2022 was a lot. A LOT. In the span of one trip around the sun, I fell in love, lost a dear family member after a rough battle with dementia, moved from my childhood home, and fought against burnout every bit of the way.
This year I want to slow down. Or try, at least.
And in coming out of survival mode and moving towards something that looks more like thriving, my biggest value this year is one that will take some time: consistency.
I want to live more intentionally and build good habits. I want to get good sleep so I have the energy to do my five jobs and still be a human sometimes. I want to prioritize me.
What 2022 perhaps most importantly taught me was that we only get one trip on this weird little space rock and I am the only specific human manifestation of this clump of stardust in my cells. I deserve to feel joy and happiness. I deserve the space to create and express myself.
But I am also a mostly-water-flesh-sack with limits, so what I want to accomplish (and it’s a lot) will have to be done with effort and care, little by little consistently each day.
Here are the habits I’m trying to build consistency around this year:
Sleep. At least six hours, hopefully more on weekends.
Family time. I have a lot of work, but even when working at home, I’m trying to prioritize spending time with my family and rabbits, taking breaks for cuddles when needed. The work will get done.
Being active. I don’t have fitness or wellness goals. I just want to focus on moving my body and gaining strength in different ways because it makes me feel good. I go rock climbing once a week, hit the gym a couple of times, and love yoga. Right now I’m doing the Yoga with Adriene 30-day Yoga Challenge (for the fourth year) and am loving it so far.
Reading. I slacked majorly on my reading last year because it was hard to concentrate. I don’t always have a whole day to sink into a book, but I’m trying to make reading a part of my day whenever and however I can. It beats spiraling into the TikTok and Twitter hole of despair.
Writing. Most importantly, I want to rediscover the joy that writing brings me this year. Last year it was hard between the stress of being a full-time caregiver, the grief, and the major life changes. Writing demands a level of presence I didn’t have last year, and I’m still dipping my toes in slowly with events like Tara Lazar’s StoryStorm and pre-writing some synopses for my upcoming projects. Day by day, word by word, I know I’m going to get there.
Part of how I’m keeping track and holding myself is by keeping a planner and using my to-do list pads from Knock Knock again. I also love the 2023 habit trackers from Elise Joy. I know every day won’t be perfect, but I’m hoping the intention will carry me far this year and help me find a sense of presence and peace that I haven’t gotten to feel in a while.
What do y’all want to find consistency around this year?
What I’m Reading & Loving
Season of Love by Helena Greer - I loved this queer romance about grief and overcoming your pain and fear to find love, all set at an idyllic (but occasionally tacky) Christmasland in upstate New York owned and operated by a Jewish family. The world-building is so rich; 100% commitment from page one.
Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan - I’ve always loved Julia Whelan as a narrator, but she can write. The audiobook of her own book is a masterclass, and get this: the book is about audiobook narrators who fall in love. This one was a bit tough as it was about a woman whose grandmother has dementia, but it’s handled with so much love and care.
None of this Would Have Happened if Prince Were Alive by Carolyn Prusa - The title got me, but it was the voice that kept me hooked. This character study about a woman in Georgia whose life has stalled in the face of a Category 4 hurricane while navigating an aging mother, a cheating husband, and the classroom guinea pig named Clarence Thomas is a barrel of laughs.
How Far the Light Reaches by Sabrina Imbler - Hands down one of my favorite collections of essays, written by a biracial Asian nonbinary person navigating their relationship to their family, culture, and identity through various sea creatures. The whales! The octopuses! The sturgeon! The immortal jellyfish! You will laugh. You will cry. You will do both at the same time in this book that uses a curiosity for the sea to understand the self.
What Happened to Rachel Riley? by Claire Swinarski - I am loving the recent trend of middle grade about badass tween girls who just won’t let unfairness go (and this was all before the Matilda movie!). Swinarski’s book uses emails, text messages and passed notes in addition to bright and voice-y prose to slowly unfold the mystery of how one girl became ostracized by her whole grade at school. The full cast audiobook is a whole reading experience.
Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle - I saved the kookiest (and my current read) for last. This unhinged holiday romance about finding the true meaning of Christmas (and no, it’s not revenge sadly) is a tinsel-covered, hot-cocoa fueled acid trip of a good time. My partner and I died laughing last night when I got to the part where the physical manifestation of the holiday spirit aka Hall deflated and became two-dimensional. I know, right? LOL. I’m about a third in and admire the commitment to yuletide insanity. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
What have you been reading and loving lately?
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