I typically choose a word to define my year. This year, that word is “celebrate”. Read why below.
I entered into 2021 exactly the way I exited 2020– a little anxious, mildly hopeful, but incredibly bogged down by the things that frustrated me at the end of 2020.
I just couldn’t help myself. My pessimistic, beaten down spirit took over me. No matter what I did, everything I was anxious about in 2020 came crawling back up at full speed. I was still worried about our finances, a difficult and stress-inducing job waiting for me on Monday, and relational challenges that felt like they’ll never get better.
I’ve never been good at living in the moment. I’m always on to the next. As soon as I check one thing off my list, I rarely ever sit in the wonder of my feat. I move on, swiftly, without truly celebrating the accomplishment.
This comes from a story I often told myself as a young person. If I made mistakes or something went wrong, it was because I didn’t pray enough, spend enough time with God, or simply wasn’t a good or worthy enough person. When I did win, I taught myself to give God all the glory in it.
God was good. I was bad. End of story.
Entangling myself out of this idea has been one of the hardest works of my adult life. I have a difficult time believing I can be a co-heir in my kingdom on earth.
That I could have listened to the voice of God and be brave. That I can take action or a step of faith, chose to determine and toil for the life I lead— the one I am so proud and grateful of.
When you are entangled this way, it’s hard to truly revel in the progress you make in moments of hardship. You fixate on the problems and want an easy and quick solution. You grip in the past and struggle to find hope for a brighter future.
The older I get, the more I realize adult challenges are not ones you can put bandages on and solve for easily. Many of them require hard work and months of commitment before you truly see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This year, I’m trying my darndest to stop dwelling in the past and thinking ahead to the future. I’m trying to find ways to celebrate the big and small in a way that feels authentic to me.
Big things like moving into our first house this year. Small things like remembering to turn the lights off in the bathroom (after my husband has begged me to for months).
One of the trickiest pieces of this for me is finding ways to authentically celebrate myself. When I started my journey of celebration, I very naturally gravitated to food and treats. Despite allowing myself the fried chicken sandwich (which I love by the way) and the delicious pieces of chocolate cake, It never really satiated me.
This year, I am committed to finding ways to genuinely celebrate myself and those around me often, even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone. Right now, my hunch is that celebration looks like adventure. I love exploration, seeing and doing new things, especially in the city I am in.
I’m committing to more exploration— even if it means I have to do it by myself. This is no small feat for me – I am not typically someone who likes to solo-yolo.
My adult life has taught me that the relationship you build with yourself is the best gift you can give to yourself and the people you love. You cannot rely on your partner, friends, or even family to help you know and love yourself. You can’t expect anyone to help you grow, especially if you don’t even know what that growth should look like.
This year, I want to build a practice of authentic celebration. I want to live in the moment. I want to really be with myself and the people around me.
I want to enjoy the fullness of God’s love in every present moment of my life.