Let’s do a 2020 wrap up, looking toward 2021

A great start to this, but I just looked for my “Word of the Year 2020” blog post and realised I never made one?! So much for building this post off that one… I guess I gotta start there then…

For those who don’t know, instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I prefer to have a Word of the Year – I think this tradition was originally inspired by the Mamamia Outloud Podcast ladies who do it annually as well.

It’s more about having a “theme” for the year that you want to focus on, rather than specific goals that are probably unattainable and you’ll fall off the wagon 2 weeks into January. Also, you save money on gym memberships…

Re: my last blog, this line of thinking is perfect for me because goals trigger my fight or flight. But I’m chill… honestly… 😅

My past Words of the Year have been:

  • 2018 – Me
  • 2019 – Calm
  • 2020 – Healing

2018 was after a couple of years of therapy, realising that I needed to focus more on my own needs when I clicked that I spent 99% of my time doing stuff for others, or for the benefit of others in some way, without ever really wondering what I wanted.

Going into 2019 I was extreeeemely ill and had just had a nervous breakdown due to the cumulation of stress due to that illness, also work and socialising etc. The goal was to STOP for a year and focus on slowing down and leading a calmer life to help my brain and body.

2020, this year, I wanted to focus on healing. Specifically inner child work, shadow work, and authenticity, or, figuring out who tf I even am underneath my mask. I wanted to focus on the sort of hard, dark work that requires delving into repressed trauma. Ya know. Just hot girl shit.

I literally chose my 2020 word and ideas of what that meant for me in January with no idea that this would be the most testing year of all. It would probably have forced the deep trauma “healing” work whether or not I wanted it.

So I guess that’s lucky? 😬

In January I actually did a brainstorm of what “Healing” meant to me

It’s hanging on the wall next to my bed as my reference to keep me on track.

The word “Healing” is also written on my mirror. I don’t even see it anymore, but I’m sure something in my brain does cos my theme has been going strong!

In saying that, a few of the ideas on my brainstorm became absolutely laughable as we progressed into that ole global pandemic thing and months of isolation thingamabob that you guys might remember?

Like “quit social media“…. bahahahaha

Honestly, this extrovert left alone in her house for months depressed was NOT about to cut off the one connection to the outside.

Nope, I just got wildly addicted to TikTok. But I’m ok with that. We’re all allowed our outlets. Although that also did screw up the plan to “read more“…

Also, “stop procrastinating” is antithetical to depression when getting out of bed is a daily struggle. So we’ll skip over those guys.

A more funny one is “do less“. Cos babes, I NAILED that one. I spent a lot of time doing NOTHING.

Yes!!! You go gurl.

But ok, I’m also gonna celebrate some wins, cos I really did do a ton of healing work this year.

  • Change career focus
    The redundancy happened earlier than planned, but it did happen and the work I’ve ended up in now is definitely a change!
  • Be ‘myself’
    See: shaved head, working on figuring out my authentic self and standing by it
  • Shadow work
    This is really just therapy, but this year has felt like an accelerant class.
  • Give back
    This was really only possible at the start of the year, pre-Covid, but it was extremely meaningful volunteering when I felt able to do it ❤️
  • Release trauma ✅✅✅
    Judging by the amount of traumatic flashback and emotional pain I’ve had this year… yup… There has been release… painful, awful release…

There were more points but they’re less interesting haha.

Basically, somehow the way 2020 just happened to us, and how I know I was affected by it, just happened to be exactly what I needed for this sort of healing work. In a way I didn’t know I needed.

Because I low key had no idea what “releasing trauma” or “shadow work” was… just that I knew I needed to face into some of my shit to let it go.

Healing has been awful

Honestly, I hated it.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I also understand why people might choose not to look inwards on their pain…. Cos like… pain is painful. Really painful.

Funny that.

I’ve gained a new sort of empathy for people who choose ignorance over introspection. I can see how that might be blissful, over the deep discomfort of allowing yourself to feel every feeling you’ve ever pushed aside because it was too much at the time.

I get it.

But that’s not me, boo. I wanted to open up my baggage, go through the contents, and try figure out to do with the absolute piles of shit I’ve accumulated over the years.

Organise it, roll it up neatly, and put it back in a way it’s much more manageable next time I need to get in there.

And I’m not acting like it’s sorted yet. Lolz.

If you read my last blog, you probably could guess that it’s like I started unzipping my baggage and it exploded all over me and I have no fucking idea how I’m supposed to sort the mess.

But I’m gonna do it, and I’ve been doing it 😊

Soooo.. I’m going to call 2020 a big fat success! Despite all my crying and sad blogs, it’s been a MUCH needed year.

I could never have had the sort of space I had this year to sit in my discomfort without a damn bat virus to keep me locked in my house.

How else does someone get 8 months off work to do self-development, in a pretty legitimate way… Just saying.

So I guess I gotta be grateful to the coronavirus?

Haha, maybe one day I’ll reach that acceptance… When I’ve gotten to that part of the trauma baggage 😆

So, what’s the Word of the Year for 2021? I hear you ask

Thanks for asking!

I have a word in mind, but I’m kind of weird about it! Just cos of alternate meanings of the word that might take away from my intention haha.

My Word of the Year for 2021 will be “Pleasure”.

And by that I mean “the feeling of enjoyment or satisfaction, or something that produces this feeling”, not sex.

Ok maybe some of that – most of us are doing that anyway – but I also got other shit to do, alright!

I’m choosing it specifically because it feels more evocative to what I want from the year than like “joy” or “happiness” or even “gratitude”.

I mean like, doing stuff for the pure pleasure of it.

Eating chocolate, baking cupcakes, making an elaborate meal, smelling flowers, making art, dancing, singing, decorating, makeup, dressing cute, watching sunsets, meaningful conversations.

I want my work to give me pleasure, in whatever that means for my personal values and needs to be met. I want to spend my time with people who I deeply desire to spend my time with, I want to feel more intensely, and be able to tell people I love them, cos I’ve built meaning into our relationships/friendships.

If I learnt anything from this godforsaken year, it’s that I don’t have time to spend it doing things that don’t spark joy or evoke the decadent feeling of pleasure.

I have no more time for that 2019 feeling of comfort or general happiness. That’s so last year. Which feels like last decade cos… let’s be honest, last year was over a year ago, surely!

I cried enough this year over sad shit. And I have no doubt that that’s basically my life now. But now I also want to cry over beautiful things shamelessly. Like a beautiful choir singing, or a powerful piece of art, or just a moment with a person.

I want more pleasure in my life.

This stuff is honestly character growth for me

Embracing my feminine side has never been my prerogative. I’ve always had a very masculine energy, cos I’ve been very repressed like a lot of men 😅

But not any more!

Or well, like… I’m slightly less repressed now!

I’ve done a shit ton of healing, I have recently discovered I actually have a lot of feelings and emotions and I low key hate them cos they’re a LOT.

However, this is my time to lean into those new emotions, and tenderness, surrender, creativity, love, and try experience them as positive, pleasurable things.

Hey Alexa, how do you ask people to join you in pleasure without it feeling suggestive?

….

So… join me in 2021 when I leave the pain of 2020 behind and lean into the new year with a new pleasurable theme!

I’ll probably need help, cos I kinda feel like I jinxed my 2020 by choosing “Healing” so I’m a little scared about what I’m getting myself into next year. I’d appreciate some friends with me ❤️

Do you do a Word of the Year? How did your 2020 go? What are you thinking for 2021? Or what do you do instead?

I’d love to know! ☺️☺️☺️

Less than 2 weeks to go! Leshgo!

xxx

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3 thoughts on “Let’s do a 2020 wrap up, looking toward 2021”

  1. I think this year was a good year to focus on healing.

    I also think your version of pleasure links into mindfulness.

    2020 has been quite a year – and I say this as someone from the UK who has had to work from home since March, but it has made a lot of people step back and think.

    Wishing you all the best for your journey through 2021

  2. For the most part, 2020 has been a year of finding out and finally accepting a few issues that had bothered me for years. Plenty of time in lockdown to self analyze! Anxiety and depression nearly got the better of me on a few occasions but I am winning! Dealing with loss, grief, mental struggles and a few personality traits (now accepted) have given me a clearer idea of who and what I am. It has been enlightening. I like who I am now and make no apologies to those who disagree with anything I say or do. My word of the 2020 is ‘acceptance’. Although, I quite like ‘acknowledgement’. Either will suffice.

  3. You are inspirational! I too have been on a similar journey this year. One of getting to know myself, taking time out to heal, lots of crying, and also learning to slow down.

    The year started off with some councilling. Followed by a free online course at Berkley on the science of happiness: https://ggsc.berkeley.edu/what_we_do/event/the_science_of_happiness

    Over the year I learnt about resilience, medidation, and mindful self compassion through Mana’s online retreats: https://manaretreat.online/

    Plus I read this book: Lyubomirsky, S. (2007). The how of happiness: a new approach to getting the life you want. As it is based on scientific evidence it really resonated with me.

    These three things have been the most impactful for my self development, this year. They have allowed me to learn from some great minds and to look at the world in a different way. I am truly grateful to these people. They have been lifesavers, in helping me to understand a little bit more about who I am, who I want to be and how I want to live in this world.

    This next year, will be filled with similar things, continuing to implement the learnings and working towards the person I want to be.

    I am more of a goal setter myself. Work ambitions, self improvement ambitions and pleasure ambitions. I have SMART goals and nice-to-haves. The thing with goals, for me, is that sometimes they can’t always be achieved due to circumstances and so one must adjust when needed, and to not feel down or guilty about it. A goal does not have to be concrete. I do, however, like the theme for the year! It’s nice simple, clear and allows focus.

    I find your point on finding your authentic self interesting.. it can be very difficult to detach ourselves from our external influences (or at least understand how these are influencing us, and moulding who we are). If you have any information related to this, would be super keen to read.

    Hope some of the sources i proved are useful to you or others.

    Thanks for sharing your reflections on 2020. May you have lots of pleasurable experiences in 2021!!

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