Hey, um…was 2020 actually kind of a banner year for you, in spite of it all?
The past 10+ months have been full of uncertainty, but we are already pretty well-acquainted with surfing the wild waves…
We had lots of big plans in January 2020, and while almost nothing worked out how we expected, plenty of things DID actually crystallize in positive ways for us.
I’m super-grateful for our privilege and our wellbeing.
Since 2013, I’ve done a simple ritual to close out the prior year, as part of my work with Leonie Dawson’s workbooks.
This involves reflecting and re-framing the things that happened to gain clarity + momentum to carry me forward!
The idea is to look back at the past in order to learn from it and release it…instead of getting hung up in that stagnant energy and staying there.
This means I’m celebrating 2020 with a gratitude list.
Now, sure, there was some gnarly stuff in our personal world. Loads of upheaval (more than usual – even for us!), and definitely some tears and tragedy.
That said, I refuse to downplay our personal victories and joys – especially this year. I won’t be making anyone’s life easier or happier by holding back my own joy!
So anyway, here’s my 2020 gratitude list:
– #1 best thing: WE MOVED!
Moving in a pandemic was…interesting…but it also was perfectly, divinely timed.
We made the final decision less than a week before covid hit the US, and I remember the reaction of one of my best (and most financially savvy!) friends. She was surprised we still went forward with our plan, despite the pandemic. I think the word she used was ‘ballsy’! 🙂
To me, it didn’t feel ballsy. If anything, it felt like the Universe was calling me in, saying, are you SURE you want this? Are you really ready for it? Um, obviously, yes!
I couldn’t even consider refusing..
Within the HOUR of us deciding to go for that apartment, my husband fell 34 feet off a ladder onto concrete.
Amazingly, he walked away with just some cuts and scrapes, and a badly sprained ankle.
So our new place is a HOUSE, with a yard, garden beds, and a fireplace. It’s fantastic for now and a massive upgrade in a zillion ways.
– I also consulted my oracle decks, address numerology, and the sounding board of several of my closest friends before choosing it!
FUN, FRIENDS, FAMILY…
– Binge-watched TONS of Gaia.tv….Gregg Braden and Bruce Lipton and Michael Tellinger documentaries
I was approached by a psychologist who said she thinks my pregnancy and birth education stuff is especially great for neurodiverse and autistic women. Well, GO FIGURE 🙂
I’m not chasing an official diagnosis for myself…but the shoe certainly seems to fit.
– Speaking of birthwork, I started doing postpartum doula work with Austin Baby Guru, and even helped care for a set of twins!– Booked a birth doula client who happens to also be an old friend
– Re-launched my RethinkBirth website with new digital products for doulas and mamas.
– Updated my Mother Blessings kit to be more culturally sensitive and inclusive
– Included my Induction and Cesarean Birth Guide in my Best Birth Plan Kit
– Helped my bestie Allison, the Austin Baby Guru, launch an email series, and we co-wrote a fantastic lead magnet together for her phenomenal postpartum doula training program. It’s called How to Earn Money & Find Clients.
Some of my favorite-ever work remains writing for my dear friend, Dr. Marissa Heisel. You can subscribe to her intuitive wisdom newsletters, which are full of oracle card, oil, and crystal insights.
– Marissa and I spent weeks in February and March, co-authoring a meticulously-researched blog post about protecting ourselves against Covid-19. We were so proud of it when it was published. However, her licensing board did not like what we had shared. We edited, questioned, edited some more….
Long story short, Dr. Marissa gave up her chiropractic license because she believes that silence on matters of wellness is unethical as someone who has sworn the Hippocratic oath of First, Do No Harm.
I am so proud of her!
I love being able to be creative and get paid for it!
While focusing more on my art and creativity in 2020, I decided to create my own smoke cleansing bundles from the plants we grew + wildharvested. They turned out so well, I even sold some!
Now, I know some ppl get nervous about looking back at their financials…but I LOVE running my end-of-year numbers, because it’s like a stiff drink of clarity, no matter what.
In spite of having a banner year in my business, I did have some wonky situations, which made me aware of how I can improve my biz, and my clients’ experience, too.
This year, I knew we did better than last year…but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we almost doubled our income from last year! 2020 vision, indeed.
EDUCATION AND KIDS
Sometimes, I have trouble knowing when to quit, or when to stay in my own lane. I have a lot of empathy, and this can lead me into helping way more than I ought to.
This summer, I got way over-involved in trying to help everyone on the internet sort out schooling options and learn about homeschooling.
I realized I was spread way too thin with no return on my investment, and decided to pull back and reclaim my energy for my family and my own needs.
– Helping my 2nd child learn to drive and get her license- Watched my 2nd child launch her art commissions and Depop boutique
– In January, I took my boys to get “professional haircuts” at a salon for the first time EVER (long haired kiddos, unite!)
– Went to the zoo! Another BC day! Glad I had the motivation to Do Things early in 2020, before the madness descended.
– Created burned and tea-soaked vintage paper to write a Hogwarts acceptance letter for a dear friend’s 11th birthday
– My middlest tried Girl Scouts and we sold cookies (and ate too many)
– Picked early Spring flowers in the mall parking lot with my girls, and tried on rainbow kaleidoscope glasses (BC)
2020 made for weird birthdays for everyone… I was so happy that my boys’ November birthdays were remembered by several of our dear friends. I think everyone had a great birthday this year, in spite of all the craziness.
– Watched my middlest grow up so much this year. Somehow being 12 is so different from being 13.
– Found candy shaped like lego bricks on a road trip, and totally bought them + played with them!
– Enjoyed watching my oldest daughter learning to play ukelele
– Finally figured out how to get my boys started with Minecraft skins, mods, and experimented with whitelisted, private, and public servers
– Started a GamerKids Discord server so my boys (who don’t have cellphones) could chat with their friends. It grew to nearly 50 kids, and is a critical part of their social world!
– Realized that my youngest child had never seen regular, bleached salt when we finally ran out of pink Himalayan salt and had to refill the shaker with “weird white stuff”
– All my kids got into skateboarding. We have a collection of skateboards now, a few of them custom-DIY-painted.
– Got good at French-braiding and Dutch-braiding my daughter’s hair
– Watched my youngest get good at riding a bike
– Watched my oldest do his first two semesters of college, online. He is doing fantastic…and I am so proud of him!
2020 started out with some lovely hope, as we were able to get surgery to save our precious Mimi-kitty from a nasty cancer.
However, just a few months later, we had to come to terms with the fact that her cancer was very aggressive, and while we gave her a few more blessed months…there was little we could do to improve her quality of life.
By summertime, she had to wear a cone-collar 24/7, and we made the heart-wrenching decision to put her down.
We thought we did not want to get more pets, ever, but a trio of kitty-siblings showed up, and we couldn’t bear to break up the sisterhood! So our house has cats again, and hearts are slowly mending.
Mimi was my daughter’s best friend for many years, and she had such a complex personality. Mimi is on our ancestor altar. My daughter has a Mimi-shrine in her room as well.
I am happy to report that I kept my cool (figuratively) while I handled our truck breaking down and catching fire (literally!) in the August heat, while I was driving with all four kids.
Literally? It wasn’t cool at all. It was scary! I had to call 911, the fire department came out, and I was sunburnt for weeks after.
My husband had to leave work (from a celebrity’s house!) to come get us. In the meantime, I called my father to come get us.
We drove in his black Corvette convertible (his last Corvette in a series of many)…to the car dealership, where he gifted me a cute new SUV.
– Also, I was able to save my son’s Betta fish, Ruby, when he got sucked up into the tank’s filter!
We were delighted to find that his tail and fins were able to RE-GROW after he nearly died.
MORE FUN + AWESOME STUFF…
– In the Fall, I had two weird injuries, both of which had me on crutches for a time. The first one, I hurt my knee by Stretching In Bed (yes, seriously…) and could not walk for a week.
– A month later, I dislocated my other knee, and while I am able to walk now, I’m still recovering from that injury.
– To fix it, I’ve been using Solomon Seal tincture; Copaiba, Deep Blue, Frankincense, Cypress oils from dōTERRA; Reiki and energy healing; and even a Healy microcurrent session via my friend Crystal…which indicated that my brain was over-stressed and needed the most healing!
– Was so sad to see that Veggie Heaven finally closed for good this year. My mother discovered that place when I was just 16, and at the time it was an epic adventure to go INTO Austin to eat at a restaurant where everything on the menu was veg!
– Made an unreal amount of pesto from all the bail we grew. I gave a bunch away and my freezer is still loaded.
– Went way over-zealous for Thanksgiving dinner and ended up making a several-course meal, complete with a printed menu that took up a whole page. YES. This is the kind of foodie-shit I revel in.
We made so much food we had leftovers for 5 days afterward! Turkey, roast duck, all the sides, drinks, salads, snacks, and desserts. It was super fun. Probably one of the year’s best highlights.
I know it’s a weird thing to say, and I am aware of the privilege I have to be able to say it…but I LOVED 2020.
I am also glad I’ve cultivated the habit of looking back at each year with an eye for gratitude.
Leonie Dawson’s workbooks taught me that, and I highly recommend you get one if you haven’t yet.
We can do the workbooks for 2021 together, in my INVOKING Circle. I’d love for you to join us!
What are you grateful for, when you look back at 2020?