It’s that time of year when we reflect on the past 365 days – the glorious moments, the critter-filled challenges and antics (because that is totally how we roll on the farm), the experiences lived, and the moments missed.  It’s also that time of year when we look hopefully and optimistically into the next 365 days with dreams that we will make it count, challenge ourselves to be and do better, and, if you are like me, that tiny little nagging voice in your head that says, “Will you really live up to your own expectations?”

Oh yes, those little internal voices. Gremlins.  Mine have had a lifetime of criticizing, chastising, and  just downright tormenting me.  That is until 2017 when the tide began to turn.  It was a year of change, the time when I finally learned the meaning of enjoying the journey, and the beginning of being a-okay with my serious lack of perfection.

Last January, I decided to heck with resolutions, because who am I kidding, I never kept them anyway.  Instead, I made a vision board and filled it with words, images, and thoughts that inspired me, that laid out the life I wanted to live. (In fact, I wrote about the vision board last year and it was my first article for this very paper.) 

Something started with that vision board.  I started thinking about the person I wanted to be, the things I wanted to try, the possibilities.  I started listening, listening to my insides.  My not so perfect but oh so me insides.

Then came springtime, and things lined up just right; I had my soul listening ears on, and I hired a life coach.  I did it on a whim.  I saw her website, and thought “Why not?”  And before I could talk myself out of why I didn’t need to spend the money or convince myself that I’d be the same me at the end of it, just with less cash in my pocket, I signed up for an exploratory session, and IT. CHANGED. MY. LIFE.

Working with my coach, I discovered who I wanted to be, who I didn’t want to be, and how to harness the little voices in my head and turn them from tormentors into cheerleaders. Now let’s be serious, it was not all rainbows and unicorns.  There were tough moments.  Moments of doubt and frustration.  But my world slowly went from black and white to shades of grey to full on technicolor magic.

When I look back on 2017 I see where I went head to head with some of my most ingrained thoughts on what it means to be spiritual, to live my best life, to follow my creativity, to plan but still hope and dare and most of all find deep down, soul loving joy.

For maybe the first time in my life, I started to believe in me.  In the possibilities all around.  Oh and trust me, I have oodles more work to do.  I mean when you spend a lifetime letting your gremlins drive the car, sometimes you still have to take a stick and whack them into the backseat.

So as the new year begins and you sit and ponder if 2018 will be different, I encourage you to listen to the messages that are swirling around you, the good people in your life who are encouraging you, and take a chance on something that just might make all of the difference for you, whether it’s creating your own vision board, finding a coach, or listening to what your soul already knows.

Tammy Ammon is a Somervell County resident, blogger, farmgirl, wife, and mom to a gaggle of fur-kids. She shares her rarely graceful, sometimes challenging, and always hilarious farm life on her blog – myfarmtasticlife.com. Contact her via email at tammyammon@gmail.com.