At the beginning of 2014, in fact the first post of the year, I shared the three goals I would be focusing on as I gave the year a theme “Yes You Can“. And I thought it fitting that as I began the year at the coast (in pictures, and in life), I should end it there as well. Because just as the ocean is full of the most powerful strength that we really can’t fight but instead must move with, so too are the power of our dreams. For when we dream we can set some amazing waves in motion. Some which will lead us exactly where we had imagined, and others to destinations least expected, but upon reflection, very much appreciated.
Below are my three goals:
And I also promised to share my progress – success or not – as I attempted each. More importantly, I asked you to dream big right along with me. To dare to change your life into what you had hoped it could one day become. Because you really can make your dreams come true.
Upon pursuing our dreams, we aren’t going to attain exactly what we set out to achieve. In fact, my second goal didn’t turn out at all how I had expected. However, I would argue that by pursuing it, it gave me an even greater gift than I had anticipated. Let me catch you up quickly on that dream.
In my desire for the past handful of years to move from my small town in Oregon to either Bend, Walla Walla, or Portland, I gave each town/city test runs. Truly. I even rented an apartment in Portland for three months, and went so far as to search for a job in Bend last spring which was very difficult to do as I genuinely love teaching in my current position. However, as I mention in the post above, I craved the balance of a beloved professional life with a personal life that was rejuvenating. And in my last attempt to move, I placed my house on the market last spring.
What did I discover? I have an amazing life right where I am. While someday I will sell my beloved Normandy home, for now, so long as I can travel when the wanderlust bug bites me, have friends and family nearby and Walla Walla just down the road, I have a tremendous amount to be thankful for in the present moment. And isn’t that sometimes how life works? We have to explore outside the boundaries, outside our comfort zone or into parts unknown in order to really see what we need versus what we want. To determine what is worth letting go of and also to realize how wonderful everything is at that very moment.
And so to my third and final dream that I dared to pursue this past year: Write something important.
Now mind you, it’s not that I am assuming it is important in the traditional sense, but it was important to prove to myself that I could do it, that I would do it to the best of my ability and that I could see a life’s dream become a reality. And above all else, I wanted to write a book I wish I had had when I was growing up as I tried to successfully navigate the world as an independent, but fiercely feminine and determined woman.
Choosing The Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide is officially available to order in both paperback and eBook format from both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And the feedback, as I’ve mentioned before has been overwhelmingly kind and thoughtful. In fact, here are two bloggers who have already shared their reviews with readers – Frances Schultz and Susan Blakey of Une Femme d’un Certain Age.
What will readers discover when they pick up the book? Twelve chapters that will help you lay the groundwork for building your very own simply luxurious life. In other words, a refined life on an everyday income. Topics of in-depth discussion and specific tips include:
- How to design a life of purpose that is aligned with your passions and talents
- Financial independence
- How to cultivate a healthy mind and body
- How to build and maintain strong, loving relationships
- How to create a chic, timeless signature style
- How to design a comfortable home that is a true sanctuary
- How to travel in comfort and style both internationally and domestically
- How to entertain effortlessly (recipes, menus and tips for hosting)
- How to discover simple pleasures that make each day something to look forward to
- And for my fellow Francophiles – an entire chapter dedicated to all things French
Also, readers of TSLL have already begun to share the arrival of their signed copies on Instagram (here, here and here). You too can be included in these Flipagram posts, simply include the following tags: @thesimplyluxuriouslife #mysimplyluxuriouslife
But I want to get back to you. How has your 2014 gone? How did your year of “Yes You Can!” go? I have no doubt that you have grown into a more accomplished, wiser version of yourself than you were 12 months ago. Whether or not the dreams materialized as you hoped, the results have undoubtedly been fruitful.
You may not recognize now how your efforts have paid off. Or perhaps you are seeing some of the benefits, but more time needs to pass before you see the entire scoop of your time and perseverance. Trust me, it will be worth it.
On that note, I would love for you to share your successes, growth and attempts in the comments below. Don’t be shy. After all, not all of mine panned out either, but I am so very glad that I made the attempt.