Year 26 + 2020 Intentions
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I am officially 26!
One thing I love about this little blog of mine is that it holds all the important moments and thoughts of my heart. It is so fun to go back, even a year ago and see what was going on in my head.
Last year for my birthday, I wrote a reflective letter to my 15-year old self. I just went back and read it and I was moved by these words I already had forgotten a year later. You can go back and read it here.
25 felt like a big one to me and 26 just does not seem to have the same ring, but upon deeper reflection, I can see the great significance in 26. Turning 26, in a lot of ways actually marks the official beginning of the 2nd quarter of my life (God willing, I live close to 100). Quarter 1 is done and lived. 26 brings on a whole new quarter and I am giddy to see what lies ahead.
Quarter 1: Learning Everything
The first quarter of my life was all about learning. Literally learning how to walk and how to talk. Learning about God and who I really am in Him. Truth is, this is one of those lessons that I know will follow me with each season of my life, but quarter one established truth about who I really am. I am not just a runner or a teacher or a mother; I am a Daughter of Christ. I look forward to see how this foundational truth will continue to develop in my heart in the years to come.
The first 25 years of my life have been so good. From following my dreams to run at the D1 level in college to finding my husband to getting the opportunity to teach for a couple years to becoming a mother. There have been so many firsts and major milestones, but if I am honest (which I love to be as honest as I can on here), I have found them to be a great challenge, especially recently.
Quarter 2: Fighting Comparison
Contrary to some, I am finding the mid-twenties to be hard. This could be just because I am in a different season full of diapers and chasing trash trucks. I am finding this mid-twenty season to be a time of uncertainty and comparison. This is largely why I have greatly reduced my time on social media. My heart simply cannot handle it. I have been in a battle of comparison as I look around at all my peers seemingly doing really big things. Becoming lawyers and doctors and traveling the world.
I don’t want this to come across as complaining because I am full of gratitude for the life I have. I literally would not change it for the world, but these feelings have reminded me that even when you have all that you could ever want, comparison will steal your joy every single time.
As I enter quarter 2 of my life, I am fighting this comparison syndrome hard with strict boundaries around social media. I have limited myself to only 10 minutes per day with Sunday completely off. This reminds me of the 30 minute TV limit I had as a kid, but if there is one thing I have learned, it is that limits are needed in whatever stage of life you are in.
2020: The Year of Care
As I am greatly reducing time spent on screens (except for writing on here to you), my hope is that I can better care for my soul. I have been meaning to create a whole post dedicated to my intentions for 2020. Since this post is rather reflective, I thought I would share it here. 2020 is the year of care. Not self-care, which of course is part of it, but an overall better care for all things. Yes, I want to take better care of my body: a more consistent skin care routine (hello, eye cream), more baths, more books, more solo coffee dates. I also want to take way better care of everything the Lord has entrusted me with: the grass, the car, our home, my marriage, my sweet boy, and my soul.
As I enter this new quarter of my life and this new decade, I can sense how this intention is seeping through my ordinary days. I water the grass on our side yard every morning like it my full-time job. I take pride in ensuring each inch is evenly soaked and nourished. The miles I run are fueled with more care and gratitude and not out of obligation, but because I want to keep up with a skill I know the Lord has hand-picked for me.
I am more present.
I am reading more and clicking that Instagram icon way, way less. Part of better caring for my people, is ensuring that I am actually present before them. I have a new rule of simply not checking social media when Hudson is up. I was finding myself dug into my phone and missing the amazing little boy before me. When I am stressed or tired or anxious, my go-to is absolutely to tune out and scroll. This does me no good and I am finally realizing I need some really clear boundaries.
Make Yourself Lunch
A new thing I am doing is nothing revolutionary, but it really has been a game changer. I am taking the time to make myself lunch. It is sad to admit, but when it comes to lunch time, I always make Hudson a balanced and colorful plate, while I pick at cold leftovers or eat some scraps from Hudson’s lunch. Then, I wonder why at the end of the day I feel so cranky and drained. Especially as mileage is beginning to increase for Boston, taking the care and time to properly fuel my body is a necessity.
For me, this has looked like taking out a pan, heating up oil and garlic, and sautéing veggies and putting them on hot mashed potatoes I made the night before. It also has looked like making a whole packaged salad and putting shredded turkey on it, and slicing avocados on-top of it. I think how we make ourselves lunch is actually quite significant. It shows our priorities, how we view our bodies. It is easy to just eat the scraps of our kid’s lunches or forget lunch all together, but I have learned recently how it makes me feel to eat a full and hot lunch that was carefully constructed. This whole lunch thing is changing things for me.
I have no idea what quarter 2 of my life will hold for me, but my hope is that it can be marked with me taking better care of all the beautiful things and people the Lord has placed before me. I hope it is marked with more hot lunches at the table, more runs, more time doing things with my hands (knitting, gardening, scrapbooking), more time with my eyes wide open and present to my people, my family.
10 Simple Things to Fight Burn Out
If you too have recently been feeling burnt out, uninspired, and uncertain, here is a list of a few things I have been doing that might just help you too. They all are simple and obvious, but sometimes it takes actually reading something to make it happen.
1. Wake up + grab journal + Bible
I used to wake up and go on my phone and scroll. That is the worse way to wake up to the day. Get a routine that allows you to start your day with pen and paper. Again, like the lunch making, this one is a game changer.
2. Water Something
Go out and water the grass in your yard or water plants in your home. It sounds crazy, but I have so much peace as I start my day with watering the grass. I love the sound of the water, I love the smell of water-seaped soil, I love feeling like this small action is actually allowing for growth to occur.
3. Take a Bath
Let’s really quick talk about the Sunday Bath. I don’t know about you, but taking a bath feels like a real luxury. It is so much easier to take a quick shower. I am finding the only way I actually slow down and enjoy a bath is if it is part of a weekly rhythm.
Thus, the Sunday bath was born. It works well because Sunday is the one day I do not sweat in the morning, so it just makes sense to have a bath Sunday evening on our Sabbath. Find a time to make it a consistent part of your routine. Get some epsom salt (this is the lavender one I use) or use your son’s bubble bath and take a bath. I will literally spend 40-45 minutes taking a bath. This is one of my favorite times to get some reading in! Quick showers are so overrated, I am all about the slow and meticulous process of making a good bath.
4. Listen to a Podcast
The soundtrack of my days greatly affects my mood. It is a different day if I intentionally choose podcasts that inspire me and worship music that brings my eyes up to Him. If you are into running, my two fav running podcasts are the Ali on the Run Show and The Road to the Olympic Trials. For faith-based podcasts, favs are The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, The Next Right Thing, and The She podcast.
5. Make Yourself Lunch
Take the time to crack eggs or heat up garlic or toss a great big salad just for you. You deserve more than cold leftovers and goldfish.
6. Stay off Social Media
It is possible. Try it for a day. See how you feel.
7. Do Something Fun
Go to the park, bring sand toys down to the beach, go out to ice cream on a Wednesday night. I am such a routine person that sometimes I forget to schedule in fun, random, spontaneous things. I always feel better when we just do something fun.
8. Read a Book in the Middle of the Day
You might be saying, if only I had time for that. Well, I bet you check social media at least 10-minutes during your day, replace that wasted time with slowing down and giving your brain and body some refreshment. It does not take many words to put me in a better mindset. I just finished Here Now by Kate Merrick and it is so, so good. It has a lot of similar themes to what I have been writing in this post.
9. Create Something
Do something with your hands. It could be as simple as writing a letter to a friend, planting a flower, whipping up some oatmeal chocolate cookies. I am always amazed how I feel so much better when I tangibly make something with my hands. With the day-to-day demands of being a mom, sometimes a day goes by and I feel like I have no idea what I even did. You too? Mothering can sometimes feel intangible. We don’t yet see the fruits of our labor. Sometimes, seeing that flower we planted or smelling the cookies in the oven can help.
Plan a playdate, text a friend to get coffee, set up a phone call. We are made for connection. When I start to not feel great, a sure sign is that I am pulling away and isolating. Get together with your people. Gather. Open up your home even when it’s a mess. Connect.