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2020 Gratitude & 2021 Intentions

Happy New Year! My goodness, it's been awhile since I posted to this blog. Since my last post in March 2019, a lot has happened both in the world and in my life. One thing I love about this blog is that it has been a place to share life updates as I've grown up and taken on new identities--from high school environmentalist, to eco-groovy college student, to young adult sustainability professional, to organic farmer/gardener, and now to green mama committed to raising my child to advocate for equity, justice, and respect for all beings and nature. 

I love that this blog continues to offer me a place to reflect on my life, share insights and ideas, set intentions, and revisit the thoughts of my younger self. It's entirely possible this will be the only post I share here in 2021, as life with a baby-going-on-toddler gets more and more fun and busy! But at least this post can be a snapshot in time that I can look back on in the future, as well as share with my little one when he's older so that he can get a sense of what life was like in the year he was born.

Life Update & Gratitude

In April 2020, Green Guy and I welcomed our first baby to the world. He has many nicknames, but for this blog we'll call him Little L. He was born in an historic year, shortly after the U.S. began locking down in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his life so far, he's been an unknowing witness to an historic Black Lives Matter movement, an election year unlike any other, and a pandemic marked by incredible tragedy; widespread awareness and appreciation for what really matters in life; and an entirely new way of life under quarantine. 

For him, though, life has always been primarily experienced in our cozy house; visits with others have always included masks and distance or phone/computer screens; groceries and clothes and toys have always been delivered to our doorstep by hardworking delivery drivers (we owe an incredible debt of gratitude to these folks!); and Mama and Daddy's work has always been from home. Little L has never been inside a grocery store or any public building other than healthcare facilities. We can count on one hand the number of family members (including us) who have held him. He's never been on a playdate with another child or played at the park or had a professional portrait taken--although our phones have 100s of amazing moments captured in photo and video! 

But Little L doesn't know that he's missing out on anything. He's happy and giggly and thriving and learning new skills everyday. Although as his parents we wish he could have those "normal" experiences like most children who've come before him, we are so incredibly grateful for the many silver linings of 2020:

Green Guy has been working from home since February, so he's been able to spend far more time with Little L than he would have if he were driving to work each day. We spend lots of time on Facetime and Zoom with family, more than we probably would have if there wasn't a pandemic. It became clear before he was even born that we wouldn't be sending him to daycare around 6 months old, though that had been the original plan. Instead, I've found time to work from home during his naps and independent playtime, and although I wonder how the lack of social interaction with other kiddos his age will affect him, right now I'm so grateful that he's home with us all day. We spent a lot of time in nature in 2020, visiting local reservoirs and going on walks in the neighborhood and growing food in the backyard. We may not have discovered some new spots if we weren't trying to avoid crowds, and being cooped up in our house all week, month, year-long motivated us to go outside and explore on weekends.

We also recognize that we are incredibly privileged to have jobs that allow us to work from home, that we have a home of our own that is safe and warm, and that we can afford to pay the extra delivery fees and tips so that literally all of our food, clothing, toys, and other goods can be delivered to our house. Of course 2020 was difficult for us, perhaps most especially because we couldn't share our wonderful child in person with family in the ways we all imagined. But the perspective I continue to return to is that we'd rather miss out on some special moments now in order to keep everyone healthy and safe--which will allow us to have many, many years of special moments with our loved ones in the future. 

Intentions for 2021

I believe there is magical power in the act of writing out intentions. In my experience, putting your vision into words and sharing it with the universe increases the likelihood of it coming to fruition. I'm keeping my list of intentions brief this year and giving myself grace, knowing that a) raising a child is full of unexpected joys and challenges and new directions, and b) this pandemic is far from over, especially living in the U.S. with a young child who can't receive the vaccine anytime soon. 

Usually I'm an advocate for creating measurable goals with an action plan, but as we learned in 2020, it can be really disappointing when reality doesn't meet our expectations. So for 2021, my intentions include:

  • Write more--even if it's just a quick gratitude statement each day.
  • Create and follow more organized routines--particularly for household chores, meal planning, and weaving more fun and creative activities into our daily lives. I've already created an organizational binder, got a new planner for 2021--thanks Green Guy!, and purchased a copy of Clean Mama's Guide to a Peaceful Home. Can you tell I'm currently most excited about this intention?
  • Create or purchase more intentional gifts for loved ones' birthdays and holidays, and send birthday cards on time. This is included in the organizational binder but feels important to specifically name as an intention, especially since we can't always celebrate our loved ones' birthdays in person these days.
  • Spend more time outside--even if it's just in the backyard, but hopefully also exploring local rivers, lakes, and hiking trails.
  • Grow more food in our backyard and begin teaching Little L about the joys of gardening!
  • Stay grateful and spread joy, generosity, and love as much as possible!

What are you grateful for from 2020? What intentions do you have for the coming year? 

I wish you joy, adventure, and good health in 2021 and beyond!

Thank you for reading,
Green Gal