Year End Rituals

Year End Rituals

November and December always throw me for a loop. When November hits I get extremely motivated and also very distracted. I get this mix of ideas, inspiration, and energy, but with that energy comes a lot of brain hopping. I’m over here, I’m over there, I’m thinking about this, I’m looking into that. Boing boing boing. I do things and forget about them, do webinars and trainings, and write down about 64 random lists and thoughts as they come into my head. I’m excited and sort of overwhelmed all at once.

By December I’m ready to let my brain marinate in all of the creative juices November has blessed me with. Plus, I’m exhausted. I feel like I’ve been training for a marathon I had no business signing up for in the first place. My main desire by the middle of December is to curl up with 14 blankets and take a nice long nap.

I’m really into fresh starts and December is the perfect time to start priming the pump for the new year. I have a 10 day break from work every year in December and it’s the ideal time to spend getting ready for whatever I decide the next year will be about. I cozy up at home, work on a vision board, and get clear on what I want to focus on in the year ahead. I watch movies while I work, listen to music, drink lots of tea, and write. I make plans, write lists, and pick a direction to go in. It’s INFJ heaven at my house from Christmas to the New Year.

The routine I’ve gotten into over the past three years has served me well and I’m really looking forward to keeping the momentum going this year. Here’s to 2019 and all of the amazing things it may bring!

The Shift

The Shift

Life feels abundantly full lately. Things have shifted for me and it’s been such a relief.

For one, I’ve stopped trying to figure out a side hustle to bring in extra income. Yes, it was nice getting a check every month when I was writing on the side but y’all, I missed my free time. Yes, it would be nice to earn passive income, but my heart just isn’t in cooking up an idea and executing it. Not right now. I’m still writing my newsletter once a week, and working on my podcast has given me a great outlet for my creativity.

I also stopped and took a hard look at how I’m treating this body I live in. I’m often the first to fall prey to a plate of chocolate chip cookies or a bowl of ice cream but my perspective has shifted. I’ve finally stopped connecting my diet to my appearance, weight, and size, and have moved toward, “Will this help me do cartwheels when I’m 80?” I’ve been inching toward cutting the crap that has no value added, but in reading Better Than Before, I realized some things that were holding me back from totally making the switch. It’s easier to resist that warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie when I keep the future in mind. The best part is that I don’t feel deprived- I feel like I’m in control. I never thought I’d see the day when I could live without cheese, but here I am, doing just fine without meat, dairy, sugar, and alcohol. My health comes first these days. Learning I had PCOS was definitely a wake up call for me.

In the same vein, I joined a gym. It hurt to say goodbye to that money but I’m not dreading working out like I was before. Why? The shift. Away from, “How fast is my 5k and did I lose any weight?” to, “What is this body capable of?” Not holding myself to any expectations really helps too. I do what I feel like doing. It all counts. There’s no agenda here. No goal six months away. No time to beat. Just me.

I talked about this before, but when I went off of social media in June it was  life changing. I didn’t want to go back. When I log into Facebook or Instagram now, I’m bored. I’ll scroll a bit, but I fail to see the point. When I think about all of the things I used to post, feeling obligated to say something, share my thoughts, and be present, I feel exhausted. Does anyone care about half of the stuff I post about? Nah –  and they shouldn’t. It’s unnatural to cherry pick my best thoughts and constantly share them with others. Why force everything into an Instagram caption or Facebook post? It’s been fun keeping things to myself, sharing them with my husband or a friend in person, or writing them down and letting them marinate in my brain.

I’m fully back into gratitude and working my way toward regular meditation. Both of these things make me feel good and they’re simple. Meditation can feel complicated, but the idea is simple. Sit with your thoughts. Accept them. Move on. Repeat. And gratitude? Easy peasy. I regularly take a minute to stop and appreciate the things I’m grateful for. Like yesterday, when I stopped to savor just how much I love beans. BEANS, of all things. It’s the little stuff.

I’ve been getting out into the sun. Most days during the week on my lunch hour you can find me out on my beach blanket in the grass, reading (or cat napping if I’m being real) in the sun. It’s a delectable way to spend your lunch hour. I recently added in ocean sounds and it’s as close to the beach as I can get on a work day.

I went on vacation. A glorious nine day trip away from my regularly scheduled life. Never in my independent adult life have I taken a proper vacation with no other agenda and I’m pretty sold on the premise. “Welcome to the party.” –Everyone else.

Other than all of that, I’ve been trying to work on how I show up. Instead of being short, impatient, and snippy, I’m hoping I can start to move toward a more compassionate way of being. I do well with this at work but I’m not always great at doing it in the rest of my life. Yep. Owning that. Working on it.

I’m so stinking grateful for this life. When I think about my life two or three years ago, I’m floored with how much things have changed. I’m trying to savor moments with people, places, and things I love and it’s making a huge difference.

Hi there!

Hi there!

Hello and welcome to JessicaILutz.com! With 2018 fast approaching, it felt like time to unify my online presence and get organized. As soon as November hits I always get really motivated to get organized, make plans, and strategically think things out. This year was no exception. With so many changes in 2017 (we bought a house and got married!) it felt fitting to go ahead and tune up my online presence too.

In a past life, I ran JSeeksJoy.com, and there will always be a part of me that is seeking joy. J Seeks Joy served a very real purpose in my life and was exactly what I needed for a few years. If you ever get nostalgic, I’m leaving the site up for now so you can go visit any time.

Thanks for being here! I look forward to getting this new site up and running and starting 2018 off strong.