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My 2023 Word of the Year (and dream board!)

It's 2023! Are you used to writing it yet? I'm not. Then again, since the beginning of the year, we've battled a crazy, two-week sickness AND added the newest little member of our family, our little Margarette, so I don't even know what day it is most times. But it's been a wonderful week as we've gotten to know this sweet girl. We love her enormously and have spent most of the past few days just cuddling her and kissing her cheeks over and over.

Margarette "Maisie" Kae joined our family on January 17th at 7:45pm

Each day I feel a bit stronger and we slowly regain our footing into both new and familiar rhythms. I am beginning to feel excited as I think ahead to this year and all the potential it holds (I'm eternally a fresh-start optimist). I've spent a lot of the down time in January really considering what I want to work towards in 2023, what goals I want to pursue, what things I want to allocate my precious resources to. Because, while I love my hopeful brain, I also know that the wild dreaming often outpaces what is realistic, which can then make me feel depressed and unaccomplished. And while I want to push myself and redeem my time well this year, I also don't want to spend every second relentlessly chasing progress at the expense of enjoying the moments I'm living. Especially after these past days of just staring into my baby's face, I'm realizing how, sometimes, the great progress comes from doing nothing but just sitting in the beauty of life.

My word for 2023 is slow. Slow. Slowing down. Slowing down in my reactions. In my quickly made judgements about people. In the words I speak to my family. Slowing down in my routines so that there is always room for a book or a hug, even if the bathroom does need to be cleaned. Slowing down while I'm cooking to truly appreciate the magnitude of what a blessing it is to have food to prepare, a family to eat it, and the resources and knowledge to make it nourishing. Slowing down while I'm with my kids, not always multi tasking, but taking time to engage on their level and watch them play. Slowing down my brain, purposefully investing my down time in activities that bring true rest, like reading, having a bath, or stretching, and not always scrolling through endless information on my phone.

Ironically, I feel like concentrating on slowness will make me accomplish more. I often fill my time with lots of busy little things that, ultimately, don't amount to much. It's easy to feel productive making endless lists and doing never ending research and acquiring loads of information via the internet. But it's also exhausting, and when it's time to actually do the thing, I'm too tired. Or scared of doing it wrong (analysis paralysis, anyone??).

Since the beginning of the year, I've already read 5 (almost 6) whole books. I've averaged about 1-2 books per year for the past...thirteenish years. And it feels so good. The way my brain and body feel after reading a book is so much nicer than the way they feel after scrolling through Instagram. Maybe it's because I'm spending more time truly resting, but I'm also been able to keep up with other things, too. I've been making sourdough, chipping away at household chores, taking the kids outside. It's all in very small steps, as I'm also trying to ease slowly back into life postpartum, but it's been such a blessing to move towards normalcy again.

In 2023, I want to slow down. Stop and smell the roses. All that. There's too much too miss if I'm speeding through.

my dream board

I also made a dream board for the year with some of my specific goals. You can check out what's on it here.

Do you pick a word for the new year? If so, please share it with me, and the reasons you picked it!

I hope you are enjoying this year. Happy 2023!

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