Reflections on a Year

Sitting here in my living room enjoying the solitude of being alone for a few minutes, I take a second to check my email. There in all its blaring wonder is a new online course being advertised called Shedding Your Menopausal Middle. Now, I love the concept. Who wouldn’t want to lose a little of their middle, menopausal or not, but what I’m looking for is the course on Shedding Your Facial Fluff alluding of course to the second chin that seems to make an appearance whenever I am photographed. I am consciously aware of my extra facial fluff; yet, the knowledge of its presence does not deter me at all from enjoying a second Lindor chocolate.

I have no shame.

She threw her head back with a laugh that made her chins ripple like little waves.

- Edith Wharton, Age of Innocence

The true purpose of me pulling out my computer in this moment of quiet is reflecting on the year I am leaving behind and the year I am welcoming, and the overwhelming feeling flowing through my person is one of immense gratitude. Running through my mind is how I am a different person from the beginning of 2021. Positive and negative things have happened, but my goal is to focus on the good.

A brief list of big things to be grateful for in 2021:

  • My sister and family visiting from the US after over two years of separation.

  • Purchasing braces outright for my son this year.

  • Eradicating all our car debt.

  • All my nearest and dearest staying healthy and safe.

  • Saying goodbye to the poly B piping in our home.

  • Re-launching my blog and being more consistent than the year before.

  • Birdfeeders.

  • And so much more.

What I take away from the above list is that I have had a privileged year. I do not take that for granted. I think that’s the biggest reason I like to take some time for some new year reflections is that I want to start the new year with the appropriate level of humility, empathy, compassion, ad gratitude.

On the personal growth front, I hit three big milestones:

  • I spent money on my personal development this year and learned that the world does not fail to turn as a result.

  • I challenged my imposter syndrome and will continue to do the same in 2022. The boogie version of Jane that tries to psych me out tends to appear around the same time of the month. I am learning to treat this Jane with kindness, an abundance of carbs, and a nap.

  • I learned that the worst form of failure is not in making a mistake. It’s from getting stuck in overwhelm, busyness, fear, and excuses to not get started in the first place. Our egos are powerful things. They are our friend who wants to keep us safe. Ego-defined safety is not always healthy. I’m learning to shift my mindset and lovingly bypass my ego. It’s a continuous practice.

After reflections on this past year, I am ready to move into 2022 with a grateful heart and an expectation of abundance. I would, however, be willing to experience a little scarcity in the form of chins, but not at the cost of abstaining from the occasional chocolate.

So, keep your head up, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling because life’s a beautiful thing, and there’s so much to smile about.

…with even two chins.

- Marilyn Monroe (except for the last part was me)

Happy New Year, my friends. Thank you kindly for your support through all my phases of gratitude, joy, and what the hell am I doing.

Big COVID safe hugs. Wishing you many opportunities to live with joy in 2022.

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