The past few weeks I felt like I was crawling to the finish line of 2019. I have been exhausted and I’ve had a number of meltdowns trying to keep it all together. A podcast I like to listen to now and then has been hosting a series called “finishing strong.”
One question raised on this podcast got me thinking. The host asked the guest to reflect upon where she was ten years ago and where she is today. Her response was beautiful and nuanced and not so much about accomplishments but about her formation into a truer expression of herself. (You can listen to the episode or read the transcript here.)
Their conversation helped me realize I have to define what it means to finish strong. It isn’t the typical definition of sprinting it out until the very end, that just isn’t for me. Not this year, anyway.
What is for me right now is rest and reflection. It’s prioritizing time with people I love and preparing space to connect with them deeply (sometimes this has meant clearing tasks off my calendar so that my stress level is manageable). And, for the purposes of today, the reason I’m writing here, now, for you, finishing strong means taking some time and reflecting and sharing all that the last decade has held for me.
For the next few weeks I’m going to share my reflections on the last decade of my life and the ways certain experiences have formed me.
Then, a month from today I’m going to share the intentions I’m setting for my formation in 2020.
On this New Year’s Eve as we get ready to welcome in the new year, a new decade, it’s tempting to jump right to the resolutions and goals. Making lists and plans is one of my favorite things to do. But, what I’ve discovered is that often this practice tricks me into feeling productive. Often, I don’t follow through to the goal or the plan, no matter how much I enjoyed making it.
Can you relate to any of this? Are you worn out after a full year and the holiday season? Do you find yourself setting goals and resolutions only to realize a month later you’ve already fallen short?
I’d like this year to be different. And I think part of getting there is spending some time reflecting on and noticing patterns in my experiences from my first decade in adulthood.
I’d love for you to join me. I don’t have any fancy plan beyond thinking about these topics:
What new places did I travel to? For me, this includes physical travel around the country and world which helped me travel to new places within myself and in relationship with God and other people.
What did I read that helped me deconstruct or reconstruct a belief or perspective? My last decade of life included part of my undergrad experience and all of my time in seminary, so this has been a big topic. Plus, I’ve always been, and will always be, an avid reader.
What life milestones did I encounter and how did they impact my understanding of myself, God, and others? Since 2009, I graduated from college, graduated from seminary, got married, and moved across the country. Big changes, for sure!
What intentions do I want to set for the next decade? Rather than a check-list of achievements my hope is that these intentions will act as a discernment guide as I move forward into the next decade.
Join me back here each Tuesday for the next four weeks as I explore these topics in more depth.
Do any of these resonate with you? If not, what would you add or subtract? I’d love to hear about how you are welcoming the new year, the new decade, and how reflection is playing a part in your formation.
Happy New Year’s Eve! See you in 2020!