January 2022, already! How has time gone by this fast? It seems to slip by faster each year, but the pandemic has made the passage of time even more wonky. I love the feeling of a new year – so many possibilities that lie ahead. It feels like the flip of the calendar allows us all a fresh start.
I started the new year by cleaning my desk. I admit, I am the person that doesn’t stay as organized as they should. For many years I have taken the time around the New Year to organize, tidy, and allow myself to start into January feeling like I am ready for what lies ahead. And it honestly never fails to make me more clearheaded and ready to tackle more.
I also try to sit down and write some goals and intentions for the year. These are less ‘resolutions’ and more about things that I’m hoping to accomplish. Sometimes I have had a word that I structure those goals around (progress, focus, etc.). One year I tried to tame my calendar – which did not completely work, but I did make some good changes that helped.
This year my word of intention is ‘peace’. The world around us has been so chaotic for several years between the pandemic, politics, and other things that are happening. My own life has felt so chaotic for different and difficult reasons. So this year, I felt like I was coming into 2022 a little more weary than years past. And when I reflected on what I wanted this year to be about, peace is the word that kept coming to mind.
So much of life is out of our control. And I feel like the pandemic has really put a spotlight on those parts of life. I cannot always control what happens, but I can control how I react to it. Am I allowing anger to bubble up quickly and fiercely? Am I constantly allowing myself to get stressed out by things beyond my control? Maybe I need to focus on things a little closer to home.
I’m still in the process of setting my actual goals for the year but I can tell you that learning and practicing more coping techniques will certainly be part of that. I am praying that this is the year we turn the corner with the pandemic, but even if that is the case, I know that other stressful things will happen, and I want to be prepared to be resilient.
As I look a little more broadly at my hopes for the community this year here are a few things that are crossing my mind. I hope that…
- this year we can continue the growth we have seen recently in the local economy.
- we can get more people connected into meaningful employment in our community.
- we can continue the positive community development work such as downtown developments (in all our downtowns), neighborhood enhancements, and infrastructure improvements.
- all our leaders can continue to work together to move our community forward as we have for many years.
- our small businesses can finally see things return to normal as far as customers and employees.
There’s so much more that I am optimistic about. And to each of you: I wish you a happy new year that is filled with good health, good fun, prosperity and peace. Happy New Year!