There’s nothing quite so humbling as revisiting the goals/resolutions/lists set for oneself 360-odd days ago. This year, I fairly often referenced the goals I set out to do back in January. I actually did a decent job at producing what I set out to accomplish regarding writing, giving generously, making new recipes (72 to date and the year isn’t quite over) and spending time with family. Yay me.
What I failed to do was to reference my December 2021 blog post in which I wrote the following:
So, I’m speaking into the world that 2022 will be different – not magical or life-altering, just different. I will be better at creating margin in my life so that work feels less like a pain and time off feels more like a vacation.
Ope, as the Midwesterners like to say. I seemed to forget that manifestation rather quickly. Looking back, I hit the ground running in 2022 after a magically wonderful holiday trip to Paris dumped me back into a schedule that was FULL.
By February, I was feeling the pain of working 60+ hours a week again. By March I booked a solitary retreat for a July vacation, hoping that I would actually survive the rest of a crazy spring and hectic beginning of summer. April slapped me into May which tossed me into June and I just about collapsed into July. But in that exhausted space of desperation, I had some of the most eye-opening and spirit-filling days in the peaceful North Woods of Wisconsin.
That half-way point gave me space to find clarity for what would be another ridiculous six months of this year. Thank God, literally for knowing in March that I would NEED that sort of unplugged break in my year. Thank God for abundant provision in so many forms.
August briefly seemed to be a manageable version of post-vacation real life, but perhaps that’s because my roommate and I had almost back-to-back bouts of COVID which meant a lot more time in solitary refinement; err confinement.
Again, thank God for that down time because the next 20 weeks were the hardest of my adult life. I don’t mean to whine and do acknowledge that fortunately those weeks didn’t coincide with major life traumas. I know this fall was full of some very hard diagnoses, deaths, financial hardships, marital tension, and other relational failures for so many of my people. In a small way, I carried those burdens with my friends and family who endured some truly terrible moments in the latter quarter of the year.
My hardship was all self-inflicted—mostly in the name of building a business, furthering my career(s), an authentic desire to be helpful and a soulful craving to push myself creatively. All good motives, but boy was it difficult to manage my to-do list when I had almost no time to recharge.
My late ’21 claim to maintain margin in my life was nonexistent this fall and I suffered the consequences with high levels of anxiety and low levels of depression. Thank God, I had a great community of support. Thankfully, I pressed on.
There were SO MANY amazing things about 2022. I grew by leaps & bounds professionally and personally. I had way more highs than lows, but I was plagued by the exhaustion of living a bit too much life to the fullest and had a hard time feeling the the joy or celebrating the successes when I had to just check something off a list and move on to the next big thing on my schedule.
Last year’s post went on to say:
I will build healthy eating and exercising habits not to lose weight, but so that I can feel more confident and energized doing all of the things I put my body through each week. I will communicate when I am overloaded and I will accept help when it’s offered. I will give more compliments (both to those I know and random strangers), pay it forward even/especially when it feels like a sacrifice, and say “I love you” more frequently to the people for whom it means the most.
I think those intentions subconsciously wove themselves into my life this year. I definitely needed to do more of all of them to truly thrive, but I think the best I could with the time and energy I had. I still love the phrasing and plan to write it at the top of this year’s January 1st journal entry.
Next week, I will create a list of goals for 2023 knowing that I probably won’t accomplish half of them, but because I like a challenge. I will also reference this and that final 2021 post often to remind myself both of where I came from and to encourage myself that I’ll make it through the year—even if it seems like a daunting task along the way.
My 2021 confidence was spot on for how to endure:
Above all, I will make faith my priority so that when roadblocks inevitably come my way, I am as prepared as I can be to press forward through another great year of life.