A New Year to Explore

Filled with dreams of exploring new options and changing habits, New Year’s morning always feel hopeful. It’s a great feeling to write through. I took a minute to go back a few years and reflect on my hopes and dreams on the past few New Year’s Days and Eves. On New Year’s Eve of 2020, I celebrated the fact that I had released all of my (and others’) relentless expectations. By December 31 of 2020, I was unemployed and in the thick of the blissful experience of not being in a hurry to be employed.

Ironically in January 2020, I decided to commit to a Yoga with Adriene 30-day yoga journey called Home. laughed out loud when I saw the name of the series given that I ended up being sequestered in my home for much of the year that year due to the pandemic.

I don’t have any pressing goals to be skinnier or healthier at this point. And I don’t know yet where I’m going to land job wise so my work goals are a little more undefined. I feel pretty happy with my habits at this point. So there’s nothing pressing that says I need to get a part of my life in order. And, to be honest, if I had a need for that I’m not sure a new year is the catalyst to get me going. It’s usually some painful experience that leads me down a road to change. Other times it may be a vision of something that inspires me to change but much more often it’s the pain thing. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking maybe that’s something I should work on. Why can’t hope and inspiration – or even fun – be my guiding force for change rather than pain? That’s something to noodle this year.

The world is still out of sorts due to the pandemic and the change that it’s driving. I’ve been lucky enough to stay healthy, and I’m very grateful for that. I had a really lovely conversation with my first husband a few weeks back, and he informed me of the death of a friend of ours. Those notifications are coming more frequently, and I’m realizing that not everyone gets to be 60 or make the choice of whether or not to let their gray hair grow out. They don’t get to worry that they don’t have enough money in their 401K for retirement. It’s all a moot point. Those of us able to get up this morning and groan about our 10 extra pounds or soft belly are the luckiest people in the world. We are alive.

And since I’m alive and not sure I’ll be here tomorrow, I grabbed a poboy and gumbo yesterday!

A

So I think 2022 will be a year of exploration for me. I’m in a new decade that honestly took me a year to embrace. What do I want the next decade to look like? What are my interests? What can I contribute to an embattled society? What is fun? What makes me happy? I was talking to my friend Angel the other day, and as we were discussing our past year, I realized that I need a hobby. I have some things I enjoy doing, but nothing I would describe as a hobby that keeps my mind engaged. I’ve always been working or not working. Not working means resting and rejuvenating for working. There is a gap, and I need to fill it if I ever want to be happily retired. And since I’m not retired yet, I have time to explore this.

I’ll start my year like I have many years by committing to Yoga With Adriene’s 30-day yoga journey. This year it’s called Move (and I hope that doesn’t mean relocation). I know if I keep moving and healthy, my mental and physical states will benefit. I’ve been practicing intuitive movement lately. I do what I feel my body needs that day. Sometimes it’s yoga. A few days a week it’s running. Often it’s a hike with my dog to enjoy some nature. Other days it’s a tough strength-training circuit. The variety is working for me. So, I’ll add this 30-day commitment to ADD yoga to my other movement and see what happens. Some years I finish. Other years I don’t. Doesn’t really matter. It’s the attempt that is important.

If you are interested in joining me (it’s free), you can find info here:

I also signed up for a Writer’s Retreat for two weeks in January. I don’t really get to go anywhere because it’s virtual, but I’m really looking forward to it. My friend Marge signed up for it and mentioned it to me because I’ve been struggling with writer’s block. From the description, it sounds like it’s designed to drive some consistency in writing and tools to build back my confidence. That’s exactly what I need so I think it’s a worthy exploration.

I’ll continue to explore career opportunities and am hopeful that I will find exactly what I need. I also want to explore new ways to meet people. The pandemic has made it much more difficult, and I’m missing the old options of adding new hearts to my life. I love meeting new people and it’s hard now. But there has to be a way. I think it’s a worthy exploration.

Today I’m going to take Ashok out for a hike as I do most New Year’s Days and then come home to watch the predicted 5-10 inches of snow fall on my house. We really haven’t had much snow to speak of so I’m looking forward to a snow day. I hedged my bets this year and stocked up on Black-eyed peas and Kale. I tried to find cabbage or collard greens but the shelves were bare. We’ll have to go with kale this year. I hope it works. I need the money.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Day and enjoy whatever you have in store. And let’s figure out how to change things before experiencing pain. That’s just not super pleasant.

P.S. This showed up on my doorstep with no identifying information. If you sent it, please let me know!

One Comment on “A New Year to Explore

  1. This is something I really needed to read today. Thank you, Sharon, and happy new year

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