Five Things in 2020

I’ve never really been into making New Year’s resolutions. But, this year seems different. Besides being a reason to bring back the roaring ’20s and all the liveliness that era entails, 2020 kicks off a new decade with a year that has an undeniable ring to it — the double twenties resonating deeper with all of us this year.

And, one thing that I have been all about lately, is being thirty and kicking off that new decade, as well.

All this just to say, I set some goals for the coming year. But rather than frame them as stuffy and formal RESOLUTIONS, I’d like to think of them as areas that I simply want to be better at.

So, here are five things I’m working on in 2020.

1. Marriage

I have to shamelessly brag a little bit here — my husband is badass, and we have a great relationship. I cannot recommend more, the whole marrying your best friend thing. Mine and Sean’s marriage is solid, and we are still newlyweds, after all, but I know that maintaining this state requires working at it every single day.

And, because we are human, some days we are better at it than others.

So, in 2020 I’m going to try to be even better. A better listener, a better comforter — a better all those things that would probably just make us all better people, too.

2. Writing

Sometimes writing is agonizing. Most ideas end up feeling like a splinter in my brain — something that needs to be expelled from my body and onto paper — the process being more of anguish than anything, before I finally find relief in finishing the blog post or short story or… I better reel this in.

The point is, I would save myself a lot of grief over my writing (my unfinished writing, that is) if I would just be more consistent in my practice and always follow through with my drafts. Like, I just have to finish them. There, I said it. Wrote it. That’s a start for 2020.

3. Teaching

Holy smokes did this first semester teaching high school Language Arts nearly tear me apart.

I thought I was terrified one night when I watched a super scary horror movie inside the Jellybean tiny house, secluded and with no cell phone signal deep within Colorado’s Pike National Forest. That’s nothing compared to standing in front of a room full of seventeen-year-olds, every day, demanding that that they give their attention to me rather than to the array of distractions in the palms of their hands and the forefronts of their minds. I have some amazing mentors in my department and I have been learning so much already, but this new year — this next semester — I just want to be better.

4. Health — Physical & Nonphysical

I mean, who doesn’t feel obligated to have this on their list? Of course I need to work on both my physical and nonphysical health this year. I realize now, though, that when I’m physically healthy, the nonphysical health seems to more easily fall into place.

When I’m taking care of my body, I just flat out feel better — on all levels.

But, like a good marriage, it takes work and practice every day. It was easy for Sean and me to be active and in shape when the off-gridding life sort of forced us to be. But when we’re “home” in the Midwest, we have to be much more cognizant of our physical health, and have to find new opportunities and motivation to maintain that extremely active lifestyle that our bodies appreciate so much.

5. Faith

In another recent blog post, I touched a tiny bit on the presence of faith in my life, but it’s not really something I discuss very much from a personal standpoint, outside of conversations with Sean. I’ve done some academic writing involving religion, but my own spirituality is not something I’ve ever really expressed. Like a lot of folks, my interest and attention has weaved in and out of many different religions, beliefs, and practices, without me ever fully settling or satisfied with any one thing.

But, it’s something I intend to pursue this year, as I feel within myself a craving to be committed to principles of faith that I believe in whole-heartedly. As a critic and a skeptic, that may be a tall order, but it’s something I can no longer ignore, especially when I realize that it may only be my own hesitation and fear of commitment itself that has kept me unsettled.

God says in the book of Jeremiah that, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.”

And, while I don’t know yet how sold I am on the Bible, I guess this year I intend to find out if that part above (pun somewhat intended) is true.

So, on this first day of January, I have already been a little better in at least ONE of these categories (psst, it’s writing — it’s the writing one because of this blog post here) aaaaaaaand have probably already neglected other areas, too.

I just won’t admit which ones…

Happy 2020!

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