This week, I'm taking you with me as I "measure my year." I'm also sharing some of the selfies I've taken during the pandemic. I guess it's been a little side project I started without really meaning to . . . kind of to measure my mood. I'm not sure exactly why or when I started taking these pandemic self-portraits (because I'm normally not a selfie-taker at all), but I did. And now there's quite a collection, and they DO tell a story of my pandemic moods.(Also hair growth, as it turns out.)
As I mentioned yesterday, I always begin my "annual review" by taking a look at the intentions I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I don't set resolutions or specific "goals" for myself. I set . . . intentions. They're very open-ended, generally. And they reflect the direction I want to head off in for the new year; they way I want to live my life.
One year (2018, I think), I tried Gretchen Rubin's "XX for 20XX" concept, and set myself up with 18 (I think) very specific things I wanted to do that year. I hated it. Hated. It. I know a lot of people just love that concept - and look forward to putting their lists together every year. It's not for me, though. I'm much better with annual, wide-open intentions.
Anyway. Here are the intentions I set for myself back in January 2020:
- be healthy and get strong
- practice the things I love
- pay attention to the moon
- be kind
- let love flow
- focus on flexibility and stretching
- keep my eyes open
- be mindful of the world I live in
- show up
- make space
Even though they are very . . . non-specific . . . there is always some kind of meaning behind each intention; a reason I made it an intention in the first place! "Be healthy and get strong," for example, was all about my commitment to fitness and continuing my work with Jeremy, my personal trainer. "Be mindful of the world I live in" was related to my wanting to learn more about the environment and how I might change my own "footprint" on the earth. "Focus on flexibility and stretching" was, in part (although not exclusively), a reminder for me to try and find a new yoga studio. "Show up" was all about being more present for the people I love and care about, and to remind myself to speak out when I could about things that matter to me.
So these intentions were designed . . . for 2020 as I assumed it would unfold.
And then, of course . . . it didn't.
I didn't look at my intentions for several months. I was too busy . . . adjusting to this new reality of pandemic life. But eventually, once I realized and accepted that it was a longer-term situation we had here, I did a quick review. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't really need to make any drastic changes; that most of my intentions were wide-open enough that I could just tweak them here and there, maybe add a few things, and still move forward. So late last summer, I made some revisions to my intentions . . . to reflect my new and unexpected pandemic lifestyle:
- be healthy and get stay strong ("healthy" took on a whole new meaning for me, and Jeremy is long gone. . . )
- remove the barriers that keep me from practicing the things I love (mostly . . . put down the phone, step away from news, and Get To It)
- pay attention to the moon and find new rhythms for living your life
- be kind from behind a mask
- let love flow with loving-kindness meditations
- focus on flexibility and stretching by saying "hello" to your new friend Adriene
- keep my eyes open by staying informed by reputable, knowledgeable sources
- be mindful of the world I live in while still allowing myself time to grieve and heal
- show up by supporting my family and friends
- make shift your space to make room for pandemic life at home (now that "home" is also gym, movie theater, restaurant, brew pub, art class, etc.)
I also added a few new intentions:
- be gentle with myself
- look for the next right thing . . . and do that
- connect with local friends as if they were far-away friends (because they kinda are far-away friends now)
- find new ways to celebrate special days and events
- get out my pom-poms and be a cheerleader whenever possible
2020 threw me for a loop, that's for sure.
Things look a lot different than I anticipated they would back in January.
But when it comes to living my life, I've stuck to my intentions.
I call that a Win!