Is it just me or did 2020 sneak up on me really quick? I love New Years. I love to look back at my year – the memories, the friendships, the adventures. I don’t judge my past year based on my accomplishments, but as I look back, I wonder if I loved enough, if I was kind of enough, was I there for the people dear to me, was I there for myself. Did I face my challenges with courage and grace? Was a vulnerable and open to people and the world? And yes, I look at the parts I’m not so proud of. Did I let fear get in the way of being authentic? Did I run from my emotions when they were difficult to deal with? Did I learn from my mistakes? Did I forgive myself for my mistakes? Was I grateful?
I can answer each of those questions with the same answers, sometimes I was great, sometimes I was okay, and sometimes I was awful. And then there was the time I just ran away from life for a bit. (My trip to Glacier happened because I was running from life). I had life experiences that knocked me into new awareness about my life. There was love and laughter, hurt and pain, growth, a voice in my gut pushing me to change, daring, fear, and so much more. I love 2019 for exactly what it was, a chance for me to completely human and to connect with the world around me through all my failures and successes. I’m completely grateful for living day to day in 2019.
And now it’s 2020, a new year and a new decade. I’m not setting any expectations for the year. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that expectations cause pain. When what I expected doesn’t happen, I get hurt. But expectations also limit my vision, my options, my possibilities because I already have an expectation for how things should be. I’d much rather go with the flow and see what happens. This is one of the reasons I don’t do resolutions. They dictate too strongly what I should be doing for the year. I also don’t like resolutions because they typically focus on accomplishments. I more interested in how I lived in connection to those around me.
I do have a running list of ideas of things I would love to do, experiences to try out, places to explore, and so on. It’s not a set list, and it is always changing with ideas added or deleted. I don’t put any dates or timelines on any of the ideas. But what I’ve found is that when it is time for one of these ideas to happen things just align in my life for it to happen. But I don’t stress about if they do or don’t happen!
I have also been inspired by my friend Leslie. Last year she did 19 for 2019 which was a list of things she wanted to experience or try in her life. The focus of the list wasn’t on accomplishments but on life experience and growth. So, I’ve been thinking about my list of ideas for 2020. I definitely don’t have a list of 20 and like my running list of ideas, I’m sure this will change. But here are a few ideas I’d like to try out this year – take ukulele lessons, take a pottery throwing class, do some standup comedy, visit a National Park I haven’t been to yet, and save for retirement.
Honestly, the biggest hope I have for this year is to be present and stay in the moment, to accept life exactly as it happens, and to build deeper connections with all I know and love. I sense this is going to be a difficult year with the upcoming presidential election that is focus on dividing us.
I have been thinking about what role I can take in making this year a little brighter and easier on us all. My gut tells me that I have to share my words and thoughts to encourage more love and kindness in this world, so that’s what I’ve got to do. However, I do think the change I’m capable of is within me and through the connections I make in this life.
So, my focus is on community and building a community I’m excited to be a part of. Ogden is my home and my community, so this year I’m focusing on deepening my connections with love and kindness in Ogden. Even though I don’t do resolutions, I do pick a word each year as mantra to help guide me through the year and my 2020 word is community. I’m looking forward to being present and connected to you all this year. Happy New Year!