We're already a whole month in to the New Year and it feels like so much has already happened. This January, our team thought about our hopes, predictions, and wishful thinking for 2021. Here's what we have to say.
When I think about what I'm looking forward to this year, for me, it's actually less about what I have missed, and more about incorporating more of what's become important. A lot of lights went on for me in 2020 - it identified how unbelievably important my immediate family is to me, and how much I love spending time with them. I'm really proud and fortunate to be able to say I am loving parenting a teen and almost teen - I think I'm doing better than I did when they were really young because I know myself better, I'm more conscious of my decisions and my purpose. I'm softer with them, have less need for control and have more fun - I want to bring more of that into 2021.
I will say that one thing I am looking forward to more of this year is seeing more of my circle of local friends. My book club hasn't met in almost a year and I miss hugging my girlfriends in this group. I miss the deep conversations we have, the laughter we share, and the wine we drink together. Oh, and the books (although let's be honest, we do fall into the stereotypical "bookclub" description of "wine club that may or may not include a discussion on books").
On the business side, I'm excited about launching our refreshed website - there, I've said it! This is something that I know will contribute to our continued success as an agency, and even more importantly, it's something that our team deserves and will feel satisfied with when it's complete. I'm also excited about getting to know our team better - 2020 has challenged us in many ways and I think we all have slightly different purposes now. We have the right people in the right seats and I'm looking forward to keeping the momentum going.
I’m looking forward to visiting home in 2021. I had planned a trip in 2020, four years after my last visit, and we all know what happened (hello pandemic, we’re talking about you again!).
I’m looking forward to eating a pastel with caldo de cana at the market on a Sunday morning and walk down this avenue that connects my street to my grandma’s and my aunt’s street. And if you walk down a bit further you get to my other grandma’s house. We all lived near each other.
I’m looking forward to eating my grandma’s lasagna like we used to do every Sunday - it’s the most comforting food in the world. I can still remember the scent of my grandma’s perfume. It was subtle but you could tell she had put some on whenever you hugged her. I’m looking forward to hugging my grandma again. And my mom. And my dad.
I’m looking forward to getting familiar with every little change my parents went through. They’re in their early 40’s and in 5 years they got wrinkles and some gray hair, and I haven’t seen those details in person. It feels like I’m missing out.
I’m looking forward to catching up, and touching my mom’s hand and laying my head on her lap. I miss her laugh. Everyone in my family laughs ridiculously loud, and when we start we can’t stop because at some point we’re just laughing at each other’s laughs. It’s an endless cycle (the good kind). I’m looking forward to the warm energy, warm weather and warm hearts.
I hate to sound like the pessimist of the group, but I don’t want to place so much importance on hope this year. It's not always a useful thing! I’m ditching hope and it is extremely freeing. No more putting too many eggs in the basket of the future.
It’s interesting because to “lose hope” sounds like it's such a bad thing, but when you let go of your wishful expectations, you can avoid so much suffering. My hopes and expectations last year ended up causing so many letdowns that I’m not making that same mistake twice.
I’m not looking at 2021 to give me the things that I lost in 2020. I was burned many times by 2020 and my life was set back in inconvenient ways that I’m still uncovering and experiencing. Because my path has been so uncertain for the last year, hope wasn’t something that actually made me feel better, it was more like a temporary band-aid that hurt when it was ripped off. It almost felt more stressful to hope that things would play out how I wanted them to because guess what, they did not.
Now that I’ve stopped placing so much importance on the future, I feel so much lighter in the present. No more letdowns and wishing for things that may or may not happen. Instead, my mind is freer and I can enjoy each individual day again. I’ve even found myself having more patience for this Midwest Winter. I’m not trying to rush through it to get to Spring and Summer. I’ve actually been able to appreciate the importance of Winter. Time to slow down.
So here’s to 2021, the year where I try not to think about the next week or the last. I’m just coasting along one day at a time. If something positive happens, that’s great! And if it doesn’t, I’m trying not to stress out about it anymore :)
I really crave seeing more people than just the ones who share my last name. I miss visiting with friends, chatting with co-workers and greeting acquaintances on the street or hiking trail. I miss those small interactions that used to be so meaningless. I am looking forward to seeing other people’s faces - and their smiles without masks – in my home, at a restaurant, in the grocery store or walking by on the street.
I also really look forward to wearing “outside” clothes. My birthday is in March so the world had just shut down as I got beautiful new shoes and a gorgeous handbag as a present. They have been winking at me, unworn and unused, since then. I know I won’t take for granted again something simple like dressing up for drinks with a friend. I hope we are all able to do that soon.