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a bitter-sweet new beginning

by Shawni

Welp, here we are on the brink of a new year.

The sun is setting on the infamous 2020.

It seems that many of us have been waiting with bated breath to say goodbye to 2020…good riddance to this roller coaster of a year, right? I agree in some ways…I am a big fan of new beginnings.

But there’s something in me that wants to hold on to 2020 somehow. At least parts of it.

Is it because I have learned more this year than so many other years? Is it because I’ve been able to have my family closer in proximity than ever before? (When does it ever happen that kids who have flown the nest have come back for months at a time, family-togetherness reining nestled together in the midst of a global pandemic? Yeah, that’s pretty much a one-in-a-zillion chance). Is it because we have somehow, so far, not been lapped up by the sickness and sorrows waging a war on normalcy? Is it because I want to cling onto all I have learned about mourning with those who mourn, and have been so strengthened by the strength and resiliency of those around me? The human soul is amazing.

“Beauty for ashes” on every different level and in so many different avenues.

I love two pieces of advice I read on social media this morning (Isn’t social media tricky? We try to get rid of it and then we come across such good things? Hmmm). Anyway, these are two things I thought I should share:

My friend Brooke Romney wrote about this on her instagram, talking about what she did to bring in the new year last year:

Before I made any goals or even started thinking about what I wanted to accomplish the next year, I looked back and listed some things I had accomplished that I was really proud of.
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I didn’t limit what qualified as an accomplishment…anything from “had more fun with my kids” to “started writing a book” and everything in between.
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It was powerful and celebratory and I loved it. It was also motivational instead of defeating as I looked ahead to new goals.
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I don’t like to boss you around, but I REALLY think you should add this intentional reflection to your New Year’s process, especially this year when so many of our goals were derailed. We need to acknowledge what we DID do, discover or change that was meaningful.
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Even if all it says was, “Made it through 2020” I think it is worth celebrating!

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I love that she encouraged her readers to share their triumphs from 2020 before moving on to 2021. Check them out HERE.

Some of my favorite memories will rest in the year 2020. From little things like learning new cooking skills to navigating family church for months on end, to bigger things like being in awe as Lucy’s curved back got straightened out, two new “pins” got put into Elle’s hand. I watched the beauty of good decisions when Max said goodbye to the wonderful experience of BYU volleyball and Claire said hello to another new club volleyball experience, to probably the biggest thing: marrying off my first daughter and gaining another awesome in-law.

We watched, we learned, we were filled with gratitude and sorrow and over and over again, and somehow, those two opposites, gratitude and sorrow, intertwined in some pretty magnificent ways. Sorry there’s a little bit of memory lane going on here to help me wrap up 2020:

Phew! It was quite a year.

The second thing I want to share is an article my brother sent this morning to our family. I thought it included lots of good new year’s advice (I’m posting screenshots here, but if you want to see the whole thing, the link is HERE):

Looking forward to working on our “dream books” (talked about them back HERE) to help us delve into 2021 soon, but for now, I’m basking in 2020.

So, Happy Old Year and Happy New Year all mixed in together from our family to yours.

xoxo

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5 comments

Camile January 1, 2021 - 2:35 pm

I also saw that post of Brooke Romney’s and really liked the idea. So last night as our family celebrated New Year’s Eve together we talked about some of the highlights we each experienced and things we accomplished and wrote it down. I loved looking back at the positive things that have happened.

And I love the idea in that article your brother shared of writing down something we want to leave behind/change and then burning it. Fun!

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Jessica Nelson January 1, 2021 - 9:11 pm

You have been such a light amidst the crazy this year. I’ve followed for years, but this year was a deeper “I need more light” year. Thank you for being part of that light! You are a treasure! Here’s to a wonderful 2021. (I almost said, “less crazy!” But I realized that I only half mean that – like you said, so much growth comes from
the crazy and the deep things that we face.) here’s to more learning in 2021, however that comes. 🥰

Also, a shout out for Aha Parenting!! That is one of my go-to sites for parenting help!! Laura Markham has a gift for allowing parents to kindly see their struggles while simultaneously giving grace – which opens the door for doing better. It is so uplifting to read (and listen!!) to her guide through parenting woes!

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Jen January 1, 2021 - 9:48 pm

Did Max give up volleyball for good? I was just curious as I don’t remember reading about it! Bummer with his talent! But I also know he probably has lots of talents to explore and put his time into.

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Janan W January 3, 2021 - 4:44 pm

I really liked this. Looking at the year in different ways. So many hard parts and yet one of the best things was my 3rd daughter being forced home, which meant my baby boy wasn’t an only child for his last year at home. They always got along, but now they’ve become even better friends and can’t regret that part:)

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Mom January 3, 2021 - 4:45 pm

Thanks for the great ideas! It’s never too late to look back and be grateful for the things we’ve loved as we’ll as you the ones we’ve “survived.” Loved looking through your fun year in segmented squares. It’s gives focus to some wonderful moments that are so easy forgotten! Big Air Hug!

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