31 January 2019

January Mood

Come January, I always crave the feeling of embracing a clean slate. This January, it took me a while to get there, hence the very belated Monthly Mood post. I created this mood board at the beginning of the month, but could never quite get my thoughts together enough to finish the post. So although it probably would have made more sense at this point to just forget this one and move on to February, I thought I would take this moment on the last evening in January 2019 to reflect a little bit.

At the beginning of this month I bought a calendar, for the first time in my adult life. I've always kept a pretty meticulous schedule in digital form, but I'm talking like a print wall calendar that you write appointments on and physically pull out the push pin each month to turn the page. (This is the one I bought, initially motivated by the pretty illustrations alone.) Hanging it on the wall in our dining nook, I looked at the 365 empty squares ahead and expected them to bring on all the optimistic new year vibes. Optimism usually comes so naturally for me on the first week of a new year. But this year, looking ahead at 2019, I honestly just felt scared. Scared and small, my worst possible version of myself.

Throughout most of this month, I had trouble escaping this feeling. Perhaps it was because I'm turning 30 this year. Yet I knew there was more to it than that. Before this year had barely even begun, I could already sense that it would be one of transition and change. The author Zora Neale Hurston wrote, "There are years that ask questions, and years that answer." For me, 2018 was definitely a year that asked questions. Naturally in 2019, I still have some of the same questions, but I'm also expecting some answers.

I longed to hit the snooze button, not just on my morning alarm clock but on my whole life, to pause for a while and then restart the clock once I achieved some sense of peace and control. Wouldn't it be great if every year, we could take off the whole month of January just to dream? Like clean up all the holiday decor and then just hardcore vision board for a while, to do whatever we need to do to get totally, overwhelmingly inspired! You probably think I'm joking, but I'm not. You know those studies that show workers are more productive when given a shorter workweek, or workday? I would bet that you could apply the same concept to the whole year and get similar results, that if people could truly rest and reset in January, they would accomplish more in the remaining 11 months of the year.

But alas, I'm only dreaming here, ironically. In fact, I never was able to carve out even a few solid hours to really focus on these things. But I did clean our house all day one Saturday while listening to Brené Brown and Anne Lamott books on Audible, which helped a little. I also spent some much-needed time working in the garden last weekend, one place in the world where I feel like I can take big, deep breaths, lose myself in simple tasks for a while, and feel small in a good way. I've also been trying to pray more, still realizing that the more control I relinquish, the more peace I experience.

So somehow, heading into February, I finally can say that I feel ready for 2019. I mean, let's be real here- I'm still not like "come at me, 2019!" It's more of a quiet strength; I've found just enough courage to look towards the heavens and ask, in a calm and steady voice, inspired by the late, great Mary Oliver, "what will you have me do with this one wild and precious life?"

Thanks for listening, friends. I promise I'll be back very soon with some Valentine's Day gift guides and inspiration for February. I'm still here, and I have some fun things planned for this blog in the next few months. Happy New Year to you! xx