Since 2012 I’ve gone through some specific reflections questions at the end of each year. I don’t set resolutions for the new year, but these reflections do help me recalculate and decide what I want to continue on with and what I don’t.
It was a year I merely wanted to survive. So I resisted any expectations for myself. Still, I did things I was proud of and took opportunities when I could. So I took a minute to list out significant things I did in 2020 before I went through my reflection questions. In a way, these could be considered my highlights.
Even if I had accomplished nothing other than the basics, that still would have been amazing to me. Because “the basics” with a baby, a toddler and a teen are challenging enough as it.
Yet 2020, brought additional challenges, like:
These could be considered my 5 disappointments. But they aren’t necessarily things I had control over.
I think the pandemic and racial justice uprisings go without saying. Also, having my adoptive parent tell me anti-Asian hate wasn’t a real issue and didn’t really effect me was a game changer.
Mental and emotional survival. Community work. Taking care of my family. That pretty much sums it up.
Typically I think of things I wanted to do but didn’t, which would include my own physical health and fitness. Again. But maybe I should also include things that were good for me to forget. For example, at the top of the year I quit my remaining volunteer roles as the church we’d been attending. I knew my work was going to be in the community but not through that particular church.
I could write a novel. We all could. But really, I’m ending 2020 with a sense that I don’t want to go back to the old normal. Not if that means being back into a fake community with people who aren’t willing to speak up against racial harm and violence or wear a mask to help prevent unnecessary deaths.
I look back at this year and I think it’s clear that I have way more trauma than I previously realized. I have a lot of inner work and healing to do. I need to prioritize that if I’m going to be a healthy parent to my kids and a helpful community leader.
So that is how I’m approaching 2021. With an increased commitment to deconstructing and reforming my faith, my identity, my community and relationships. I’ll continue therapy and working through better coping mechanisms.
All I can do is take what I’ve got and do my best with it.