what i’m into – keeping me sane {january 2021}

Once a month, I like to do these reviews of the previous month about what I’ve been into and what has been helping me stay sane amidst this crazy world.  Guys, if I miss a month, it is probably safe to say that I am struggling, but I am hoping to work on the ability to write (and share) my honest thoughts here, even when I am struggling.

So let’s get into my January.

I was shocked, but not surprised, at the events of January 6th.  And I experienced a number of emotions: doubt, disbelief, rage (was I experiencing the seven stages of grief here?). I think 2020 has been a year of uncertainty (things happening that I have never experienced before) and I tend to like things to be steady, familiar, calm. I knew nothing would magically change from the 31st of December to the 1st of January and, of course, that was the case. 

My main wish is that 2021 is kinder to all of us than 2020 but if that is not possible, than that I will be kinder to myself in 2021. I have been focused on that.

  • Last month, Apple released Fitness+. They carefully selected trainers and coaches who are specifically encouraging – they want you to use the app after all.  They have running, strength training, HIIT, rowing, core specific, and yoga workouts.  I have always wanted to start a consistent yoga practice, and I have been able to do that this month, thanks to the ease of Fitness+.
  • I’m so happy that we are getting new movies and shows again. The problem is that they are releasing fast and furiously and I am not able to keep up.  Fortunately, Donna from I am Your Rabbit does that for me.  Thanks to her, the Hubby and I have had several delightful movie nights (they kind of fell off in 2020) and I am loving it.  I especially enjoyed Lupin on Netflix.
  • My work as a team member at Modern Mrs. Darcy brings me so much joy! I love working in the realm of books and reading (one of my three earliest childhood joys) and it’s a privilege to work with people I admire and care about.  The team was featured on a What Should I Read Next podcast episode this month (You can listen here; I get started around the 9:17 mark). 

Adding an aside here: I think I like being on podcasts. LOL

  • Speaking of books and reading, I have finished 10 books in January.  To be fair, I started some of them in 2020 but I count them as read the day I finish them and so that brings the number to 10 this month.  I have been able to read more because I have been able to curb, in a small way, my proclivity to binge movies and shows that I hardly care about. Yay! 
  • And finally, January was my birthday month! I’m still here! And I want to fully be here, present, alive, experiencing all the joys and the pains, confidently moving through the world in a way that is authentic and valuable to me.  

For this is always light, if only we are brave enough to see it, if only we brave enough to be it.

The Hill We Climb, Inaugural Poem by Amanda Gorman

Wasn’t that poem an inspiration?

What’s keeping you sane, right now? Please share below in the comments and if you have a post about it, link it here too.  I plan to do this again on Monday, March 1st

…enjoy life.

I’m linking this post to Anne’s annual What’s Saving My Life right now.  I struggle through the Winter and this has to be one of my favorite posts that she writes where other people share their lists of things are helping them right now.  If you are struggling, head on over there to see if any of their suggestions will help you too. 

#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…