Goodbye, 2021. Hello, 2022.

Happy New Year. Welcome to 2022.

Every year, on December 31st, I take my time to sit down and think. It’s my way of celebrating my successes and accepting what needs working on or working toward.

The past year, as a whole, has been extremely difficult. The pandemic. Politics. Climate. Stupid people. I just had to look around for half a second and see how much the world was causing pain, sorrow, anxiety, frustration, and fear.

I felt all of those things.

My yearly introspective, however, is what allows me to look at the world and process what is happening there so those emotions don’t overwhelm me and send me spiraling.

When I have a better handle on what helps me stay focused, what helps me process my internal thoughts, and what is able to make me smile, I can look at the pain around me and be able to better maintain my stability.

So for 2021, what were the things that I reflected on?

What did I accomplish?

– What made me smile?

– What helped me be a better person?

With having given those things a lot of thought, I believe I’m ready to look forward to this new year. I’ve got an awareness of what I did that helped. An awareness of things that I need to work on. And an awareness of things that I’d forgotten about. I feel more settled.

I feel ready to look at what’s next.

Now, what are my plans for 2022?

I try not to make overly specific resolutions for a new year.

I think specific resolutions are too easy to put a level of pressure on myself that will cause me to crack, because a lot of resolutions are broken due to circumstances out of my control. And the loss of control is a major trigger for my anxiety.

Example: I resolve to lose 10 pounds. I can DO THIS! I am eating well. I’m out there walking every day. I am exercising. But then… Uh oh! I injured my leg! I can’t go walking. I can’t exercise regularly. It wasn’t my fault. But I still failed.

So I try to focus instead on larger picture hopes and dreams. Things I might be able to make reality by what choices I make. And since big pictures are made of smaller pictures, even accomplishing a small part of those dreams makes me feel like I accomplished something. It’s a good feeling.

What do I hope for that might help make the year a good year for me?

  • I hope to continue with this blog. This was what helped me the most in 2021 and what I am most proud of having created. But I am not going to resolve to maintain a once a week schedule, because I’ve realized that my brain isn’t perfect. Mental illness makes me struggle with a lot of projects like this one. I end up scrambling for something to write about sometimes because my focus on a given week was crap and my brain just wouldn’t work and I’d become anxious or feeling like I failed at what I was trying to accomplish. So I’m keeping it simple. Whether it’s one post a week or once a month, I hope to keep it going.
  • I hope to travel. I ended up scrapping an end of year trip to Vegas because of the surge in covid cases right before Christmas. While I was not depressed about it (because while it was circumstance that led to my choice, it was still my choice to make the smart decision to cancell. And, also, Vegas isn’t going anywhere), it reminded me that traveling FOR MYSELF was something I hadn’t made time for in many years and was something I wanted to do as something just for me. I am not going to resolve, “Vegas 2022!,” because I have other stuff on my to-do list this year that will take priority money-wise (hello, GIANT tattoo!). But I do hope to have an opportunity to go somewhere this year.

That’s it. Those are the two things I hope for in 2022. Anything else is just a cherry on top.

For you?

I hope you find dreams to reach for, no matter how big or how small. I hope you are able to steady your thoughts and emotions and find ways of being able to get through another year that might end up continuing to be extremely difficult.

Find something to love. Enjoy the beauty of what’s around you. Reach for or hang onto the things that make you happy. Allow yourself to experience joy.

Published by loribarett

Coffee addicted charismatic geek with a penchant for tattoos, books, and listening to people tell their stories.

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