The New Year came and went without any year-in-review social updates on my end. I thought about it as I scrolled through the feed of my friends’ memories, but opted to sit in the silence. When I opened my journal this morning and wrote 2020 for the first time, I noticed a sizable gap from December 17-January 2. “It feels fitting,” I wrote. “That’s how this season has felt — a whole lot of ‘where did the time go?!”

Sunday the 5th will be two years since we lost my grandmother — the one instance where I can point back and say that’s when it all started: the depression, the discovery, the emotional unraveling + the simultaneous re-learning, re-building, and re-birth of who I am today.

The holiday season is typically full of introspection for me, starting around Thanksgiving. I’m a nerd and always look forward to running a metaphorical SWOT analysis of life. Due to deadlines, travel, general obligations and “busy-ness”, it didn’t happen this year. And when I look back, I realize I’ve spent the bulk of the last three months exhausted and grumpy, even in spite of the really great things that happened.

Those close to me hear me talk all the time about patterns. They help me map seasons by themes. At the start of 2018, it was all about being brave; counting it all joy. In 2019, it was about singing through liminal space and trusting in the unknown. So far, 2020 has me taking note of every time I hear the word SAVOR. I downloaded three books this morning: Rhythms of Renewal by Rebekah Lyons, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer, and To Hell with the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke. (Do you see the pattern now, too?)

Jo Saxton nailed this on Twitter:

As we look to a new year, a new decade – perhaps it’s time to ensure that the way we spend our time matches our deeply held values? That we explore how to align our lives with our priorities.

Tough, but necessary words for this Enneagram 3.

A friend of mine lost his grandfather on Christmas Eve. My husband and I met he and his wife at the funeral home with hugs several days later. I recalled conversations with them over the summer citing similarities between our grandparents and knew the difficulty that was to come in simultaneously holding the bitter with the sweet; the grief with the joy.

“My biggest takeaway from him,” he said, “is to be more intentional with my time.” Chalk up another hit to this pattern. I guess I’m not alone in this, after all.

Before we took down our Christmas decorations, my husband reminded me of the ornament we’d filled with hopes and intentions last January. How neat to see how what I’d written about choosing authenticity and building community; seeking, listening, and resting; being brave and risking vulnerability had manifested in 2019.

This year, my thoughts are geared more toward pursuing freedom over fear, remembering love = time, savoring the present, remembering what’s really important, and showing kindness without agenda.

I am walking into 2020 feeling pretty good about what’s to come. I have already begun recording episodes for the new Starting with a Song Podcast, launching on January 8. My main goal for the show is simply to encourage others, but deep down I hope everyone loves these conversations as much as I do. My friends are special, special people.

It’s a day late (and a dollar short?), but HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s hoping we can carry this slow down into the coming months. Life is much shorter than it seems.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Gail Jones says:

    You and I are on the same plane. It has been a tough 2 years. But we have strength in family and friends. ❤️


    1. Amanda says:

      Yes! ❤️❤️❤️


  2. Cindy Foley says:

    Praying for your podcast launch!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda says:

      Thank you! I’m really excited about it!!


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