2021 Word of the Year: Relearn

It feels pretty silly to be writing about the future when I have ZERO idea of what it may hold. I don’t want to set a list of goals or think about all of the things I may or may not be able to do in the new year. However, I don’t think that there is any problem with setting an intention for the year. Or a 2021 word of the year. Something I can work towards to make my life better, both at home and whenever I rejoin the world. When I think back on 2020 I feel like I was truly living my best life for the first 3 months. I’m not sure if that is just nostalgic thinking or the truth, but I’m rolling with it. In my pictures and posts I see a woman that was learning to voice her desires from life and embracing imperfections. I was several months into therapy and had officially been diagnosed with PMDD (basically PMS meets depression). I was learning to cope with that and a lot of other underlying anxieties. I was also on track to spend more time with my friends. My bestie had recently moved to the same state and we had been scheduling monthly visits. I had a clearer vision for my future and felt better established as a mom. With all of the outings, projects, friend time, date nights and even self care time, I felt like 2020 was going to be MY year. Obviously, that wasn’t the case. So I’ve decided that my 2021 word of the year is RELEARN. 2021 is about relearning the habits, mindsets and lessons that I was living in early 202o. I may not be able to get back to the socializing and traveling right away, but relearning the lessons I was building my life on is something I can start from home. 2021 word of the year

This year sent me (as I’m sure it did everyone) on a roller coaster. I felt like I was KILLING IT in the beginning of 2020. I was going to therapy regularly, setting goals and intentions for myself and accomplishing quite a bit. I had several awesome blog opportunities, learned how to tile the kitchen backsplash, was exercising regularly, and was setting aside more time for myself too. These accomplishments had nothing to do with the year though, they were all me. In therapy, we focused on a lot of insecurities that I have, like asking people for help and voicing what I actually want. When I look back at the start of the year I can see that I was voicing what I wanted more clearly. We went to restaurants that I wanted to eat at, and did activities that I wanted to do. I tend to default to “whatever you want to do!” but then I’m disappointed when I don’t get to have the experience I wanted. It felt good to actually voice my opinion and preferences. The biggest example I can think of was my birthday last year. I’d been wanting to eat at this restaurant at one of Richmond’s boutique hotels, Quirk. The hotel is SO cute! There is a lot of pink and gold and it’s just a really cute place. I’d been to have drinks in the lobby and at the rooftop bar with friends, but had never been to the restaurant or been to the hotel with Jesse. So that is what I wanted for my birthday. Despite knowing that Jesse has zero interest in going there. I’d suggested it many times for date nights, but it never happened. This time it was my birthday and so instead of finding an alternative I told Jesse, “I want to go to Quirk for dinner on my actual birthday.” Followed quickly by a “If that’s ok?” Of course Jesse was all in on my plan and would NOT let me back out of it or ask if it was ok a million times. He made the reservation and we had a great time. I was SO proud of myself, and happy, that I finally let myself make a decision and not people please.

The rest of 2020 was all about people pleasing, unfortunately. Living with family can be difficult and this year was no different. I felt like I had to earn the ability to live in someone else’s house. And once we moved I needed to prove that I deserved to live in our wonderful new house. I’m constantly asking Jesse if he’s mad or I did something wrong, even though logically it’s that he’s tired or work was crazy that day. My constant insecurity wears on everyone, not just me. I’d like to relearn and further my attitude of not caring what other’s think or if they’re upset with me in the new year. 2021 word of the year

The other area that I have always struggled in is asking for help. I’m fine asking someone to babysit for a date night or so I could go to the doctor, but never for anything personal or just for me. I had FINALLY put my insecurities aside had my mom watch the girls for a few hours during the day so I could finish tiling, painting and even photographing, our old kitchen. I’d always had a mental block that house projects, or anything for my blog, weren’t important enough to justify asking for help. I believed that if blogging was something I wanted to do, then I had to be able to do it by myself, while taking care of my kids. Since I wasn’t making money, therefore not contributing, then it wasn’t important. Despite how much I honestly enjoy it. I was doing a pretty good job of fighting those feelings and proving the to be untrue at the start of last year, but they’ve crept up again. I need to relearn the behavior from last year so that I can be confident asking for help when I need it and not only when I feel like I deserve it.

As I enter the new year, hopeful that things will begin to look up in terms of the pandemic, I’m aware of how fortunate I was this year. My family stayed healthy, we purchased a beautiful new home in our dream neighborhood, Jesse and I’s relationship flourished, and we got so much time together as a family. Time has been a precious gift. My stress and anxiety can rob my of seeing that. So as I relearn having a healthy mindset in regards to boundaries with others and knowing my own limits, I also want to learn how to slow down and enjoy the process. 2021 word of the year

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  1. Hi Ashley, Relearn is an excellent choice for word of the year. You are right in that we need to relearn the things that made us feel successful in homemaking, parenting, and being confident in our abilities regardless of the uncertainty around us. Thanks for sharing all this good stuff. Leigh

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