You might not know this about me yet, but I love a good list. And I have a lot of them. There is the grocery list, the “to do” list for each of my jobs, our home improvement wishlist, my list of personal “to do” tasks, the leftover staycation “to do” list still hanging on our fridge…. I could go on. But there is one list I didn’t make this year: a list of New Year’s Resolutions.
On December 31st, almost ten months into this devastating global pandemic, I found myself reflecting on how the uncertainty of 2020 has shaped me. I’m not planning as far in advance as I did before. I’m holding any plans I do make loosely. The future seems fragile.
I still have hopes and dreams and intentions for 2021. But they are different than what I wrote down a year ago. Loss has a way of bringing clarity about what really matters. And perhaps that is the list I need most for 2021. A list of what matters most.
Whether you made New Years Resolutions this year or not, I invite you to join me in discerning what really matters as we step into 2021. As Kendra Adachi points out in the latest episode of her podcast one way of discerning what matters most for you is to reflect on what has been important and meaningful in the past.
So, let’s give thanks for what really mattered this past year and reflect on what matters most as we cross the threshold into 2021. Below are some of the questions I’m sitting with. Last year was a lot. And some of these questions have already brought up big feelings for me. Rather than feeling pressured to do all of my reflecting during the first week of this new year, I’m planning on reflecting throughout the whole first month. Just this morning I was brushing my teeth and thought, “Walking in the woods mattered. I forgot to write that down!”
Take the time you need. Use this as a jumping off point. Take the questions you need and leave the rest.
- Who mattered most in 2020? Who were “my people”? Who loved and supported me through the worst days? Who brought me joy? Who am I grateful for?
- What losses from this past year were the most difficult? What did I miss or long for? What does identifying the losses that were hardest tell me about what really matters in my life?
- What events stand out most from the past year? What took place that I am really grateful for? What events changed or moved me?
- What do I want to make sure I remember from the year 2020?
- What mattered this past year in the different areas of my life: relationships, school/work, home, family, body/health, soul/relationship with God?
- Based on these reflections, what matters most as I move into a new year?
My prayer for you, and for myself, is that taking time to reflect on the past year will help clarify what matters for each of us, what matters most, and what really does not matter. When we can ground ourselves in this clarity, it is easier to live into who God created us to be.
With love and Epiphany blessings,
PS. If you love lists too, check out this great episode of The Lazy Genius podcast where Kendra Adachi talks about different list making personalities. I bet you’ll guess right away which one I am!