A fresh start, a new beginning, a chance to begin again. I am finding that each year I grow more and more to be one of those people who really enjoys pondering what I want the next year of my life to look like. In the past, I used to set a New Year’s resolution here and there, but I never really took it seriously or stuck with it for more than a few weeks. (Like most people seem to do.) In 2020, I decided that instead of a New Year’s Resolution I would choose just one word for the year. This word would help design a path for me on what I wanted the year to be about. It allowed me to really look at many areas of my life and not just one singular thing. It is an overall mindset I guess you could say.
Last year, I decided that my word for 2020 was RENEWAL. You can read the blog post I did about it here if you would like. https://herheartstirs.com/my-word-of-the-year-renewal/.
Looking back, I would say I had some great successes and a couple of losses. I won’t go through all of them with you but will instead hit on the key ones.
Let’s begin with the happy stuff! Starting this blog was a huge part of my success this past year. It took a lot of work right from the start. I spent January through March working tirelessly to get my website up and running. I had to learn a lot of technology, which is not my forte or my passion. I knew that it was important for me to be able to maintain my own website and I could not rely on anyone else to do it for me, so I had to master how to do it all. Next, I had to provide enough content to begin. I spent many hours writing and finding pictures and editing so there would be enough to read when I first announced my site to family and friends. Finally, I had to provide consistent blog posts and newsletters, throughout the year, that would mean something to both me and my readers. It was a lot to take on, but it truly did help RENEW my spirit. It gave me something that was mine and mine alone. It is a small space in this world, where I am free to create, dream, explore, and reflect. For the first time in many years, I wasn’t just defined as a wife and mother. I had something to share with the world other than being Nate, Lyla, and Chloe’s mom or Scott’s wife. Ah! It felt great and still does!
Another success I experienced last year, without even planning on it, was a RENEWAL in the love of our home. After our house fire in 2017, (you can read about that here- https://herheartstirs.com/the-night-our-home-started-on-fire/), I had a continual internal anger for our home. I know that seems crazy, but I didn’t trust our house anymore. The love I had for it when we purchased it was erased by the emotional toll the fire took on me and my family. In the months and years after we moved back into our house, my husband Scott made comments to me that I had no interest in doing anything as far as updating or adding to our home, and… he was right. I had zero interest in doing anything to the house at all. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but each day I found that all I could muster was the everyday care of our home. I honestly spent a lot of time daydreaming about moving. There was a part of me that felt if we moved we could feel safe again and maybe the sick feeling in my gut would finally go away. I spent a lot of evenings lying in bed at night, picturing the night of the fire and wondering if it would happen again. It wasn’t a great headspace to be living in.
Eventually, in late summer/early fall of 2019, we had to put a new roof on the house. Of course, no one enjoys spending that kind of money on something like a roof, but it had to be done. I noticed shortly after it was done, however, a tiny shift in how I felt about the house. I was a bit excited about it. I loved how the new roof looked and it felt like we took back just a little bit of control of our house. I still thought a lot about moving though. Then in the spring of 2020, Scott convinced me to do a big landscaping project in our yard. I knew once again, that the yard needed it and that if we were to sell our home, something should be done. The project was completed over the summer and we were thrilled with how it turned out! Suddenly, I fell back in love with our house. I began to notice that I wanted to do other projects around the house again and that maybe I didn’t want to move after all. I felt this huge relief of not having to run away from our home. We could stay here and be happy. Trust was somehow returned to this place and it feels heavenly. This was definitely a surprise RENEWAL for me in 2020 and I am so grateful for it!
As far as failures for my RENEWAL of 2020…ugh…losing weight. Why is this so hard? Especially for people like me. I was not born a skinny girl. My build has always been curvier and dare I say dense? I have been watching my weight since I was in 7th grade. Sometimes I am up and sometimes I am down. I started out 2020 strong with working out consistently, but around 6-7 months in, I pretty much quit any regular exercise. I still worked out here and there, but it was nothing that was going to make a real difference in my health. What is my excuse? Lots of them. I don’t like working out that much. I got bored. I felt guilty working out during the day when other people were working and getting things done. And then Covid happened. I don’t think I need to explain this one. Food and lots of time at home became a big focus. It was easy to breeze past the kitchen and snack a little or a lot. And, I love carbs! I admit it. Pasta is my favorite food. I have a really hard time convincing myself that a life with fewer carbs is worth it. Of course, Covid was depressing so it was easy to say “Bring on the Pasta!” So…long story short, I didn’t achieve this RENEWAL goal of losing weight. But, thank God for another day and another chance to try again.
As much as I wish the weight thing had gone better, I am still calling the year of RENEWAL a win. My goal was to feel RENEWED and I definitely think I achieved that. I carved out some new spaces that were good for me, achieved some big aspirations, and survived the pandemic. 2020 wasn’t easy for any of us. I think we can all call the year a win if we made it through.
So now you may be wondering…did I choose a new word for 2021 and if so, what is it? I did choose one and after much thought, I have decided on the word BALANCE. I am actually really excited about this word and the plans I have to use it to help make this year the best it can be. Earlier this month, I sat down and wrote out thoughts and ideas regarding BALANCE as a focal point for my life in 2021. I am looking forward to sharing much of that with you in my next blog post.
In the meantime, I would love for you to think about a word of the year for yourself if you haven’t already. It is never too late to pick one! Hopefully, my upcoming post on BALANCE will help you brainstorm ideas for your own word!