#enjoylife 2021 – i reflect on 2020


I have reflected on my year in various ways since 2015 and in the past two years, I hosted the Enjoy Life Events in my home for friends and family.  Obviously, that is not happening this January but I wanted to share my format and a snippet of my personal reflection of 2020.   

My process is an amalgamation of other people’s processes and methods, including Danielle LaPorte, Anne Bogel, Lavendaire, and PowerSheets. 

I value this process and have found it to be so helpful and inspiring as I try to #enjoylife. It’s great to look back over the past years and see how much I have grown and learned.  I encourage you to grab a pen and take a half hour or so to work through these prompts and then, if you’d like, share what you’ve discovered in the comments.


I start by listing a few things that I am grateful for from the previous year.

  • Most of the close family and friends remained healthy.
  • The pandemic has afforded my Hubby, the Buddy Man, and myself time together; time we would not have had without it.
  • I really love my home and I love that I’m slowly but intentionally creating a space that I love.    

Highlights and What Worked

I write down the positive and fulfilling events and situations that occurred during the previous year.

  • Through an unfortunate situation, I was asked to interview the author of the bestseller, The Jane Austen Society, Natalie Jenner.  It was one of the high points of my life.
  • I read so many books that I loved this year. I’ll share some of them at a later date.   
  • I consistently exercised and hydrated throughout the year.  I’m very proud of that consistency.

Lowlights and What Didn’t Work

I write down what didn’t work for me and some of my lower points of the year.

I am showing myself grace for what didn’t work this year.  I have never experienced a year with so much upheaval and uncertainty.  It was challenging.

  • Stress and anxiety were a very real concern for me this year and I didn’t use my coping strategies that I know will assist me as often as I should.  I succumbed to “doomscrolling” the news and some social media accounts, all in the name of staying informed.
  • I often found myself “numbing” through unhealthful activities, including mindless Netflix bingening, in order not to feel the full weight of my emotions and because I was feeling overwhelmed by it all. 
  • Specifically to this blog, I didn’t share how I was feeling here.  I disappeared for months at a time.

Lessons Learned

I write down some of the lessons I learned throughout the year.

The main lesson that I learned this year is that taking care of myself is a personal thing.  What works for you may not work for me.  And I can be, I am allowed to be, I need to bespecific and intentional about doing what will work for me, especially in times of crises. I thought I had learned this already but, apparently not.

Leaving Behind and/or Letting Go

I write down things I don’t want to do in the new year that I did in the old.

I’m going to work toward letting go my need for permission and validation by others.  This is HUGE for me.

Future Vision

I write down what I want for myself in the new year.  This can be as detailed as describing an entire perfect day or as little as a sentence about what my focus will be.

I can’t control anyone but me. And I know that 2021 will not hold any magic elixir to make the drama and challenges of 2020 go away.  My hope is that it will be a kinder year for us all but if not, then that I will be kinder to myself and those around me.

Goals/Intentions for the New Year

I write down things that I want to accomplish or ways I want to be in the new year. I tend to only have two or three, per Danielle LaPorte’s recommendation.

I want to Be WELL this year.  I loved Emily and Amelia Nagasoki’s definition of wellness: “the freedom to move fluidly through the cycles of being human.”

Word/Theme of the Year

I try to pick a word/theme for the year that I can remember and that will encapsulate what I hope for in the year.

My word/theme is AIR. This word invokes lightness and freedom. I will also breathe air when I exercise and meditate.  Another definition of air is to make known and to give a voice.

enjoy life…

what i’m into – keeping me sane {august 2019}


I’m preparing this post on Sunday, September 1st! And I can’t believe that it’s September already. A lot has happened in my life last month, most of which I discussed in Now I Get It {Summer 2019} so head over there to see what’s been going on. Yes, I do feel a bit overwhelmed.  September is going to be chocked full of events and things to do leading up to those events and my tendency is to get so wrapped up and focused on the things that I have to get done that once that crunch time is over, I ALWAYS collapse and get sick from exhaustion (mental, physical, and emotional).  I hope that doesn’t happen this September and to that end, I have been working on those things that have been proven to relieve my stress.

Nurturing My Inner Artist

I commented last month, that I have begun to explore my inner artist. As a writer and in my new role as an Event Manager, I spend a lot of time inside my head.  OK, OK. I am always inside my head regardless of my work. Drawing and watercoloring have been serving as a release from mental overdrive and I have found it to be very relaxing.

And so I spent Labor Day Weekend working on a couple of versions of our house in watercolor.  I was inspired by this YouTube video by Shayda Campbell. I really enjoyed this process and painting houses so I hope to do a lot more.  If you’d like me to give your house a whirl (Obviously, I need all the practice I can get) reach out and let me know.

I also have fallen down the rabbit hole of looking at other artists on YouTube and I am really enjoying Minnie Small’s videos about the creative process.  I want to figure out a way to combine my inner writer and my inner artist together in some way.  I don’t know what that would look like but it’s an intriguing and exciting possibility.  I am thinking of snazzing up my Bullet Journal a bit more, as a creative outlet. Since, I have been using it, it has been a completely utilitarian, which has been great. It’s let me get use to the format and figure out my favorite layouts and spreads but I’m feeling the urge to do a bit more.  We will see.

Nurturing My Inner Athlete

The day this post will be the 100th consecutive day of my #shannanmoves streak.  This involved either a one-mile run or a 30-minute walk.  I am mixing it up in September and preparing for the annual Liz Hurley Ribbon Run for breast cancer in October. I don’t know if I will run the race because I am planning a trip on that weekend but I had said that I wanted to follow the Nike Training plan to get ready for the race and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t do it.  There are rest days in the plan but I believe I can still do a walk of some time to keep the streak alive.  However, for the next 6 weeks or so, it’s not about the streak. It’s about following the training plan and giving it everything I have. If I need a rest day then I shall take one.  It makes me sad that the streak may be broken but it is important for me to learn to listen to my body and give it what it needs. This includes all areas of my life, not just exercise.

What have you guys been up to? Let me know in the comments and If you have a monthly recap post letting us know what you’re into, please share it in the comments below and let your community know that you are doing so.  We do this every month, next on Tuesday, October 1.

enjoy life…

enjoy life project: konmari(ng) my mind

Re. The Bullet Journal.jpeg

When I resigned from my job at the end of 2017, I took time to rest, recover, and consider what I wanted to do with my time and my life. My son was three and I was fortunate enough to not to have to rush back into the workforce.

Since the year of my recovery (2018), I have begun to write regularly and I’ve become involved in more projects and activities (just last week I began a new role). My usual methods for keeping track of everything were not working as well as I wanted and I was looking for ways to staunch the tide of overwhelm that was threatening to drown me some nights as I reviewed  my day and agonized about what I may have forgotten.

And it wasn’t mainly those day-to-day things that bothered me.  I am a writer and I need ideas to write.  When I got these ideas, often at the most random times, I would scribble them on a Post-It, place them in an app (or two) on my phone, or in one of the three notebooks I had at the time.  I wanted a way to streamline everything into one place.  Enter, the Bullet Journal.

I was first introduced to Bullet Journaling by Anne Bogel in February of 2016.  It piqued my interest and I started doing research. I bought a notebook for my professional life and while I didn’t use the exact process, I began to use the key and signifiers to keep track of my to-do list. It was very helpful.

Skip forward to early 2018: When I left my job, while resting and recovering, I didn’t really need to keep track of my life in a succinct method.  I wasn’t doing a lot. Now I am and I have been feeling discombobulated. My brain is officially a “mommy brain” and things that I thought I could once easily remember were seemingly falling through the cracks.  It was a bit unnerving.

This month, I was given the task to look at different organizational methods for a project I was working on. I am also reigniting my love of drawing.  I started following @amandarachlee and @ShaydaCampbell on Instagram and YouTube.  They are also Bullet Journalers. So, all of this created the perfect storm and I went to Bullet Journal.com. This was the second thing that I saw:

KonMari Your ThoughtsThat was that! I ordered the book The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Campbell via Snail on the Wall. Received it, began reading it, found one of the empty journals that I had kept from KonMari(ng) my home and began.

And so begins our second EnjoyLife Project of the blog: KonMari(ng) My Mind. I’ll keep you updated.

Do any of you bullet journal? Please, share your tips, suggestions, and questions in the comments below.

enjoy life…

You can check out our first EnjoyLife Project: Creating Home through KonMari here.  I just finished most of the komono, including the kitchen and will be posting my updates soon.