Before I get too far into thinking about 2022, I want to capture a few thoughts about 2021.
I think I could summarize 2021 in a few themes: Work, Introspection, Imbalance, and Adaptation.
I don't really want to spend a ton of time writing about Work here, but suffice it to say it was where I spent 95% of my energy in 2021. It was my choice, so I don't really blame anyone but myself, but I see how the lack of balance is impacting the rest of my life and that's a big part of why I'm making such a big deal of it for myself in 2022. I'm happy with the output of all that effort, but I think I can use my time much more efficiently and keep better boundaries, while still being just as effective, if not moreso because I'll be less burnt.
On the Introspection front, I did a lot of exploration, particularly as it relates to the way my brain works, how I communicate, etc. I was lucky enough to be paired with a coach through work and it's been super valuable in helping me understand myself better. I'm still not ready to talk about a lot of that, but it's definitely a practice I want to carry into 2022.
As for imbalance - I couldn't find a better word, but it represents the idea that I didn't do a lot of the things I wanted to do - whether due to circumstances, lack of prioritization, lack of focus, or whatever. I have a lot of unfinished projects, unstarted projects, people I didn't get to catchup with as much as I would have liked, activities I didn't do. See aforementioned use of energy on Work. Looking forward, this is really the whole point of this experiment: I want to make space in my days to do the things I want to do - whatever they end up being - and to prioritize them over mindless scrolling or excess Work.
Lastly, Adaptation. This was a big one, and very much related to Introspection. Once I understood more about with how I operate, I put a fair bit of focus into figuring out how to put better systems or accommodations in place to make those things easier for me. Sometimes these were as simple as hiring a cleaning person or setting up HelloFresh. Sometimes they were as difficult as rewiring how I handle conversations. It's amazing how little changes add up to free up space for the bigger stuff. I want to continue to experiment with this sort of stuff in 2022.
And since it doesn't all fit into a neat little package, a potpourri of things that sparked joy in 2021:
- Making time for the beach - even if it was just 30 mins during lunch.
- Having my friends over for our annual BBQ.
- Having my cousins over to my house for the first time.
- Having my mom close by for food, company, or emergency basement toilet explosion support (yes, that happened).
- Spontaneous dinners or pool parties with the neighbors.
- Getting vaccinated. And boosted.