Well, that’s a title I never thought I’d write. But here we are at the end of 2020, and all the rules have been thrown out the window, landed in a dumpster, and promptly set on fire.
Every year, as far back as I can remember, I would pull out my journal at the end of December and write down lofty goals for the coming year. Lofty and, more often than not, unattainable goals. We’re talking focus areas, with bullets of drilled down goals for each area. “Become a runner so you will have thin legs” LOL. “Read 100 books.” “Lose x amount of pounds.” I was the New Year’s Resolution Queen. And if (when) I didn’t achieve a certain percentage of those goals, I would feel terrible about myself and double-down on tougher resolutions for the next year.
I didn’t write down any resolutions for 2020– how very fitting that turned out to be! I must have been too tired or too busy to write anything down at the end of last year, but it’s like my subconscious knew what was coming. My top resolutions probably would have been to lose weight and write more– neither of those things happened this year.
At the risk of sounding cliche, this year has been different from any other and that’s okay. I told myself back in March, “You don’t have to write about this. You don’t have to be productive right now. You are living in the middle of a freaking pandemic; it’s okay.” Meanwhile, Taylor Swift was busy churning out two masterpiece albums this year but she is just a next-level human. It’s okay.
It turns out I really needed that grace I gave myself back in March. Towards the end of March I got very sick. My doctor “unofficially” diagnosed me with Covid and told me to take two weeks off. (Unofficial because tests were still very scarce back then, and I’m young and healthy and my life wasn’t in danger). I like to think of those two weeks off as God pressing pause for me, because I sure wasn’t about to. After that time of healing and respite, I started life back up at a slower pace. That can only last so long when you are a type-A, workaholic millennial. (Cue the exhaustion and burnout that comes from investing too much of yourself in your job, but that’s a topic for another time).
I don’t want to set any goals or resolutions for 2021 because who the heck knows what this next year is going to throw at us. The thought of setting regimented goals for myself right now is just exhausting. No thank you. Instead, when I did my year-end journaling I wrote down four things that I want to do this coming year. If anyone cares, here they are: I want to do more yoga and stretching because my body loves it when I do those things. I want to try intermittent fasting because I read that it is great for improving your quality of life overall and for reducing mental fogginess (it might not work out because Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and that’s okay). I want to plan our trip to Greece for 2022. I want to take more time like this to sit and write and use my hands and my mind to create.
I have come to value peace and grace over striving and goal-digging. I will pursue the things I want to do because they give me joy. I will have grace for myself and all my imperfections, and know that each day I am trying to be a better human than I was the day before. There is a feeling I am thinking of that we don’t really have a word for in English. It’s called “hygge.” Hygge is “the Danish concept to describe the heart-warming feeling that comes from taking pleasure in the ordinary, everyday moments and making them meaningful, beautiful, soothing, and special.” More simply put, it’s “coziness of the soul.”
My soul could really use some coziness after this hell of a year.