I know it’s not quite what you imagined. But can you do some good with it anyway?
At the end of a year, I like reflecting. Appreciating. Celebrating.
This year, I’m feeling happy about and thankful for and excited by my 7 years of blogging–how it’s grown, growing . . . I feel proud of myself, which didn’t used to be allowed. And I feel so, so, so thankful for all my friends–personally familiar or connected only by our shared humanity–who have read my blog, shared my posts, and let me know when words I’ve expressed have touched their soul in some way: Made to feel less alone, sparked with inspiration or energy, lent courage . . .
We’re all “just” humans–very real humans–(yes, all of us, even the put-together ones)–daily stumbling through the dark, awkwardly and beautifully figuring out this “Life” thing–together.
My passion in life has something to do with grabbing the hand of anyone-anywhere and saying “It’s okay that you’re stumbling through the dark . . . me, too . . . maybe we can help each other?”
Helping each other, I think, looks like listening and sharing. All the deep stuff. Thanks to all our own unique and odd adventures through life’s ups and downs, we’ve each acquired quite a lot of wisdom–often without even realizing it. And sometimes it seems oh-so-random whose wisdom helps who–whose experiences or perspectives or even unique language just happens to resonate, happens to be EXACTLY what “works” for someone in need.
So: Speak. And listen. Ask the deep questions. Share the deep feelings. Remember the humanity in each of us. Dare to connect. Be bravely real.
Anyway, friends, I’m so grateful to know in some ways I get to help some beautiful people stumble upon some of the wisdom they’ve been looking for. Writing makes me feel alive, it makes things makes sense to me, and once in a while I get to hear someone say “I needed to read this,” and that is about the most fulfilling sentence I ever, ever hear.
To celebrate, I’m wrapping up the last few days of 2020 by sharing my top 10 favorite blog posts I’ve written. If you click through the links below for some year-end reading over the next few days, I hope they speak to you in some helpful way–and if they do, I’d be honored if you pass it along, and I’d love to hear what exactly resonated.
Thanks for reading friends!
This is an easy one. Very short. Like 33-words-and-a-Winnie-the-Pooh-quote short.
I love this one because it is the one thing I need need need to keep remembering every every every year, month, week, day.
Keep returning to your inner child, my friend.
I usually write about “deep” or “important” topics–at least in my mind. So when I was trying to narrow down to my 9th favorite blog post I’ve ever written, this one jumps out at me. Because it’s not a “topic,” it’s a celebration. A shameless reveling in the most wonderful memories of the absolutely most bestest day of my life.
I love, love, love sharing about this day with anyone who will listen–not because it’s worth your time, but because it’s worth my whole life. So thanks for letting me share this biggest happiness thing with you. I don’t know that I’ll ever stop being excited about it.
Do I have any writer friends out there? Or friends who sometimes write? Even if it is “just short” or “just silly” or “just on Facebook” and “doesn’t count”?
Maybe you don’t write, you “just” talk to people, or do meaningful projects at work, or give advice, or share your story . . .
People need your voice.
And your voice is so much more perfect than you think.
This is for you.
The holidays and new year season reminds me of the adventure of life. Always. Times to remember, beautiful places we’ve gotten to explore, fun little life moments . . .
This–one of my favorites–is an adventure memory. In a year full of staying at home and not doing stuff, I hope these pictures scratch the wander itch for you.
Mountains again so soon!
Trudging through the snow with a good friend last Saturday, we talked about death. He told me about his own experiences. And I shared that it’s actually a topic I think about a lot. Like it even keeps me up at night sometimes. (That may be largely thanks to the way I grew up. It’s what kept 13-year-old me awake at night, too.)
We don’t usually admit or advertise that we think about the really sad, awful, unknown things (you do too sometimes, don’t you?). So we stay alone about them. Struggling silently.
When I wrote down and shuffled around my favorite things I’ve ever written, this landed high up on the list. Because it’s deeply honest and it’s . . . really, really, really BIG. . . . Because it’s a universal experience. It’s one we ALL face.
So maybe we can face it together?
I wrote this right after my friend died. I didn’t even realize it was sort of for him until I’d finished writing it–why it was so loud in my mind. Death is not easy.
Wishing you peace and warm hugs.
This is a peek into me. But more than that, it’s a peek into what it means to be human.
And it’s a little celebration of all the different freedoms we find as we learn health for our minds and our hearts.
Keep on finding freedom and finding You. 2021 will be a good year for it.
#4. Sad people
Do you feel like you HAVE to be a “happy” person?
This is one of the most personal things I’ve ever written, which feels . . . scary and good, all at once.
I love this blog post because it is about deep understanding and acceptance of ourselves and each other–even for those of us who have a lot of sadness . . . for a little while or a long, long time.
It also carries ten pieces of advice at the end that I think are some of the most helpful if you are sad or love someone who is.
Wishing you radical self-acceptance and self-love. And wishing your sad friends acceptance and love from YOU.
Can I ask you a question? I’d love to read your answer in the comments here or, if you have my contact–shoot me a message. I’d love to chat. Here’s the question: What dysfunctional things did you learn about love? Things that tell you you’re not “good enough” or “worthy.” Or that make you afraid you’ll lose your worth if you lose things like your health or skills or relationships? How has it impacted you? And how have you set out to re-learn real love?
This is my 3rd favorite thing I’ve ever written. You can read it, OR listen to it while you drive or do dishes or work out or whatever you do! It’s not short, because it goes deep. Deep into our deepest experiences that shape our hearts.
If my thoughts in this post are especially helpful to you–make you feel understood or help put a finger on what hasn’t felt right about your self-judgments . . . I’d love to hear, and I’d be honored if you share it with someone else you love.
“Love” is an important concept to not get backwards.
Wishing you all true, no-strings-attached LOVE in 2021!
I don’t want you to feel alone.
That is why I wrote this.
If it speaks to you, if it helps you–pass it on. Or, better yet: Write your own version. I know you have one.
You are not alone. And you are loved.
As a year turns over and we think about past and future, what we’ve lost and what we’ve found, and all the changes and roller coasters and adventures in life . . .
I want to share with you my FAVORITE thing I’ve ever ever written.
I hope this speaks to you.
It’s amazing how much alike we all are, isn’t it?
Maybe we could help each other . . . ?
LOVE TO YOU ALL THIS NEW YEAR!
Wishing you peace and presence and all the feelings in 2021.
P.S. Thanks for being on my writing journey with me, friends. From the bottom of my heart. This is so special for me. I appreciate having your ear and hearing your thoughts. You and I are here to help each other. <3
My wish for 2021: That it will be a year of LOVE.
In 2021, we will listen more.
In 2021, we will surround ourselves with people who look and think and sound and live and celebrate and feel and act differently than we do.
In 2021, we will work together with people who are not like us (but really just like us).
In 2021, we will “cancel” less and communicate more.
In 2021, we will be radically compassionate.
In 2021, when you and I get the chance to experience the magic of conversation, we’ll go deep–deep to the places where we remember what inspires. And deep to places where we discover that you and I actually share the same fears and hopes.
In 2021, we will use our breath to calm ourselves and learn to pause regularly and think for a minute before speaking.
In 2021, cruel, hateful speech and bullying will not be celebrated, or even accepted. In any way. Ever.
In 2021, the go-to will be understanding, not escalation. Never escalation. No more escalation. Ever.
In 2021, we will encourage the peaceful work of coming together. We will not instigate or cheer on violence and hate.
In 2021, the words and behavior of our leaders won’t make us embarrassed and nervous as citizens of a big, beautiful, diverse world.
In 2021, when we feel fears, we will explore those fears a little more deeply before we act on them. We’ll think of the bigger picture of humanity in those moments. “How can I handle this momentary fear in a way that doesn’t push humanity further into hate?”
In 2021, we will stay very honest and bold about our anger and disagreement. But we’ll lose the sarcasm and taunting and bullying.
In 2021, we will fight tirelessly for a world in which nobody will be disrespected, disadvantaged, or live in fear because of their skin color, accent, social status, shape, disability, gender, or sexuality.
In 2021, we will see every life as valuable.
In 2021, we will SEE EVERYBODY. The homeless man on the street in downtown Minneapolis. The entrepreneur who has worked 80 hours a week to give a contribution to the world, and the world to her family. The terrified but brave mother fleeing across the border with her little child. The 13-year-old dissociating in class because he’s being abused at home. The small town business owner who can’t afford for taxes to be raised. The little Uyghur girl in China who hasn’t seen her mom for a long, long time. The suburban mom who is hearing more and more stories of violent crime and would stop at nothing to protect her children. The governor making the toughest possible decisions, knowing the backlash that will come. The Black man everyone crosses the street to avoid. We will see everybody.
In 2021, we will search out the populations that, for one reason or another, can’t breathe. We won’t wait until a crisis to care about people being trampled by our world.
In 2021, we will stop thinking or acting like some lives are more important than others. Does patriotic have to mean that Americans (especially those whose families have been American for generations) should be happier and healthier than anyone else in the world?
In 2021, the god of Competition will be worshiped just a little less.
In 2021, we will stop chasing profits just long enough to make sure we’re prepared to take care of the vulnerable, the heroes, the small businesses, and the self-employed when the next pandemic happens. (And for that matter, to just take care of people in general all the time.)
In 2021, the health and safety of every human will be a higher priority than my right to only care about myself.
In 2021, I hope that social media platforms will change their algorithms that have been constantly showing each of us more and more and more of our own narrow views of reality.
In 2021, I would challenge every person in the United States to google the word “Dogmatism.”
And in 2021, I want to do hugs again, before the year is over. And have lots and lots of people over for a meal and laughter and being in each other’s space again. And I want to see smiles again when we get to take our masks off. And lots of hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.
Exhaling our way into a beautiful new year
Wishing you Love