2020. What a year, amirite? G and I watched the mockumentary “Death to 2020” last night and I was rolling over the absurdity of what our world has become in only 365 days. 2020 was supposed to be everyone’s Year of all Years, as we all welcomed in a new year on January 1, 2020. Little did we know what limited control each of us actually has in this grand thing we call Life. This year was highlighted with threats of world wars, deadly pandemics, murder hornets, government control, horrific natural disasters, tiger kings, and cultural tensions… but I don’t need to mention these more. We all know each and every terrible detail from this past year; we’ve all lived through each day and held our breath at what possibly could happen further.
This year is stuffed full of happenings, so much so that today snuck up on me. It was not until sitting down for dinner that I actually came to the realization that, “Hey, today is New Year’s Eve!” So after finishing my projects for the day, I decided to do as I do every New Year’s Eve and took the time to look through my 2020 blog posts. There were not as many as previous years — I had forgotten I “quit” blogging at the beginning of the year, HA! — but their content seemed more substantial than in the past. I had to take several moments to reminisce on my 2020 experiences, remembering the feelings I had during each post and the emotions felt during writing them. I ended my jaunt down Memory Lane with my last post of the previous year: 2019 In Reflection. It seems longer than a year ago that I wrote that post. The words were written following a year of intentional living. There were wishes that never were brought to fruition. There were questions that never received answers. There were daydreams that never manifested into full-out dreams.
Yet, how I looked to 2020 surprised me. I ended that post in 2019 saying, “2020 has the promise to be something special. To change people. To change the world.” Humph.
Say what you will about 2020, but it definitely was a special year. It was a year that changed people and changed the world. Aside from the numerous negative details we could focus on, 2020 also brought a magnitude of positivity with it. In a world that seemed to move faster every day, 2020 forced us all to slow down. We were able to reassess our priorities, and many of us discovered that things are not the top priority in our lives; the people with whom we surround ourselves are.
I could go on and on about the revelations I had throughout 2020, but I think we all have our own on which to build a good foundation for 2021. Instead, I’ll express some gratitude for the continued blessings personally received this year:
- G began a new role in a hot rod restoration shop. This change has benefitted his well-being a thousand times over, and given him rejuvenated gusto to fulfill his dreams of owning a fabrication shop in the future.
- Our second nephew, Tate, was born.
- We adopted our second goober, Indy. Copper and her have become best friends, and I honestly cannot remember life before her. She brings our household so much joy!
- I was promoted to management at the agency. I have never been so happy with employment than I am with my new responsibilities.
- G and I completed all major home improvement projects on our initial list. We were able to spend a large majority of our summer enjoying our little house without impending renovations leering over us.
- We sold G’s old, rusted pickup truck to buy a new-to-us beauty. In G’s own words, “It is the truck of my dreams!”
As with the last several years, I am not making any new year’s resolutions. Instead, I have chosen a Word of the Year for 2021 again. (Remember my post on this last year?) The idea behind a Word of the Year is to choose a single word to bring guidance throughout the entire year. This choosing process “provides clarity by taking all your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single focus. Just one word that centers on your character and creates a vision for your future.”
For 2021, my word will be: DISCIPLINE.
I have been considering this as my word for 2021 over the past couple of months, and I have a number of reasons for this decision.
Disclaimer first, though: I am at a really great place in my life. I am content in every facet. I love my marriage, my partner, my home life, my work, and my various tribes. I have found balance between extracurriculars; in saying yes to opportunities and not feeling guilty what saying no. I am happy emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I am healthy. My body is functioning appropriately. I love who I have become, and who I am becoming.
Yet, there are areas in each of these facets where I want to grow. I’ve set my mind to a few specific areas where I would like to become more disciplined. These are:
- Healthier eating habits and more consistent physical activity
- Daily devotions and time with God
- Limiting screen time and increased reading
- Becoming more minimalistic and spending more focused time at home being productive
As I enter 2021, I am committed to becoming more self-disciplined. This means holding myself accountable to succeed in these areas. Beginning on Monday, January 4th, I will be working in a new fitness challenge with a local personal coach. The challenge is in its trial stages, so participation is more one-on-one to see how different body types and individuals are impacted. The commitment made is an entire year’s requirement, and the coach promises to assist with a more disciplined mindset as well as improved fitness and nutrition.
For my second area to find progress, I have invested in a 365 day devotional by Joyce Meyer. I have the book sitting on the dining table so I can spend time with God each morning as I drink my coffee. It is a stepping stone to begin visiting with the Lord every day again. I have been in communication with my ladies’ Bible study group throughout December as well; we will be rejoining in January to begin weekly studies.
I have been wanting to limit my screen time, but 2020 made this difficult. (Yep, that’s my lousy excuse. Don’t come at me with, “2020 would have been an excellent time to read more!” I already know. I already know…) However, I am challenging myself to shutdown my phone by 6:30pm every night beginning tomorrow. My fitness challenge requires a live Facebook check-in at 6:00pm every day, so once I complete this check-in, I’ll be turning my phone on silent and setting it to charge on my bedroom bedside table. I also will be flicking off the television by 8:00pm every night in order to climb into bed and read for at least a half hour. I already have a slew of fantastical books in my Kindle library downloaded. I am ready!
The last item on my “Discipline List” will probably be the trickiest. I have become accustomed to being quite unproductive at home during the weekdays. Housework and chores are left for the weekends, which tends to take the full extent of any time I have available. It is my goal to take initiative to do dishes daily, and a number of other chores at least once during the week as well on the weekend. With two pups running around and a husband who brings a lot of dirt in from his job, the house can always use some extra polishing on a daily basis.
Becoming more minimalistic would also assist with housework. Less stuff equals less surfaces and items to clean. It has been a daunting thought to go into the basement and begin organizing what items in storage are actually needed or not, but I think the time has finally come. And that brings me to my last little tidbit of 2020…
G and I are meeting with our realtor next week to list our cozy little home. We have been working tirelessly this week to finish the final touches of home improvements necessary to get it on the market. I’ve spent the week painting all our doors, removing all hanging pictures, mudding holes, touching up paint, caulking the kitchen, and deep cleaning every nook and cranny. G is completing the electric by adding a few more breakers, insulating and trimming all the windows (especially the new downstairs ones), and regrouting the bathroom tile. On Sunday, the two of us will be tackling the kitchen’s backsplash which will be the last project on our long list. We’ve been at our house for little over two years now and have done more remodeling and improvement projects than some couples do in a lifetime. It has been a blast, but we’re ready for our next step: finding some property in the country and beginning a new renovation. Hey, maybe this time next year I’ll be telling you all about my chickens and modern homesteading biz. Who knows!
In any case, I hope you all the best in the upcoming year. Yes, 2020 was a doozy… but let’s take the remainder of the night to focus on the silver linings in every little storm cloud over the past 365 days, and prepare for more positivity in the upcoming year. Happy New Year, my friends. Stay positive and test negative!