I don’t make New Year’s resolutions but in January, I typically share my New Year Reset with you. The title of last year’s was “How I’m trying to Slow Down.” Well, that certainly happened but not entirely how I had planned! This year I want to share seven hopes for 2021 because I’m pretty much copying and pasting my reset from last year for each area of my life.
When I first started this post in early May, we were thinking about how to resume life with COVID-19 in our midst. I kept pushing off finishing the post because I just didn’t have time with the end of school activities, work, etc. So many things have happened and so much turmoil in our country from covid to racism to politics…and I never shared this. As I tought about my New Year Reset, this writing came to mind and felt like the right time to finish it and share it with you.
These things that I hoped would carry forward with our family from our time in quarantine are really hopes that I have that everyone will carry forward and change our lives and our country for the better in 2021 and beyond.
Here are the seven hopes I have for 2021 and I plan to carry forward for me and my family hope others will as well:
Slow down – Well…this was a serendipitous surprise and a forced one even though I wrote last New Years’ Reset post on How I’m trying to slow down! We were all forced to slow down for most of 2020. As restrictions began to lift in our area, I really felt the need to stay at a slow pace and didn’t have the urge to “do more.” I hope that this pruning of “extra” and “busy” things from our lives holds and we all continue to be more present for those we love. This is exactly one of the reasons for my goal to slow down in 2020!
Family dinners – We have always made family dinners a priority in our home, after all one of my goals with AWL is to inspire you to create memories with family and friends through meals together at home! We are fortunate enough to manage 3-5 dinners together most weeks. So much life and learning happens there! During quarantine, we sat down for dinner one night and after blessing our meal we began talking about how everyone felt. Because this was so normal for us it really helped use not only survive but thrive during that time. One night, we were talking about just that and how so many families were possibly sitting down at the table together for the first time or the first time in a long time. I truly pray that this is something that families can continue even once a week or once a month to have special time together.
Kindness – I hope that we can continue to show kindness to our neighbors and those we come in contact with not just by wearing a mask or whatever other things are asked of us in different instances but by reaching out to those we meet whose stories and experiences are different than our own. No one should live in fear because of their faith, color of their skin or any other outward difference. We need to love everyone and love them better by understanding their perspective and experience while honoring our own as well.
Doers – I saw so many who began volunteering during quarantine by donating to organizations who were feeding the front line, helping restaurant workers who’ve been laid off, bringing supplies to a food pantry and more. My husband and I have volunteered our entire adult lives and have tried to model that for our girls. We have made sandwiches for our church to support a homeless ministry and written letters to be delivered by the VNA and given financially to several organizations helping those in need. This photo was taken by my friend and neighbor Erin Schreyer, who began taking photos of families as a Front Porch Project to document our time in quarantine. She took photos in exchange for people donating to their favorite charity. She raised more than $150,000 for multiple charities. She’s an amazing photographer with a new business now! I truly hope that people will continue to do these things and touch lives of those they may never get to meet.
Creativity – My husband talks to the girls about being life long learners. (ie Erin!) During quarantine, many had time to learn a new skill, a game or read a good book. Feeding our minds also feeds our hearts and helps us be better people.
Compassion – Regardless of your personal beliefs on coronavirus, politics, faith, life experiences, we can all have compassion for the struggles of other and love them regardless of our differences.
Exercise – I finally got into an exercise routine! It was amazing what those extra hours not spent carpooling allowed me to do! I now love it and want to do it daily. I don’t always get it in but am so glad that I made myself use this extra time for that and to move my body each day! It inspired my posts on How I’m getting healthy again and How I’m staying healthy through the holidays.
Faith and Prayer – I heard from so many readers and followers when I shared sermons, prayers here, on Instagram and on Facebook that you love it and were encouraged and inspired. Almost since the beginning of The Lush List/Alicia Wood Lifestyle, I’ve shared scripture but really felt lead to do this in a more bold way beginning in March. Many people leaned in on their faith in God, shared it with others and many who were searching learned about the Lord. I hope this continues and that those who don’t have hope will find their hope in Him.
Our family verse: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
How will you remember 2020 and what will you carry forward with you?