Photos by Daphne Orlando. Above: The Dawn of a New Day
I don’t know about you, but I am glad to say good-bye to 2022. It was a rough year for me, one which fortunately ended on the up and up. So yes, 2023, welcome.
What may have affected you and your family also is that I think the mental health effects of the isolation and social disruption of the pandemic really showed up in full force. Especially for teens and young adults who are naturally prone to venturing from the nuclear family, finding out who they want to spend time with and forging new friendships after school years are finished.
I have two teens in my house. The younger is a sort of happy-go-lucky fella, while the other one is highly sensitive and a deep thinker. The older teen was hit hard. Add to the fact that both of them were adopted, adding a layer of complexity to self-exploration, self-worth and the process of differentiating from one’s parents.
There is a saying, you are only as happy as your unhappiest child. Maybe that’s a bit co-dependent, but it is also so painfully true. The end of 2022 brought my deep-thinking son back to me, brought us closer and taught me so much about letting go and gaining perspective. Things are getting better. To be honest, if I was still in the thick of the darkest days of this, I would probably not be able to share this with you.
The other major challenge of 2022 was health related. I have written about resilience, but it has been from an emotional standpoint. What my own health issues taught me is that I need to build resilience into my business. That is the curse of owning your own business- who runs it if you are sick? A day, a week, maybe, you rebound, maybe a bit behind schedule. But what if it’s longer? Fortunately, this set-back was temporary. But I was sub-functional for a total of about 8 weeks, including one week in the hospital. It was a shocker. Prior to this, the most intense medical care I’ve ever had was having my wisdom teeth removed.
So that is why you didn’t hear from me much this fall. The rebound started before the holidays, fortunately. Now I’m getting ready to do my big strategic planning session. I usually take a good 4 solid days at the beginning of January to plan out the year. I actually love strategic planning. I can’t tell you what’s in store yet, but I will leave you on this note.
My themes for 2023 will center around: Joy, Connection, and Fun.
Somehow, 2022 broke my fun-meter. I have a serious case of “should-itis”; always morally bound to work first and only have fun when the chores are done. But living life fuels creativity. I need to be creative like I need to breathe. When I’m not allowing myself to do the things that drive me, I have a hard time muddling through those items I hate doing.
As an empath, I often need to recover after hearing a loved-one’s woes. I isolate to recoup. But the weight of the woes in 2022 meant I ended up alone too much. I need to connect joyfully and go have fun while still being that empathetic listener. Part of my goal in that is to keep it balanced.
To that end, I would love to hear from you. What do you want to read about in the blog or newsletter? What are your goals for 2023? What are your hopes? What challenges to sustainable and ethical living can I help you with?