Although we had a rough year, there was an upside. For years, most of us had been running so fast that we could justify sprinting by the road signs without looking at them. The pandemic forced us to slow down, and some of our issues caught up with us. We realized that some jobs, activities, or relationships needed to end. We saw that others were precious and needed tending. We had time to find out what joy looks like for us and to figure out how to create it. We also had time to develop new relationships, even with ourselves.
So, I decided to “retire” again. I changed publishing teams and put my hands back on the wheel to polish and publish the two new caregiver books. I found new marketing consultants for my brand and my self-care book, Dear Lauren, Love Mom. I’m also back to working with my critique group and writing coach to finish my second novel. I will continue to consult with health systems and payors about care transitions that avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and with medical groups about how to manage managed care. I set up my home studio and will get back to the voiceover work I love. My partner gave me a keyboard for Christmas, and I’m also getting back to my music. This year, I’m not going to worry about that last 30 lbs. Instead, I commit to following one of the affirmations in Dear Lauren, Love Mom: Don’t Hate. Decorate! I will enjoy the way I look now, work on healthy habits (including getting enough sleep), and let the weight go where it goes.
Many of you will remember the GOD CAN I kept in the waiting room of my medical practice. I learned this from the late Rev. Tyrone Crider who reminded me that when we can’t handle things, God CAN. The box had a hole in the top, and I offered a supply of pencils and little pieces of paper. I encouraged people to write whatever challenged them to throw it away (into the box). As the pandemic hit last March, I used Rev. Crider’s idea to create a HOPE box that really helped me. Pictures of my totem animal, the hummingbird, cover the box (You can see it on my Instagram page). Throughout the year, I wrote what I appreciated, feared, intended, and wished on little pieces of paper and dropped them into the box. When I opened it on New Year’s Eve, I saw how blessed I had been and how much I had grown in the last year. I burned the pieces of paper and started a new box on New Year’s Day.
Yeah, 2020 was a rough year and now we rise. I pray that you will be blessed with a safe, healthy, new year. Whether it is easy or not, may you fill your year with love and joy.