Bringing Forward, Leaving Behind

This is a post idea I got from Steph at Life According to Steph… thinking through what I want to bring forward into 2021 and what I’d like to leave behind in 2020. Despite… well, despite everything, there are still things I’d like to continue, to maintain, and to grow more in the new year and beyond. And yet, as with every year, mistakes and missteps also punctuated the past 12 months…

Starting with the Leave Behind list, I think…

  • My overall bleak outlook. This colored everything in grey, from my relationships to my job to life in general. It was a function of external factors (some of which are, obviously, shared with everyone else on earth this year), as well internal issues of my own.
  • My focus on matching / keeping up with my coworkers who are at the same level I am. I am not them. I should not be doing the same things they are. I need to run my own race.
  • Multitasking. Oh, man, this got really bad this year. Something I’ve realized in just the past few days is that when I focus on something (or a couple of things) during my workday, I get so much more done. When I have squirrel brain, I don’t make progress on anything. Focus.
  • My dad’s health issues. Enough said.
  • Challenges in my relationship. I hope.
  • Disdain for science and for children’s health and well-being. This is a crossover between the personal and professional for me. I just…. can’t even, with people who distrust science, and who don’t want to invest in our most important resource. Sigh.
  • Passive-aggressive colleagues. Actually, let’s aim high and go for passive-aggressiveness in general, mmkay?
  • Oh, one more petty work thing. Endless in person meetings. We’ve been so much more focused and productive in our online meetings… I’d like to bring that forward and leave behind the old way of doing things. Not sure this will happen, but… I can hope, right?

Things to bring forward…

  • My newfound ability to focus in on a project / item on my to do list and persevere. It makes all the difference in the world.
  • My growing interest in self-compassion and personal growth. Continuing the process of figuring out – again – who I am at this point in my life.
  • Related: My newfound love of poetry, of essays, of seeking out diverse perspectives from the wise ones in our world (those here now, and those from the past). There is so much wisdom in these writings, and so much I gain from immersing myself in them.
  • My improved perspective on my health, working out, and food. I’m losing some of my rigidity, and that’s a good thing.
  • Work for racial justice. Enough said.
  • The renewed recognition of the urgency of the climate crisis.
  • The focus on hygiene. For the love of Pete, people. How did you not know that you need to use soap every time you wash your hands? I am so grossed out by this, and I hope that people remember how to actually wash their hands.
  • Related: skipping handshakes and pro forma hugs in professional gatherings.
  • My renewed enthusiasm for my work and research.
  • Family Zoom calls. I know, I know, we’re all sick of these. But I love getting a weekly update from my brother and parents, and remembering just how much we actually like each other, even though we’re related to each other. Ha.

So much of this is really related to personal growth, although obviously there are things with slightly broader implications (see: hand hygiene). Life, really, is a continuous process of learning, growth, and renewal. What a privilege to have that opportunity… Yet, a reminder that this won’t be easy… “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” ~Anna Quindlen

5 thoughts on “Bringing Forward, Leaving Behind

  1. That thing a out soap. ๐Ÿ˜ต Canโ€™t agree more! During the summer we received a booklet from the Irish government with info about Vovid-19, how to protect ourselves and with thorough instructions about how to wash your hands. I found that scary! How many people have not been doing that before?!
    Hope you get a good start of the new year!

    1. I know! There is a reason I never, ever touch handles in public restrooms. That you got a booklet telling people how to wash their hands…well, we probably could have used that here, too, to be honest. (Along with a nationwide mask mandate, but don’t get me started on that…). Anyway – the new year is starting off well for me, and I hope it has for you, too. I loved your video on IG last night with you playing and singing. What a wonderful treat to send out the old and bring in the new!

  2. Burn all the bad things! I also wrote a list on the things I’m leaving behind. Now I’m reading about your endless in person meetings I forgot to add useless quick Teams / Zoom call that could have been an e-mail.

    Good luck with the forwards!

  3. Oh, I love this post… so good to focus on the things to let go and the things to bring along!

    Family zoom calls have become my favorite in 2020. I’ve lived so far from my family for so many years ,but zoom calls were reserved for special occasions like birthdays or Christmas. Now I talk to my parents over video multiple times a week and I feel like I get to “spend” time with them, even when we are apart!!

    1. That’s fantastic that you were using family Zoom calls pre-pandemic (albeit less frequently). It’s something that we hadn’t used before, but the visual makes all the difference when you are far from family! (I say that realizing that my family is MUCH closer to me than yours… but even that smaller distance can be hard sometimes…) I hope that we do keep it up. I couldn’t have my video on yesterday (darn internet connection) and it drove my mother slightly bonkers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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