5 Things I learned in 2018!

2018 was amazing! Far better than I ever would have imagined when the year started, right up to the end.

I’m sorry for having left you for so long without a post. But that too is part of my lessons learned, so I guess I should say Sorry/Not Sorry…read on to hopefully gain a better understanding of why.

At the start of 2018, I had made a resolution to eat better, lose my baby weight, be better…blah blah blah. In short, I made resolutions that (like many) I’m not sure I ever intended to keep. If I had to describe the year in one word, it would be FULL. 2018 was full of so much that it is actually exhausting just even thinking about trying to recap it all. Thankfully almost every station put together a year-end review snapshot of 2018; the good, the bad, and the ugly. The bad and the ugly parts were at times so bad that they almost completely overshadowed the good, and negatively impacted the outlook and overall moods of many. In fact, I came to a point where I had to tune everything else out so that I could focus on my true source of joy, my family.

So, without further ado, here are 5 very important lessons I learned in 2018:

5. I need to spend more time and money on things I need rather than things that I want. I spent a good amount of time in 2018 trying to purge and declutter. It wasn’t until the end of the year that I finally took responsibility for my role in the mess. Yes, I enjoy shopping. But, I can admit that 90% of the stuff I bought was more of a want than a need, and in the end, just took up space. Kids require lots of stuff as it is, I don’t need to add to it. I don’t see anything wrong with treating myself every now and then, but instead of shopping, I can do more practical things like treat myself to a nice lunch or mani-pedi; things that I can immediately enjoy and that don’t take up space.

4. Children are the best teachers for parents, but we only learn the lesson if we are willing to pay attention. I realized that the things I was telling my oldest not to say, may have been things she heard me say in one way or another when I didn’t realize she was listening. The same goes for her actions. Watching her interact with her siblings left me wondering…is that what I say and/or do to her? I ‘ve been paying more attention and listening more. Kids don’t beat around the bush or sugar coat, that’s something we learn as adults. They are straight shooters who will tell you what you sometimes don’t want to hear. I don’t want my kids to lose that quality and I’ve realized that in order to preserve this quality for later, I need to pay attention and listen now.

3. There is nothing that I cannot do. As you know, I embarked on a personal journey to rediscover myself and my joy. Having 3 kids in just under 4 years rocked my world. I got so wrapped up in taking care of them and settling into my role as a mom and wife that I lost sight of myself. What started as a mission to lose weight so that I looked more like myself, and making it a point to make time for myself, turned into more than I could have ever imagined. I lost a total of 24lbs, and I now weigh less than I did when I said “I Do” 6 years ago, but I gained so much more. In the process of losing my weight despite other women (haters) telling me it was impossible, I realized I was capable of doing so much more. I realized there was nothing that I cannot do. In 2018

  • I lost all of my baby weight and am almost back to my 20’s weight. Something many women told me was impossible. Yes, I have more stretch marks than I had in my 20’s and my boobs aren’t nearly as perky, but I’ve also got an amazing husband who loves me in any shape or form and that is priceless.
  • I started this Blog. This has been so therapeutic for me and I hope that at least one reader has benefited from it in some way.
  • I started a podcast called Sisters-in-love (formerly known as Bad, Bold & Beautiful) with my sister-in-law.
  • I turned the Bad, Bold and Beautiful brand into a podcast network and started my own podcast network which will hopefully produce amazing and beneficial content in 2019, with 2 new podcasts coming this year.
  • I started a second podcast with one of my husband’s (and now mine) best friends called “Let’s Think About This”
  • I got a great job that will allow me to further grow my skills and others.

But doing all this came at a price. My Awesome amazing husband was often running around with all 3 kids by himself, trying to be supportive of what I was trying to do, and I exhausted myself trying to run around and do everything while accomodating other’s schedules but my own. I realized that I was doing all this for my family, but at the expense of my time with them.

2. If you aren’t making more money to spend more quality time with your family, what’s the point? Success truly does come with a price. Having accomplished so much in such a short time was exhausting. I got so wrapped up in trying to keep all the balls in the air that something had to give and it was not going to be my family. I was the P.I. Mom on this blog, Ellie Elle on my podcasts, Ellen at work, mom at home…it was a lot. There were so many social media accounts and everything else to keep up with and try to balance in addition to everyone else’s schedules and with the holidays fast approaching, I wasn’t going to sacrifice the quality of my children’s experience to keep all these balls in the air, so I dropped the balls. I took a risk on letting everything fall apart by not investing the time because I chose to focus on my family and I have no regrets. Hence me being sorry/not sorry. I hope you understand. I’m not too old to dream and go for what I want, but I have too many responsibilities to make decisions as though I am still single and obligation free. My choices have consequences, especially when it applies to the time I spend with my husband and kids.

1. Be still – Sometimes, when life gets busy and it’s hard to figure out what the next step should be, I realized that for me the best thing to do was to be still and do nothing at all. After a while, the answer would eventually come and was usually the easiest and most obvious, but I needed to slow down to realize it. I don’t have to try to do everything at once. I could slow down and do one at a time, when life makes room for something new. I don’t have to be the P.I. Mom or Ellie Elle or any other alias to write this blog or do a podcast, I can just be Ellen Rhodes who aspires to do many things, but not at the expense of my relationship with my family, because everything I do is for them. And, if more money does not lead to more time with them, it’s not worth it. So, I may not always deliver a post on a perfect schedule, but hopefully, when you read it, it will be just what you need and therefore right on time.

Happy 2019 Everyone!

Your friend and fellow P.I. Mom,

Ellen Rhodes

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