Unlocking growth and possibility in 2022

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I have a love-hate relationship with holiday cards. I love to receive Christmas cards. I look forward to all the festive greetings that fill my mailbox. While I value it as a time-honored tradition, I have a terrible time preparing and sending out my own cards.

As the time to mail deadline was rapidly approaching and my kids were fervently disagreeing about what picture to put on our card, I made a rogue decision. 

This year, we would send out Happy New Year cards instead of Christmas. I felt like I outsmarted the system. I was not running late; I was extending the celebration.

I quickly chose my favorite photos of my family in front of waterfalls and dreamy mountains. I had to make a few small changes to make our names fit. I also added my kids’ ages. I had seen ages listed on someone else’s card, and I thought it was a good idea.

The envelopes were addressed before my youngest daughter looked at the cards. She did not share my joy with using a New Year theme. Her biggest complaint understandably was that I had put the wrong age for her on the card. 

So much for outsmarting the system. I’m not sure how it happened; I blame the mistake on my last-second editing.

Adapt and conquer

After a few minutes of despair and feeling mildly defeated by my holiday cards, I brought out my paper chopper. I chopped our names and ages right off the bottom of our cards and whisked them off to the post office.

Sometimes change is good, and being adaptable is even better; that is my thought going into the new year of 2022. 

I remember last year at this time thinking optimistically that all was going to be on the upswing in the new year, 2020 was old news and 2021 was going to be a year of restoration. 

Little did I know how absurdly wrong I was with that naive thought.

I usually pick a word or a theme for each new year. I love celebrating a time of new beginnings and renewed possibilities. I was thinking I would choose the word “endurance” for 2022. 

Best intentions

However, when I was contemplating my word of the year, I stumbled on the idea of setting intentions for the new year. Intentions are like open-ended goals. They are not black and white. Intentions are progressively moving forward when life feels like a gray blob.

Thoughtfully, I considered the possibilities. Where do I need growth? What activities are worthy of my limited time and resources? I came up with more than a few areas to focus on in 2022.

I hope to grow more produce and in turn increase the amount of fresh food eaten by my family. With the rising price of gas and groceries, this goal is good for my wallet as well as my body. 

When I water my plants, it will be a good reminder to drink more water myself. After all, 60% of the human adult body is water.

Surprisingly enough, there are still more state parks and even more national parks to explore. Even though we covered a lot of miles in 2021, I hope to continue to cover more ground in 2022. 

Research shows that spending time in nature boosts the immune system. I am also considering volunteer work to maintain trails in our area.

Since the onset of Covid-19, I have felt cut off from many social activities. In 2022, I hope to intentionally schedule time and outings to share with friends and families. The present time is the perfect time to re-establish social connections.

Much to my children’s dismay, I love to cook and eat mushrooms. However, I know very little about foraging. I have a few books picked out to help me become more confident and knowledgeable by spring. 

Much to my husband’s dismay, I have many Pinterest-inspired landscaping ideas. A much more realistic goal is to eradicate invasive species on our property. 

We hope to rip every last honeysuckle out of the ground and tackle some more invasive species choking out native plants. We can strengthen the tree canopy, allowing the sturdy oaks to thrive and sacrificing many small, soft maples.

In the end, if I am pursuing health and happiness, and I neglect holiness, then all is lost. My last intention is to dwell in the word and begin and end each day with prayer and gratitude.

Here is my rally cry: Let’s do this 2022. Here’s to a year of unbridled growth and unprecedented possibilities.

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