrible mother.

What’s truly shocking is how wildly I can swing between these “versions” of myself. I can be living the highest of highs … and in the blink of an eye, I find myself in the gutter, beating myself up for every perceived imperfection or failure.

I know at least part of my mood is affected by these loooong days of winter. Fewer daylight hours, gloomy weather, bone-chilling cold. This time of year, I sometimes feel like I’m just going through the motions, doing what I need to do to get by.

But here’s the thing: I think maybe all this winter gloom is trying to tell me something. It’s trying to give me an opportunity—to “hibernate,” to reflect, ponder, and feel.

So, I find myself going within. To a place that doesn’t alway feel the best—but a place we all must visit from time to time nonetheless. It’s in this place I can take a hard look at myself. I can discover wounds within that require healing, broken pieces that need to be put back together. I can start trying to make these repairs with a little self love.

I know it won’t be a magical transformation. Even a happy, energetic, productive person like myself can’t be “on” all the time!

Here’s what I can do: I can feel grateful that I have more happiness in my life than ever before. I can embrace those times when I just need to be relaxed, or uninspired, or contemplative. I can emerge from my “hibernation” as the bright, beautiful sparkly being I know that I am!

And I can say loud and proud, “Happy birthday to me!”  

Question: What are your highs and lows from the past year? What have you learned from them? And how will you use what you’ve learned to move forward? Share in the comments below.

P.S. One of the “highs” in my life that makes me smile all year long is my pup, Joyful George! Need a smile, too? Check out George’s latest antics here (with guest appearances by Oscar and Sophie)

  • Kim,
    Thanks for such a thought-provoking newsletter. I too feel like I am high one day and then a few days later I am “in the pit”. But your analysis of the winter gloom is trying to tell me something hit home for me.
    I am wondering also if there is something up ahead in the Springtime for me. Regardless I am taking a much-needed break this weekend and heading to a friends lakehouse to rest and relax.Regroup.

    Thanks for the newsletter and have a great weekend.

    • Thank you, Susan! It just helps to know that it’s OK to feel this way and to nurture and love ourselves! Much love to you!

  • I have been on a big low for a year and 4 months now. I filed for divorce then, moved out for four months, moved back in for almost a year to try and work it out and I just moved out again 3 weeks ago and going ahead with the divorce. I have been with my guy for 30 years. I felt lonely at home for years but this is a new kind of lonely. I can’t get my own place until the divorce is final so I’m just living with a friend. I know that I will feel much better when I do get my own home. I feel like I have failed my kids but realize now that I can’t live my life through them. I am expecting my first grandchild in July but it is overshadowed with the divorce. I still try to put a smile on my face and be happy everyday with positive thoughts and dream of one day having my happily every after. Life is so short and I refuse to be unhappy.

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