8 Things for 2022
What I hope will hold my attention
This month in my newsletter, I’m talking about what held my attention in 2021, what’s holding my attention as we move from one year to another, and what I want to hold my attention in 2022. Today’s the last installment, so I’m talking hopes for 2022.
Instead of thinking of goals for the new year or how I want to manage my time, I’ve been thinking how I might steward my attention in this new year, thanks in no small part because to Jen Pollock Michael’s fabulous article, “There’s No Such Thing As Time Management.”
That said, here are eight things (some silly, some serious… I contain multitudes) that I hope will hold my attention this year.
My kids + my marriage. I think the first year with a baby is a matter of powering through. I described my daughter’s first year as among the most magical and miserable of my life. There are so many highs and my heart always feels like it might burst from the love, but it’s also incredibly jarring and wearying to have well-worn routines upended and relationships forced to accommodate a new person; I feel like I’m drowning. I feel my work of that first year with a new baby is to keep swimming until I grow some gills.
That said, early this year we’ll celebrate Peter’s first birthday, and we’ve got some gills, and I’m excited to find our way as a family again and just have fun together.
Celebrations. I want to celebrate the good that’s happened the past two years. So much good that we’ve been so grateful for, rejoiced over and delighted in, but haven’t commemorated in the context of community.
I also really want to get back to celebrating in the particular space we call home with the people to whom we live closest. Between COVID, a new baby, house projects that kept us away for most of the summer, and cold weather, the neighbor gatherings that defined so much of our life in our home early on have been sparse the past few years. We’ve missed them, and we’re hoping 2022 will be a time to come together again.
Martha of Bethany. Over the holidays, I read two social media posts that gave Martha the side-eye, and honestly, it kind of irritated me to see her story so truncated. So, I decided her story (in the pages of Scripture and church history) is going to get some of my attention this year.
Purdue Abby. 2021 marked seven years in Cincinnati for me, and sometime over this past year, I started realizing I think of myself as from Cincinnati versus living in Cincinnati (and being from Indiana). That mental shift is really beautiful in some ways, but also made me homesick.
So, this year, I want to revisit some favorite things of who I’m calling “Purdue Abby,” the young woman who loved word games, wore bootcut jeans and t-shirts, adored tea and drank more than was likely good for her, could not learn enough about agriculture, theology and communication theory, and cooked for fun kinda non-stop.
Some of those interests and hobbies might stay in the past, and others might weave their way back into my life. We’ll see what sticks, but I’m excited to reconnect with “Purdue Abby.”
(Also, I was obviously a walking party in college.)
Finding outdoor spots. Like many a person, during the early days of lockdown I discovered I love exploring our city’s parks. What’s more, my daughter loves hiking and exploring too. This year, I want to find some go-to outdoor spots that immerse us in nature and show us the beauties of this place we call home. And frankly, we’re all just better people after being outside.
Honing in on systems that work for me. Last year, I spent a lot of time figuring out how to meal plan and keep the bare minimum of our home clean in ways that were life-giving, functional and consistent. This year, I want to figure out a laundry system and a big picture housecleaning routine that’s proactive versus reactive.
I have seen the Son, the ever-reigning Lord,
prove his promise does not fail.
May the bonds of love, that call me to His side,
Grow ever deeper and fuller still.