The last two years have felt like a blur. Time slowed and warped – my memories are all hazy. Did that happen this past year or was that 2020? I honestly have no idea. It seemed like we were living in an episode of The Twilight Zone.
I’m not one for specific resolutions at a new year, but I do like the idea of looking back, assessing, and looking ahead. And I like setting a word of intention for the year to be my guidepost. This year, after the chaos and haze of 2020/21, my word is PLAN.
The drifting and coasting and waiting for the next insane thing to happen has run its course. Early into the pandemic, freshly laid-off and on unemployment for months, with zero national leadership on how to navigate the pandemic, “wait and see” was a perfectly acceptable response. No one knew what the future held, even looking mere weeks or months ahead. Things were changing constantly and a heavy amount of adaptability was paramount to sane survival.
But we’ve reached a more stable level. We have a leader who isn’t bullying his critics, isn’t leaking national security on Twitter, isn’t freaking Tweeting fifty times every day. The daily five-alarm fire has been put out. Vaccines have arrived. We have better treatments for those who do contract covid. On a personal level, both my kids will be attending in-person preschool starting this month, and I secured a more stable job situation. My family’s finances won’t be a completely unpredictable guessing game.
I’m ready to make plans. I’m ready to get more social and have people over more often. My whole family (except the 3 year old) and all of my close friends are vaccinated, so we can safely gather without being overly concerned. My kids are getting older and have quit napping, so we can be out all day on an adventure. I love hosting but haven’t done it for a while due to early bedtimes, coupled with the pandemic for the last two years. I’m ready to throw some parties! I’m ready to travel!
My husband and I have a phrase we shout throughout the house often, called GSD – Get Shit Done. We have GSD days, GSD weekends. I’m leaning into full GSD mode for the year. Not that I want to overburden myself or have high-pressure productivity goals, but I also don’t want the little things to be overwhelming. I gave myself a lot of passes over this last two-year blur, and rightly so, and I’m ready to move out of free-pass mode.
Etched into my life-lesson book from the pandemic season has been the awareness of what is truly important. I have a solid sense of what I want out of life – namely community, joy, love, adventure, altruism, and living into my most authentic self – and what I can’t be bothered with – eg possessions, appearances, fitting in, judgement, and caring what others think. I feel more clarity in how to plan for the life I want.
I’m also aware that my husband turns 40 this year, and I’m not far behind. I am hitting the point in life when I need a plan to be my strongest, healthiest self. I’ve dealt with more pain in my body this past year than probably ever before. So going forward, I am making a plan to thrive in my body. That includes more weight lifting (I typically stick with cardio), and hitting the yoga mat at least 5 times a week.
I also plan to get more involved with social activism. I am a card-carrying member of my local NAACP and attend marches, rallies and school board meetings, but I want something more consistent. A way to volunteer and contribute to the good of the world. I’m not sure exactly what that will look like yet. I’ve grown more and more concerned with our climate crisis, and I’ve signed up for emails from 350Spokane (a volunteer non-profit group for climate activism) and the Spokane Lands Council. We are currently dealing with a homelessness crisis in Spokane. There is an influx of refugees now that Biden lifted Trump’s cold-hearted restrictions a bit (though not enough, disappointingly) that need help getting acclimated. There are issues of poverty, mental health, inequity…too many options. I hope to find a way to get involved somewhere on a monthly, consistent basis.
So those are my 2022 intentions – to have a plan and take more initiative. To remain humble and to keep learning, keep growing. To be a good friend. To schedule more social events for me and my family. To put boots on the ground for a local issue of need. To Get Shit Done and to enjoy this one wild and precious life while doing it.
(And to anyone who reads this and knows me in real life – please feel free to hold me accountable! Ask how it’s going. Public accountability is a great motivator 😉 )