Simplify :: Revisiting My 2020 Resolution a Few Months Early

resolution simplify

I never thought I would have cause to quote a Miley Cyrus song, but here we are.  2020, straight from the lips of Miley, “You came in like a wrecking ball.” I had so many hopes for this year and as of recent I have had to do a little adjustment to my January 1st resolutions. I started 2020 by choosing a word to define my goals for the year versus one resolution. That word was simplify. I craved to evaluate several areas and how pairing down could improve the quality of my life.

So many people, including myself a time or ten, have declared 2020 needs to be over. It is easy enough to wish for a reset or fast forward button to move into a new year. However, moving on would also mean moving past. Past the lessons still in store for this year. COVID-19 has changed our story and history. From death to devastating economic impact, COVID-19 blew up our year. The events that have happened in the Black community {{in the past and present}} need to wake us up. The Black community is raising their voices. We shouldn’t look away. Neither of these experiences, or the impact of them, need to be forgotten. So, while my resolution of simplify hasn’t changed, its meaning in my life has evolved.

Family Time

Simplify my obligations to invest in more quality time with my family. Nothing can force some family bonding like a good old-fashioned quarantine. I am a full-time working mother. Our story looks like my children going to school and preschool every day while I am at the office. Mid-March marked my home becoming my office. It also meant my home became my children’s school. The closure of everything non-essential meant we had no weekend or evening commitments. Those outside obligations came to a halt and helped move this area of growth forward in super speed. I am not mad about it. While everything in the world has been big, real, and scary, the inside of my home has found some joy and calm. Board games were brought out that have been collecting dust. We have spent more time in our backyard in the past few months than we have in the past 3 years. This experience validated my feelings to prioritize my family time.

family time

Friendships

Simplify my friendships by setting and honoring healthy boundaries. I have had to lean in and step back all at the same time as a result of COVID-19. In January I vowed to be a better friend and to recognize that I deserved the same in return. 2019 ended with me questioning what mutual friendship and devotion should look like. I had just wrapped up a study that left me with a lot of questions. So far 2020 and the environment we have been living in has shown me that friendships need flexibility. They need the room to grow and the room to just be still. Being an essential worker during COVID –19 meant that I experienced periods of very high stress. That stress was complex and had many driving factors. I had the pleasure of receiving friendship in the form of encouragement and from space, when I needed it. I realized I don’t have to carry the weight of always being the person to check in. It forced me into simplifying what expectations I had on myself and that of my friends.

friendship

Health

Simplify the areas that take away from me focusing on my health and fitness. That was the thought in January. If I paired down what was taking away from focusing on this area, I would finally tackle my weight and overall emotional being. Now enters March. March through May meant I was surviving on little sleep and not eating during the day because full time working from home and homeschooling took all I had. It was hard. Then we were forced to spend more time outside. Enjoy more walks and actively playing with my kids. So, while I felt like I was barely surviving, I also walked away adding some things that reminded me I am alive and have a body able to do things. Hard things. Fun things. Scary things. We as a country have seen what poor health can make us susceptible to.  I have willingly lived my life with little focus on healthy eating habits {{my stress eating is off the chain right now}} and regular exercise. I have a family history or diabetes, heart disease and cancer. I have not done any favors for myself by preparing my body to successfully battle a virus like COVID-19. That is not fair to me or my family. I now know, more than ever, that I must fight to simplify the areas of my life that prohibit growth in this area. I have to carve out the time that allows for things like meal planning and exercise. 

health

Race Relations

I am ashamed to say racial reconciliation was not on my radar of 2020 resolution focus. Embarrassed that it is not always on my radar has made me look at myself and identify areas of growth, education, and awareness I was lacking. I take for granted how many common day things that are simple for me but are not for POC. There has been nothing simple about this process. It has been messy. Messy to dive into and hard to look at. But that is part of the point. I realized that I need to sit in that discomfort and stare it down. Dig in and grow. I am realizing that part of sticking to my simplify resolution, means untangling what white privilege looks like in my life and in this world.  Acknowledging and understanding its existence and how it has shaped my experience vs the experience of POC.  I know the education and growth needs to go beyond just recognizing my privilege, but I at least have a place to start. This is not just an amendment to my 2020 resolution, but a change that I will continue to carry on moving forward. HMB started what will be a series of important conversations on race relations and parenting. Having the opportunity to hear first hand accounts from some of our talented contributors was a gift. Their openness and vulnerability left me motivated to continue the conversation. 

racial relations

I can agree with the fact that 2020 has been A LOT. However, I plan on finishing out the last half of this year with the knowledge and lessons it has taught me. Some of the work I have to do is easy. Some will require me to dig deep. I hope you can take a moment to re-evaluate what your expectations were for the year and decide what you can do to honor what you started with while integrating what you have picked up along the way. This year has probably changed you and that might mean your resolution needs a change too. 


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