At some point, we seem to lose the excitement for celebrating another year of life. What would life look like if adults once again harnessed some of that genuine kid-like excitement of celebrating special days? And, of course, growing out of celebrations extends beyond birthdays, especially when considering the additional layer of when we expect things to happen. For example, reaching personal goals or completing educational and employment milestones.
There have been countless times I have wished for a magical solution to take away (or at least reduce) the fears I frequently encountered. A recent experience brought to the forefront of my mind the idea of a “magical solution spray.”
I wondered if the difficulty in navigating the spectrum of emotions added to my struggle with spinning. I was surprised to realize that feeling intense happiness could have contributed to my feeling nauseous.
The black dot analogy connects to many of my life experiences. Specifically, the reality that parents and kids often remember experiences differently. It seems that moms are often harder on ourselves than our kids are on us. It makes me wonder, are kids somehow able to keep their focus on the whole page while parents struggle to see beyond the dot?
As I reflected on this transition to a new season, one question in particular kept repeating in my mind: What might it feel like to grow out of the season of uncertainty and lean into a season of hope?
The underlying stress of COVID-19, safety restrictions, isolation, transitions for my kids, and navigating school social work, my daily baseline is higher, causing increased stress levels due to the constant level of tension. The more I talk to other people, the more I realize this seems to be the new normal for a lot of people. And, I think that says something about this pandemic and the impact that it's having on us, even when the effects aren’t always clearly visible. As I processed my experiences, I pushed myself to be honest and authentic in writing this post, acknowledging the fact that looking back over this year has been difficult and draining.
So, in the spirit of vulnerability, I have been tired for months. And, although, of course, at times I have been swept into moments of joy and gratitude, I have also spent an inexplicable amount of time barely hanging on through the day-to-day expectations and responsibilities. As I have continued in this less than ideal reality, I found myself confronted with the idea of moving through rather than pushing away the negative emotions and experiences.
Today, I challenge you to celebrate MLK Day by taking some time to find a book, article, podcast, or movie to continue to expand your understanding of racism. To get you started, I wanted to share some resources I have found particularly helpful in my journey on this issue.
This year, my perspective on my process of setting goals and intentions has changed. My expectations of 2021 are reflective of the fact that we are still navigating this global pandemic. But, this acceptance brings a hope of setting realistic expectations, living daily with intention, and dreaming about what I want to carry with me into the future.
Although Christmas celebrations will look different than years past, the beauty, sounds, and tastes of the holidays remind me of life before the upheaval of 2020. In addition, I have found comfort in the celebration of Jesus’s birth and the reminder that 2020 is just a drop in the bucket of time.