As we head into 2022, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do this year, as well as how I want to be. And I've been struggling with the fact that the two feel somewhat at odds. On one hand, what I want to accomplish are things like:
- Publish my upcoming (and first!) book, Welcome to the Grief Club, and have a successful virtual "book tour"
- Grow and evolve Kwohtations into a more impactful, manageable, joyful, and profitable business
- Create and release new and meaningful products throughout the year
- Start and maintain a consistent writing practice
- Explore different creative ideas and techniques
These are goals that are meaningful to me, and that I very much want to achieve. But accomplishing them takes a lot of work and personal growth. They come with workplans and deadlines. They require that I try things I haven’t done before, some of which really scare me. They mean I have to think through different analytical and operational problems. They demand a lot of personal reflection, and in the case of the book, delving into the hardest thing I’ve gone through and sharing about it publicly.
On the other hand, how I would like to be is the opposite: I would like to be still, slow, and rested. I would like to meander without a goal in sight. To be honest, I am tired of striving. I don’t want more “growth opportunities” or to push myself harder and outside of my comfort zone. I would like to be lying down squarely in the center of my comfort zone, wrapped in a blanket, watching mindless TV reruns. The only decision I want to make is which cheesy snack to eat first. I would like for things to not be hard. I want only softness.
I feel like there are two Janine’s inside me, and both are equally true and insistent: there’s the one that cannot sit still, and the one that desperately wants to; the one that is constantly evaluating and trying to improve in order to be her best self, and the one that wants to just be; the one that is excited by new challenges, and the one that is exhausted by them.
I haven’t figured out how to reconcile these two parts of myself, but thought it might be helpful to name them. I hope this year to find a way to balance (or at least accommodate) these multiple, seemingly opposing, demands — the need to work with the need to rest, the desire for growth with the desire for ease.
To that end, here are some of my intentions for 2022 — as always, feel free to take what's useful, and leave what's not:
- SAY YES TO WHAT MATTERS (and no to what doesn't): Say yes to the people and experiences that bring you joy, and no to those that drain your energy.
- FIND JOY IN THE PROCESS: Most of your time is spent working towards a goal—the actual moment of achievement is short—so find whatever joy you can in the process.
- BEGIN ANYWHERE: There is no perfect place to start. The most important thing is to just begin, and each step will lead you to the next.
- DECIDE AND MOVE ON: It is impossible to know how things will turn out, so just make the best decision you can based on the information you have at the time.
- CELEBRATE PROGRESS: Acknowledge and celebrate progress, even if it’s small, even if it’s not as much as you wanted it to be, and even if it’s not done.
- TAKE REGULARLY SCHEDULED BREAKS: Schedule in rest as you would work, and honor that commitment.
Ready or not, here we go into 2022—I hope that you are able to find balance, meaning, joy, and rest in this year. I’m glad that we’re in it together.xo,