One of my traditional first posts of the new year for the last several years has always focused "One Word" of the year. I will admit, I'm a bit mixed about it. Just like New Year's resolutions, I always start strong and it flitters and fizzles somewhere by mid year.
Last year's word of "Vitality
" seems rather ironic in a 365 day retrospect on all the mysteries that I didn't know then about 2020 but certainly know now. "Vitaliy" was a hard bargain sometimes in the age of Covid, remote & hybrid Learning, civil unrest, and a very contentious election. Much of 2020 for me was mind numbing, which is quite the opposite of vitality. But thats said, I did have 243 days of exercising, mainly on my real or my stationary bike. This rounds out to 4-5 times a week. This is by far a first for me to have a continued year long maintenance of an exercise program. Some pounds were dropped--not as many as I would have liked, and it offered some good escape & bingewatching time during a harsh year. Schitt's Creek
, Downtown Abbey, the entire West Wing
series, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist
, and Virgin River
were some of my favorites. (Sorry, no Tiger King
for this kid!!)
So clearly this one-word business isn't an exact science with me, but it does offer the glimmer of hope and direction.
It reminds me of memories of curling up with my journal as a kid and writing lists of resolutions and plans for the year ahead. I appreciate that midwinter reflection after all the gifts are unwrapped, time to sit and think about what is really important, and the ability to ponder ways I need to shift going forward. It's at least a good exercise for me in January.
In thinking about the year ahead, one can't do so without thinking on everything we endured. I saw a meme of 2020 that had January and February calendars at the top, a whole mix and mingle of the in between months, and then December. 2020 in so many ways feels like this exact jumble--one perhaps of about 700 days long. I alluded to some of the highlights of the year in my last post.
However, in thinking about words for the year ahead, in relation to the year prior, "Heal" keeps coming to mind. I think we all have walked away from 2020 a bit broken. I think we all may have a collective case of PTSD. Watching shows, I feel like people are too close. I can shut my eyes and hear the air scrubbers in my school. Masks are part of our fashionwear. Hand washing & sanitizing feels a little obsessive compulsive. It's going to take a long time to feel "normal" again.
Teachers and healthcare workers are tired from the demands of the pandemic. Mental health is more of a concern than ever before. Entire sports seasons and prom events and college & high school rites of passage like prom and graduation have disappeared. We have an Innaguration ahead in a few weeks with the entire country more angry than ever. Stress is high on all levels, and many of us feel beaten down in our own homes due to sacrifices to families, jobs, economy, and more. As a planet, we are literally trying to heal pandemic populations through newly released and administered vaccinations.
2020 was such a hard year for so many.
I ran across this poem by Christine Evangelou
from "Beating Hearts & Butterflies" and was struck. May we all be these stronger people in 2021, better now than before. Richer due to surviving hard experiences. Healed.
One day, you will heal
One day, you will be grateful for the deepest cuts of pain
One day, you will glance at yourself
And see a stronger person through your reflection
One day, you will kiss away your hurt… gently, and with grace
Until then, use it all to propel you forward
Like a white-hot pyre through your star-spangled eyes
A fire to regenerate every shadowy cell
And open your heart to every experience
Knowing that one day
You will search your heart
And understand that love is the only thing to ever hold onto
*This was written and scheduled to post on January 6 well before the events in Washington, DC on January 6, 2021. Certainly, glued to my television watching events unfold as people overtook one of our most sacred governmental buildings, it certainly reiterates my choice and our collective need to "heal."