Remember when you were a little kid and would ride on a playground merry-go-round? It would get going at a dizzying speed and you could make out small faces of those on the ride with you as the background repeatedly whipped past. Sometimes, you would let the merry-go-round slow down on its own and other times, you would drag your foot below, imprinting a circle in the dirt underneath and around the merry-go-round as the background began to return to focus. 2021 was a merry-go-round.
A week into December, I began to drag my foot below to slow things down, to take stock of the year. I always think it would be much more interesting if people sent holiday letters that chronicled the horrors of the year they’d endured. In his book, Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris wrote, "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" which is a holiday letter from the (fictional) Dunbar family. The letter is narrated by Jocelyn Dunbar who has a husband, a house, and three children: one in college, one in rehab, and one who stays in the bathroom to carve soap figurines. One day, Khe Sahn shows up. Khe Sahn is an illegitimate child fathered by her husband during his tour of duty in Vietnam. And, a shit show ensues. Much more interesting than a recap of the year – unless it was written by the late Ray Charleston, who sent the best letters ever. This year, we shoved a scrap of paper detailing a few of 2021’s highlights into our letter. And there were some, for which we’re both grateful. Then there were the things we endured and survived. Things we healed from. Things we’re still healing from. The things we spoke of to a trusted few who close rank around us. And we returned the favor as best we could. In mid-April, I began a new job and, as the first HR person at the company, it has been a busy 8-months. But I couldn’t have landed at a better place to use my skills while working from home – restoring much needed balance to my life. Balance that I need and want to continue to prioritize post Christmas
For the past few months, I’ve been writing a list of goals at the beginning of the month that I wanted to accomplish during the month ahead. Overall, it’s helped. For 2022, instead of “resolutions”, I’ve written a list of 22 things that I want to accomplish in 2022. I borrowed this idea from author Gretchen Rubin, who this year, also introduced “Rest 22 in ‘22”. I love the idea of rest as much as I love the idea of doing – perhaps more so, although I have not quite figured out my rest 22 list whereas I have written my 22 in 2022 list.
Not that the merry-go-round isn't spinning as wildly, I see things more clearly. They are settling into view and I want them to stay that way for as long as they can as I step into the new year.