Ringing in the New Year last year, I felt incredibly hopeful. Hopeful that we could put the struggle of 2020 behind us, and that life would go back to normal. I felt the need to see people again. To share in celebrations and hug loved ones. I wanted to be involved in my daughter’s school after more than a year of virtual learning. For my sanity (or so I thought), I needed 2021 to be full of life again. It was easy for me to choose ‘hope’ as my word of the year, and then spend the next 12 months striving to make 2021 different than the crummy year before it.
So, as the pandemic slowed, I not only joined the PTA, but accepted a position on the board. I was involved in weddings, threw parties, and went to dinners. I signed my kids up for MORE extracurricular activities and took them on countless playdates. Over the summer, our family went to Florida for a business conference and vacation. My calendar was full again. Life was seemingly back to a busy normal, but I wasn’t feeling hopeful or happy.
You see, though 2020 was filled with hardships and struggle, it was also filled with slow family moments. I think I couldn’t see past the pandemic to realize the importance of slowing down and cherishing the time we got to spend as a family in our pjs doing a whole lot of nothing. Instead, I overcorrected in 2021. I overcommitted in all areas, leaving myself burned out and broken down. I am by no means saying I didn’t enjoy seeing loved ones again or sharing in celebrations like weddings and birthdays, but that in 2022, I need to learn from my mistakes last year.
A NEW MINDSET
I’m sure I am not alone in sometimes needing to say no and make my family and my mental health the main priority. I need to learn that I can’t say yes to everything or everyone. My goal is to say no to the things that I know will cause stress and only say yes to self-care and slow Saturday mornings. I’m going to learn that I don’t need to always be the first volunteer for my child’s classroom or add unnecessary things to my to-do lists (sometimes it’s okay to sign up to bring the paper plates).
This is why my word for this year is ‘priority.’ In 2022, I am going to find a happy medium between being present for the big moments but also intentional about scheduling time to breathe and play with my kids. You know that saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup?” In 2022, I am going to focus on keeping my cup full.
If you felt like I did in 2021, I urge you to focus on slowing down in the New Year as well. Make yourself a ‘priority.’ May your 2022 be filled with happiness and time to enjoy the things and people you cherish the most. Cheers!