New Year’s Rediscoveries

The New Year season is especially sentimental for me because it’s around the time I composed and released my first blog for Apple Valley Natural Soap. I had just returned home to Minnesota from my three month study abroad trip in Europe, and having suffered recent loss, felt lost myself. Starting my work with Apple Valley Natural Soap brought me the joy and focus to work through that time, and my first blog helped me process the grief and change that life brings with it. 

Last year we faced grief and uncertainty together, as the pandemic stretched out before us with no clear definition for the type of world we would be left living in. Yet, we chose to look forward. To push forward into the next year believing that good was in store for us and to turn to those around us for support and camaraderie. To me, this includes the beautiful AVNS community.

So once more, I’d like to take pause. To turn around from my spot on the mountain, see what I’ve come from, and take a breath before turning back to the path. I hope you’ll take the time to join me on this journey. Lay down the burdens, challenges, joys, and accomplishments you’ve accumulated over the past year and think about where you’ve come from and where you’re going. 

I won’t lie, this was a difficult year for me. It seems the older I get the more grief I’m given to deal with. I am thankful that my ability to comprehend and grow through this grief continues to expand as well. I know I’m not the only one facing hardships in the AVNS community, as both I and the Buck family have had to say goodbye to our favorite furry friends this past season. I imagine many of you have faced grief to, and I can only offer my most sincere condolences.

I usually start thinking about how I want to approach the coming year before it’s even arrived. Whether it’s focusing on the small things, or trusting God with the bigger picture…there is always something clear on my mind and this year was no exception. 

We think about New Year’s resolutions as new starts, new habits, a brand new us. But this year has me thinking, what was so wrong with the old me? Does growth ever include backtracking? What about the pieces of myself I loved that got lost somewhere along the way? For the first time, I’m contemplating the idea that the process of growing yourself is not solely the accumulation of new growth, but the continued nurturing or intentional revival of the best parts of yourself throughout your lifetime.

This year, I’ve picked my resolutions from a pool of things I’ve loved about my past self and life. Things that have brought me great joy, things about me that have made the world a better place even if just on a microscopic level, things that have grown me and stretched me and got me to where I am today. Things I want to reclaim for the life ahead of me.

I invite you to grab a paper and pen and sit down with me as I list the three things I want to rediscover in my life. Let’s not only write them out, but let’s brainstorm ways in which we can make these resolutions realities too, sound like a plan?

  1. Get back into improv comedy
    • Why: connects me with others, teaching it brings joy to others, brings joy to me.
      • Offer to lead a beginners workshop at my workplace.
      • Teach a workshop for my old college improv troupe.
      • Branch out and see if there is a school or theatre program that would want to start an improv troupe.
  2. Freshen up my Spanish skills
    • Why: connects me with others, expands my world of communication, brings joy to me
      • Try downloading an app like Babble or Duolingo.
      • Read children’s chapter books in Spanish at my own pace.
      • Find a Spanish club in the local area.
  3. Dance more
    • Why: dancing makes me happy, keeps my body happy and healthy.
      • Make more time to dance for fun in the living room.
      • Take a Zumba class.
      • Take lessons to learn a new style of dance.

What I love about the theme of this year’s resolutions is the do-ability and stress-free nature of the goals I’ve set for myself. I’m not focused on scrambling up the ladder of success, I’m building that ladder stronger so that when the time comes to climb I feel safe and supported in my endeavors. I’d love it if those who have read this blog would take the time to leave a comment with one New Year’s Rediscovery they’d like to focus on this year.

Much, much love,

Nora

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