Hollie Grimaldi Flores: 2020 vision
The new decade is barely a week old and I can barely remember the holidays! All the decorations are stowed away, and the feeling of exhaustion is abating. I am having trouble believing the turn of the century is now twenty years in the rearview, but here we are. Time is moving from a jaunt to a full-on sprint. We will be unpacking the holiday décor again in a blink. In an effort to savor some of the wonders of the year, I decided to make a conscious effort to record them.
Following some inspiration I saw somewhere on social media, in 2019 I wrote down something positive that had happened during the week on a scrap of paper, folded it up and put it in a jar. On the first day of 2020, I emptied the jar and read each memory. It was lovely to be reminded of some of the smaller incidents that made me smile and interesting to realize how many events I recorded that were really the good fortune of others I know and love. I cannot honestly say I had one message for each week, but there were many. Looking back in that way, it was hard to find much room for complaint. I know 2019 had its share of not so great moments, but it was really refreshing to start the new year focusing on only positive experiences. With rose colored glasses securely in place. I am ready for 2020 vision.
And so it is, that I have added “recording something positive each week” to my ever growing list of rituals, joining my annual resolve to abstain from alcohol for a month or so and to pick a word to act as a focus for the coming year.
“Dry January” has become so much a part of my annual routine, that it is entirely effortless. My husband joins in and each year we are approached by a friend or two who decide to jump on the wagon with us. It is catchy. I find we drink a lot tea and watch a lot of movies. It is a nice break for the liver, after endless holiday communal occasions that result in gluttonous amounts of wine and various varietals of spirit. My holiday indulgence in the adult beverage category is calorie laden cocktails. At the end of the year I jokingly reported I had drunk so many white Russians,” I develop accent.”
This year the debauchery extended beyond alcohol to include sugar. There was so much sugar in my December diet I was sweating sweets. While I have traditionally spent many years successfully depriving myself of the myriad of confections that seem to be offered everywhere I go, in 2019, I spent the month between Thanksgiving and New Year’s saying “yes” to whatever I found appealing. It was the year of toffee and cookies, candy and pie.
Between the two evils (alcohol and sugar), I knew I would put on a few pounds, but I decided to just “go for it” and promised myself I would get back on track with the turn of the decade. And I have. So far, so good. No alcohol. No processed sugar. Plenty of water. A reasonable amount of exercise.
As for resolutions, I gave up on them a few years ago. It was too disappointing to break the same promises I would make to myself over, and over again. In looking back in my journals, I was not too surprised to see decades of resolve to lose weight and get into shape. This is not a cry for help or a complaint, but merely an observation. Please do not send me your latest weight loss plan. I am not interested. I am certain they will work. Most do – if I work them. For me, all those years of every strategy imaginable and countless dollars spent on bars, shakes, plans and memberships, along with a library of books, resulted in the realization that I finished the decade in basically the same weight and shape that I began it. I am focusing on awareness and accountability. I am working on balance rather than extremes. I will keep you posted.
Other resolutions from prior years also came up lacking — the places I would go and things I would do, still need to be gone to and still need to be done. So instead of resolutions, at the beginning of each year, I have also gotten into the habit of picking a word, another idea I picked up from someone on social media.
My word for 2020 came to me in that early morning time before fully waking. It is “possibilities” and it is a good fit. I have a good feeling about the future. With all the kids (finally) out of the house, my husband and I are back to focusing on each other and our future together. We are moving ever closer to the next quarter of our life. Many restrictions are falling to the wayside. The possibilities seem endless.
In looking over the rituals I have set up to replace resolutions, I see a pattern of focusing on what is positive. I can see so many years wasted on worry and regret. Of course, that is hindsight, the word my eldest chose. Because, you know, it is 2020!
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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