2021: The Mary Oliver Year

Hello and welcome to our annual “It’s ok to be chill about the New Year” PSA.

Every year, the January Crazy Train comes charging through the station right after the holidays end. It’s the one filled with heads-down passengers creating cumbersome plans for all the ways they’ll be better in the year to come.

But we’re not doing that this year, right?

Maybe you feel differently, but after a year like 2020, I can’t look 2021 straight in the face and tell her my big dreams to wake up with the sun and run three times a week. We all just lived through a year in which we sanitized our groceries and sat 6ft away from our mask-wearing friends—not to mention the searing racial inequality, natural disasters, and political nonsense. I’m not going to look back at everything we’ve experienced and move forward by making a checklist to monitor how often I floss, because that would be crazy.

I don’t want to create a strategic plan for 2021. I want to enjoy 2021.

That’s it. I want to experience everything this year has to offer without overthinking all of the ways I could be/should be better.

Basically, I want to live by this simple poem from Mary Oliver, aptly called “Instructions for living a life.”

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

Which I’m interpreting as: take pictures, stay present, write about it.

Taking pictures (preferably with a real camera) has always been a magic remedy for me, a way to see what’s actually happening and remember it in the future. And writing, particularly the type of writing I do here, helps me understand what’s actually happening and remember it in the future. (Sometimes.)

I’m not committing to a writing schedule or a photo schedule or any other type of schedule, because a) see above and b) we all know that I take my commitment to inconsistency very seriously. But for today, I wanted to share a handful of photos to mark the end of one year and the start of the next.

Alternatively titled: eight pictures of the inside of our house and two pictures from outside our house, taken less than a mile away!

Happy New Year, friends. May your burdens be light, and your list of resolutions lighter.

Good Things

If you have access to Disney+, the short film Puddles is a very nice way to start the new year.

Also a nice way to start the New Year: The Welcoming Prayer episode of The Next Right Thing.

These three recipes have officially been promoted to Keep Forever status: 1-bowl Baked Oatmeal, Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies, Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup.

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