This year has been different than any other year I can recall. It’s been the first year that the trends and habits I started in the new year have actually stuck with me. My primary goal has been to keep myself moving forward—whatever that may look like on any given day—and give myself a lot of grace in the process. This year has not exactly been easy, but even so, I’ve felt a lot of joy and a whole lot of peace along the way.
In writing this list, I realized there’s power in jotting down these kinds of moments of joy, not only in retrospect but also while you’re experiencing them. I plan to do more of it in the year ahead!
1. Watching my kids experience big moments of growth.
2. Cutting my hair shorter.
3. Being less rigid with rules—both with my kids and myself.
4. Making such good meals with friends, both at cookbook club and on other occasions.
5. Supporting Joe in his biking journey up north and celebrating at the end.
6. Being at the pool almost every day in the summer, watching my kids run around and make friends.
7. Learning how to play tennis.
8. Trying out lots of different styles of clothing.
9. Discovering the joys of wide-leg pants.
10. Embracing the cowboy boot trend (or at least a more minimal version of it).
11. Starting a book club with friends.
12. Learning to feel really good about my air-dried hair.
13. Watching Bennett learn how to swim. She started summer not knowing how to do it and at the end was jumping off the diving board.
14. Staying more organized than I’ve ever been before.
15. Feeding and serving wine to people we love at our home.
16. Seeing my kids’ personalities emerge even more.
17. Morning walks.
18. Physical movement in general. I got back in the swing of it this year and it has felt so good.
19. Sitting across the table from my friend Dee at various meals.
20. Getting to know my kids, especially my son, on a more personal level.
21. Learning how to eat lobster.
22. Taking a trip to Napa with girlfriends.
23. Watching season two of The White Lotus.
24. Putting spicy honey on everything.
25. Going to the Chicago Field Museum with my kids. It was so fun to experience one of my favorite childhood memories through their eyes.
26. Getting to the other side of one of the worst hangovers of my life.
27. Deepening some of my friendships.
28. Getting into the habit of a nightly gratitude journaling practice.
29. Watching my kids be the bravest versions of themselves in times when they needed to be.
30. Doing fewer projects around the house.
31. Keeping this saying in mind: “The you that exists in your mind doesn’t exist anywhere else.” This line has given me a lot of freedom.
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - December 21, 2022
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Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
#31: woah. Also chuckled at #26….I *love* the taste and experience of good wine and good bourbon but woof…the hangovers in your late 30’s are hard.
They really are something else in your thirties. Thanks for your comment!
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