Last year–in one of the few posts I made, and the even fewer I kept up on this nearly defunct site–I began things by celebrating the end of a year while expecting five to eight inches of snow! What a neat and serene, blank page kind of way to kick things off. I even used this royalty-free picture that I kind of still love:
It is not going to snow tonight. It only recently became cold, and even now, it’s downright balmy for Kansas in December, cresting up into the fifties. It’s a completely different world–a breaking world, perhaps. A broken world, perhaps. An updated forecast, however, suggests we might get a little on New Year’s Day. Perhaps we will. Perhaps we won’t.
2021 was an incredible year, and I accomplished just a few of the twenty-one goals I set for 2021. (Should I have gone for 22 in 2022? Maybe I did.) Here’s where I was successful: I read from a diverse list, I took classes for my doctor of ministry, I developed a rhythm of prayer, I launched a really simple website for my professional endeavors, and I grew in my awareness and practices of responsibility and generosity, financially.
Here’s a few ways I came up short: I gained an average of two pounds every month this year–everything I lost in 2019, I have found (sometimes with a vengeance!) in 2021. I didn’t really connect with neighbors or friends–what an optimist I was at the end of 2020, like we’d get our act together in this pandemic!; I did not take two retreats; I did not develop (magically) an outdoor hobby.
In most ways I grew: I did not read 80 books in 2021, but I did read 63. I did not journal five times a week, but I do journal pretty consistently, missing the random day. I showed up for friends in creative ways. I did not complete my study of 2 Corinthians and then circle back with a fourth source in 1 Corinthians, but not for a lack of trying. And, I’m not even halfway through, and that’s with nearly 200 of 365 days with dedicated study!
I think this year was about perspective and right-sizing. Right-sizing, for those of you not inaugurated to the terminology of recovery communities, suggests that when a person is “right-sized,” s/he is neither too big nor too small for the space they inhabit.
I do have some nutso goals this year. I know I’m not going to scratch the surface on some of them–but I’m okay now working out four times a week as a stretch goal, not six; some of my goals are things I do anyhow because I love them, like improv and Dungeons & Dragons with my ridiculous clergy group. And some are reminders to me that it may or may not snow, it may or may not be a new year, it may or may not be a good day–just turn the page, and keep going.
Happy New Year. Don’t look 2022 right in the eyes, or it’ll charge!!