#enjoylife 2021 – i reflect on 2020

enjoylife-2021-

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.

Gratitude

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…

quick lit – next page, please {october 2020}

I mentioned in my October What I’m Into post that I’m leaning into the weirdness and mystery that is this time of year. I am no longer trying to stave off the desire to be in the dark, both physically and metaphorically. To that end, I selected a few books that are generally outside of my comfort zone. One was my first book in the horror genre! I was listening to October 29th episode of Laura Vanderkam’s podcast, The New Corner Office, and she mentioned that one of the reasons people are drawn to horror is that “it is an over-the-top manifestation of some things we already encounter in real life: fright, anxiety, dread.” Well, ain’t that the truth?

And I reached my Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge goal of reading 40 books! Yay!

Read

  • The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth. This book was a lot of what I hoped that it would be when Anne told me about it on my episode of What Should I Read Next. It dealt with serious themes but in an entertaining way. I read it in two sittings.
  • The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren. I was browsing my bookshelves (does any one do this besides me?) and saw this romance that I had gotten early in the pandemic. It was a quick, easy read and I read it in one sitting. I think I might have liked it if it hadn’t turned two of the main characters, based on Chip and Joanna Gaines, into adulterous and manipulative people. And, of course, I kept picturing Chip and Joanna which just didn’t seem right. Thanks to Snail on the Wall for the advanced reader’s copy.
  • Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. I can’t say enough good things about this book and if I have had a conversation with you recently, I have probably already told you about this. The first few chapters alone were worth the price of the book. I was introduced to it by Brenè Brown’s podcast, Unlocking Us, and if you are interested in the content but don’t feel like reading the book, you can gain some nuggets from Brown’s interview of Emily and Amelia.
  • Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth. This was my horror pick! I started it not knowing if I would be able to finish it – it’s horror, after all. While I did not enjoy the story that much, Danforth’s writing was amazing. I started it on audio, read by the brilliant narrator Xe Sands. After listening for a while, I had to see the words on the page and I was able to download an advanced digital copy (thanks Snail on the Wall) to note the sentence structure and how Sands translated that in her reading of the text. It was appropriately spooky for the season. Thanks to Libro.fm for the Advanced Listener’s Copy.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. I LOVED this fantasy! I read the first half in one sitting and was so nervous to read the rest and because I wanted to fully experience it, I didn’t do what I normally do and read the ending first. I was sustained in this because my friend, Kari, told me that she thought I would be OK with the ending. I was and Addie is easily a contender for my best books of 2020.

Currently Reading

DNF’d (Did Not Finish Reading)

Anticipated Reading

  • Hmm, I don’t think I’m anticipating anything right now. I need to do something about this! Any suggestions?

If you are a member of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, be sure to check out Anne’s interview with Alix Harrow. If you’re not a member, join the fun.

And as usual, Anne does a Quick Lit post every month discussing what she is currently reading, to which I am linking this post. If you’re here because of her, I thank you and I thank her.

As Anne would say, “Happy Reading”!

enjoy life…