This month is when my year starts again, even though it has felt like I have lived many years since January. But here in the month of June, my birth is celebrated by those closest to me. And it puts me in a deeply contemplative mood.
This last year was almost evenly divided between growth and stepping back. Last summer, we did a lot of travel as a family. We went to a wedding, visited family, and toured New York City. All things that are more difficult to do this summer. Last fall, I joined a mom group, a second book club, and found socialization opportunities for my son. By the end of the year, I had a small village of people who loved on my family and encouraged me as a mom.
Then, everything seemed to fall apart. While the very beginning of this year promised a continued growth of that village, COVID-19 spread all over the world and this country bringing uncertainty and stopping pretty much everything. So, after a few weeks of adjustment, I had new goals to focus on, primarily keeping my son engaged without leaving our house.
And in just the last few weeks, protests of police brutality and all of the conversations around racism and privilege have been brought to the forefront. Every discussion over breakfast or dinner between Michael and me have been about the things our city and our country are going through, and the action steps we plan to take.
One of my personal goals is to teach my son and make him aware of what is going on at his level. He’s only two so our conversations are more focused on the beauty in every person and the value that everyone inherently has. But I know as he grows, we will have more in depth conversations about privileges we have and the honest history of our country.
It is kind of odd this year. Usually, I make my birthday a sort of New Year’s Day with its own goals and plans. And while I have been making some plans this month (particularly in the blogging and writing categories), I don’t’ actually know much about what will happen in the next year. COVID-19 is still spreading through our community. Dallas has experienced higher rates of hospitalization and ER visits connected with this virus.
Plus, this is an election year. I do plan to research at an even deeper level what is on my ballot, not just the president choices, but everyone up for a place in local, state, and national positions. But I don’t know what that outcome will be.
So, that makes it difficult to make specific plans. I do know that I want to continue focusing on the things I’m passionate about while balancing self-care and the needs of my family. I want to embrace slowing down and taking moments to reflect as well as to look ahead, making thoughtful decisions without worrying about pleasing other people. Ultimately, I want to do things that honor God and encourage others around me to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
I am thankful for the last year and its many, many lessons. I sort of hope that next year will be a little lighter on the challenges. But whatever may come, this last year has taught me even more that I can lean on God and my family. Life is hard, but we can definitely do hard things. And I look forward to the adventures that are ahead.