Looking Ahead – 2021.

There are volumes of history represented in this picture. There are 46 years of my own life. There are 26 years of marriage to Jason and 28 years of being a mother.

The life and the world that Jason and I have created is represented here too. We live individual lives, and we live a life collectively. Our children and our wacky life that we participate in daily is all right here in the West Hills. We carry all the full history of where we have been and we have thousands upon thousands of memories that are happy, sad, glad, mad, terrible, wonderful, devastating, loving, caring, and cherishing.

We have so many things to be grateful for, and moving ahead, we are looking forward to creating new memories and a new way forward.

As I said before regarding 2020, it was a DFSS. It was hard. I am grateful for the whole year, and I learned so much, but it pushed me to my limits, and I had to dig deeper than I ever have before. It made me reflect on every aspect in my life, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. I am ready to move on and move foward.

I am truly and gratefully excited about the upcoming year. I hope it’s not as hard as 2020. If it is, I’ll make it. I’ll persevere. I can do anything that needs to be done, and I can weather the difficult times. That said, I hope that 2021 is a new start. Regardless of how it goes, there are new things that are happening and I cannot wait.

I don’t want to try to control the outcomes of 2021 either. I don’t like being controlled by people, circumstances, or problems (just ask Jason or anyone who knows me, they’ll confirm that!), and I’m ready to look ahead with expectation and probably some mis-steps and failures mixed in there, and some lessons to learn too.

What I do know is that I am essentially the same person I was at the beginning of 2020, but I’m fundamentally different. I have a fresh perspective on life and I’ll be taking that with me in to 2021.

Here are my plans for the new year. Some of these are ‘we’ plans, and some of these are ‘me’ plans. I’m ready for all of them.

Just so you know, backing off my candy consumption is definitely NOT a goal for this year. Maybe I’ll even increase it. 🙂

1. Travel.

Yes, I know this one seems out of the realm of possibility right now because of Covid. It’s happening though. Restrictions can’t last forever, and we are not going to delay our planning because of uncertainty…..although we may delay actually hitting purchase on those tickets until the time is right!!

Jason and I have lists of places we are going to go in the next years. We got married young, we had kids young, and we have worked hard our whole lives. Actually, we have worked HARD our whole lives. We have always put forth maximum effort in to our lives and we’ve tried to prioritize doing the right thing and prioritizing our family above all else. No, we haven’t always been perfect at that, but we’ve tried to live purposefully.

We are at a place now that we want to enjoy the fruits of that hard work. We are going to Hawaii in summer 2021, and we’ve already been planning that trip. 10 days minimum is the plan, and no, we won’t be talking to anyone while we are there. It’ll be ‘Peace Out’ time, and time for Jason and I. We may not even talk to the kids!!

In addition, we are going to explore areas that are closer to home that we’ve never been to. The Pacific Northwest is full of adventure and places to see. We have weekend trips planned inside Oregon and I’m confident our travels will take us to our good friends in Sacramento multiple times. We are kicking the year off with a weekend in Powell Butte and seeing snow, which is my most favorite thing ever, ever, ever. Time with my best friend and some fun is very much in the prescription for beginning our 2021 year.

2. Writing!

This blog is already a product of ‘things I want to do in 2021’. I love expressing myself in the written word. It’s very healing for me and I find that I need the outlet of writing to sort out my thoughts and feelings. I’m deeply emotional, and I have to make sense of everything that goes on in my head.

I’ve always known that I wanted to write a book and last year I did! I actually wrote a full non-fiction book. It was really an amazing experience. I don’t know yet whether I want to publish it, or whether it’s just for me, but 2020 was a great time of exploring myself and utilizing interests and skills. When I was sidelined from my normal activities because of health issues, I thought it was terrible, but as the time went on, I have become very grateful for a change of pace and priorities. It’s great to have a realignment sometimes. I have an idea for another book already, and my head is swirling with blog post ideas.

In the early 2000s when blogging first began, I had a huge group of friends and we all had blogs that we would read and comment on as we were raising babies and toddlers and elementary aged kids. Those were really fun times and good memories. (I think my old blog still exists out there, I need to figure out how to get back in to it to save the posts.)

Over the years, the blogs of all the friends waned and our lives all went different directions, as they tend to do when raising kids and a family and as life takes us in different directions. I’ve missed blogging off and on, but never returned to it. It’s been such a refreshing exercise to explore that again.

Things have changed drastically since the early 2000s, and now there’s social media, and all kinds of website ideas. It’s been really fun to learn how to build a website that I like and to explore creativity through technology. Who knew?! Back in the day, there were basic blog templates and not a lot of options. I’ve spent countless hours exploring and trying things out that are new to me and using my brain in ways that are creative and fulfilling.

I plan to continue that indefinitely. Jason is going to do some writing on the blog too, which will be amazing. He is a deep thinker and he has so much to offer.

Writing with the cat
I didn’t mention I have assistants when I am writing. They are really the key to my success.

3. Using some of my HR skillz and giving back.

It’s been on my mind for ahwile to explore how I can participate in more giving opportunities. We’ve always regularly given of our time and money, and now it feels like a season to expand on that.

I’m still raising my family, but those days are much easier now. Jason and I live a full and rich life that we love, and I’m thinking about how I can move forward, post-Covid and in the waning years of child-raising, embracing this new phase of life.

I am in contact with one local organization that helps marginalized women with many things. I am meeting with them on January 9th about potential volunteer opportunities.

I have no expectations, the goal is to help and be of service with whatever they need. Ultimately I would like to explore how I can help with resume and application ideas and help, how to dress for a job interview, coaching for interviews, general coaching for these women who have been marginalized in many ways to help them see their worth and that they CAN do amazing things in life, just by taking a single step.

There have been times in my life where I needed to hear that too, and I’ve been fortunate to have people come along side me and be friends and mentors when I packed any sense of confidence or didn’t feel worthwhile. Those times happen to all of us, am I right?

The value of strong relationships cannot be overstated. True, authentic people who speak the truth in love and who support you no matter what are what is so needed in this world. I am just a flawed human, just like anyone else, and we all need a friend sometimes. I hope I can be just a tiny shred of that to someone else. That type of friendship and support has been given to me freely over the years and I am going to pay it forward.

4. Get my health back and run CIM in December.

I am still recovering from 2020, physical health wise. It’s been a long year, and I have some recovery yet to do. That said, I miss my former running and active lifestyle. I have some chronic health issues that I deal with (lots of autoimmune stuff) and eating right, sleeping well, minimizing stress, and focusing on the things that really matter, are all keys to that healing.

Baja California Mexico
Running in Mexico ❤️ 2018

I’m ready to start being active again. California International Marathon in Sacramento has been a traditional marathon for me to run each December since 2013. This past year I wasn’t able to run it healthwise, and it got cancelled anyway because of Covid, so it was a nice break. I was glad it was cancelled because then I didn’t have major FOMO on the day. That’s selfish, I know, but I’m ok with that.

I don’t know what the completion of this goal will look like, but I have a year to start being active again and build from the ground up. There will be bumps in the road, I’m sure, but I am really craving the stability of the regular active routine I usually enjoy.

Running in West Salem
Running in my favorite place – my neighborhood in 2018 double ❤️❤️😍

So that’s three things that I am currently working on for 2021. They are my individual goals and that is so important in being a wholehearted person as I have found. I’ve got physical, creative, personal growth, and emotional/spiritual mixed in there. I guess I also have some marriage and fun goals too. I’m ready. 2021 let’s do this!!

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