It’s the New Year! I feel blessed to have enjoyed the time off between Christmas and New Years with family and friends. This year felt like a true return to normal gatherings. We even hosted a few at our home. It felt nice to be in one another’s presence for the opportunity to connect and celebrate together. Hooray!

Two recent homilies at church have reminded me to be present and take time each and every day for oneself to reflect. These are powerful messages for the New Year. In past years, I have stated that my resolution is to “be more present,” and I will gladly embrace this resolution as something to continually work on.

I noticed the enjoyment that I experienced from the face to face celebrations over the digital social connections. I will try to continue to arrange for more in-person over digital time.

Part of being present has always been limited my time on my smartphone – this will continue too. A tracking app indicates weekly on how I’m doing. I can reduce the amount of time I’m on my smartphone, scrolling or checking things unnecessarily to be more present and to provide quiet time for myself. This will not only benefit me, but also my family, as I try to model good use of electronics for my kids, especially before we allow them to have their own smartphones. I also want to be respectful of what I share about my kids, asking their permission before I post pictures of them.

While reflecting on growing older (as one can do around birthdays and year-end), I have realized that I have officially become old (or older), as I hear myself saying or doing things that my parents once did. Things like:

  • Getting annoyed when my kids or their friends only drink a sip of a can of soda – let’s not waste drinks or food!
  • Feeling excited when I find the right cover in the jumble of plastic leftover containers (and frustrated when you can’t find the right one)
  • Wrapping up in blankets, even wearing a blanket as a skirt to stay warm
  • Reading a great book while wrapped up in blankets
  • Going to bed early and being the first to wake up in the house
  • Drinking a good cup of coffee and reading in the quiet morning hours
  • Appreciating a good pen – I was gifted a pen with an eraser (so cool)!
  • Staying warm – my favorite gift was a pair of heated socks!
Hooray for warm feet!

The instructions were rather vague and somewhat poorly translated.

Grateful and looking forward to 2023

Perhaps I should be proud that I have grown to appreciate the little things in life. I have become more of a homebody and enjoy holing up in the cold of winter. Meeting up with family, friends, and hobbies like traveling, skiing, coaching basketball, working out, and crafting help make the darker winter days pass by more quickly.

Here’s to being present and taking time to reflect in 2023!