Feeling ’22

Yeah, we’re happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time
It’s miserable and magical, oh yeah
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the deadlines
It’s time, oh-oh
I don’t know about you
But I’m feeling ’22
Everything will be alright if
You keep me next to you

-Taylor Swift

I don’t remember last New Year’s Eve and it’s not because I was drunk (I’ve never had a drink). The only pictures I have on my phone are selfies of my girls with their hand-made photo props and one of Zach lounging on the couch holding one, too.

Paige was dying, the pandemic raging, my parents were living with us after a catastrophic year of loss, there was Christmas to put in the attic, a 7th birthday to plan, the weight of the world on my shoulders, and a New Year to fake celebration.

No wonder I unknowingly blocked it out.

2021 started out rocky so I had no expectations, no resolutions, and no words. In the first quarter of the year when momentum is strong in most goal setting circles, I was allowing myself to come home after school, grieve, nap, eat junk food, and just be with my kids on the couch. I accomplished nothing but a larger jean size, but I needed that time to process my grief.

Yet even with slow start, the art within me found its way out putting words and images to what was brewing in my heart and head.

One quote I embraced this year was…

“All art is pointing at something.”

Austin Kleon

(I hope to allow those words to narrow my focus this year as well. What or Who will I be pointing you to?)

I pointed at my hometown with “Goodnight Covington” as an homage to the place where I’ve learned to find beauty in unexpected places.

I pointed to the book of John to refocus us on the words of Jesus to our hearts inspiring us to testify.

I pointed to the skies as the Lord gave me words to overcome the turmoil in my heart of the uncertain times we are living.

If you read this booklet, I’d love for you to leave a review.

I pointed to making the most of life on the ground by bringing the look and feel of my favorite destination to my typing desk.

So, after a year of ups and downs, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling ’22. I joked and said my resolution was to underachieve because I’ve been trying to over achieve since I first learned the word when I took a standardized test in Kindergarten!

But seriously, my goal is to love more and fear less because they can’t dwell together. Less perfectionism, more in the words of my dad, “just relax!”

For fun I hope to do (12) 30-day challenges to better myself at something I want to improve over time. You can download a check off chart I’m using here.

Some ideas:
-Walking 1 mile for 30 days in a row

-Practicing saying, “It’s nice to see you” instead of my Oxford, MS learned, “How are you?” and walking a way.

-Writing one quote I hear or read everyday for 30 days.

-Character Drawing for 30 days

-Writing one journal entry style blog post for 30 days

-Writing down what God is teaching me for 30 days

…and so on.

I hope 2022 is a great year for us all, but just know, no matter where you are tonight, in the depths of despair or on a mountaintop, there’s strength for the taking right now and bright hope tomorrow.

Look up,
Em