2021 Wrap Up and 2022 New Year's Planning

I can't believe it's 2022 already!  Wow, time has gone by quickly, hasn't it?   2020 was a crapshoot.  But 2021 was a little better.  Globally, not always personally, and not for all people.  But for me, it was better.  Mostly because I got my home issues under control, for the most part, which was the most important thing for me.  I don't leave the house much, unless to go grocery shopping or to the art store.  Oh, and some resale shops, but not as much as I used to.  I spent a majority of my time with my family, writing, and creating.  Though 2021 didn't allow me too much access to my backyard, which really sucked because I am an outdoors person, and my backyard is my oasis.  But hopefully we'll get that under control next.  If we can get our housing issues under control, then I will be building a cordwood shed this spring because our canvas shed is in shreds.  And I need a place to put my broken lawnmower LOL 

But before we move on to 2022, let's wrap up 2021!

I didn't read as much as I'd like to, but I tend to go every other year with reading fiction.  I did read a LOT of nonfiction, though.  So, I did read a lot.  Yesterday I started with this book called "Once Upon a River" which is AMAZING so far, and I can't wait to get back to it (it's on Kindle Unlimited!)

I've been on a minimalist journey since 2016.  And I've been doing good in some ways, and horrible in most ways at it.  But like all the minimalists say: it's not about how much stuff you have, it's about only having the stuff you need.  Now, my kitchen is pretty minimalist (considering I used to be a HUGE maximalist in the kitchen), which makes me happy.  My biggest vice is books.  Goodness, I have a lot books.  And an addiction to buying them (used or cheap).  This means real books, Kindle books, and audiobooks I get on Chirp. It also means notebooks, journals, and art journals, too.  I am a book hoarder.  But I've really cut my collection down these past years, thank goodness, and now I've lost my Danielle LaPorte's "The Desire Map", and I really hope I didn't get rid of it by accident.  I wanted to use it in this post, but I think I still will.  I'll just buy the Kindle version instead.  

Anyways, back to minimalism.  I've been doing better, but it's slow going.  But what I am proud of is that I am learning as I go to recognize when things are getting out of control again.  And I'm learning what my issues with organization are (per Clutterbug.me).  So, while it's slow going (six years now??), it's coming together more than ever, due to all the education I've been receiving with YouTube videos, organizational videos, and various books.  

What felt successful about 2021: 

I finished several of my books that I was writing, as well as started several more.  Also, I implemented a tactic I call "GOTH", with my mother.  We live with her and she's an abusive narcissist.  And earlier in 2021 she went into a home for four months, due to her having surgery and she was unable to walk.  Well, I took the time she was gone to implement "The GOTH Initiative", which stands for "grandma of the house".  She was under the assumption that she was the woman of the house, as my husband was the man of the house.  That left me being her slave.  So instead, in order to take my power back, I positioned myself as woman of the house in every single aspect of our lives.  And when she came home, it was a very, very different world she was stepping into.  One she did not like at first, but after a bit, and a lot of me standing my ground, she got used to.  And now I stand proud as the one and only woman of the house in my own home.  Not that I would not share things with her, but she is the type of person who is either ALL or NOTHING.  So, to her, either she is the woman of the house, or I am.  I didn't make the rules, I just have to play by them.  If I want to survive living with her LOL.  So, that was the MOST successful thing to come out of 2021.  And I am really, really proud of myself for not letting her run me over like a steamroller anymore.  I mean it.  She had to control every aspect of everyone's lives when she thought she ran our household.  Now, I just keep her as safe as I can and that's it.  And everything is so much calmer around here.  

What was time well spent:

Every single moment I spent having fun with my kids and my husband (and our pets!).  That's worth more to me than writing 100 books or getting anything done.  Priorities, man :) 

What would I change?

The amount of time I spend being triggered by my mother.  Which is why I am on a mission to heal that shit so I can move forward and not be in a bad mood over something stupid.  And it's always something stupid LOL

What was money well spent?

Our SUV.  Books.  Art supplies.  Healthy groceries.  My 3-tiered cart that I use for art supplies.  New wardrobe pieces (my current wardrobe sucks terribly).  All the great stuff we got from the neighbor's garage sale at a huge discount before they moved away (name brand shoes and boots for my youngest son at $1 a piece!).  Hubby's new fish Winky, to replace Melon, who was three and passed on to the big lake in the sky.  Also, learning how to take care of bettas properly and investing in the items needed to do so (big tank, plants, water cleaning balls, etc.).  We honestly have the happiest fish on earth!  Recording equipment for my hubby and oldest son's music.  My new scarf and two winter hats (turns out, it's below zero now and I really need them!).  Pretty much all purchases we made in 2021 were well spent.  Not all, but mostly.  But especially our SUV.  We bought it used from a neighbor and it's super great!

What did I learn?

Oh wow, so, so much!  For one, because of Cas from Clutterbug.me, I learned why I am the way I am with organization.  After over forty years of thinking I am just "messy", I finally get it!  And now, I am working my way towards being more organized.  Yay!  I also learned about IFS (which is fascinating), POTS (which I got diagnosed with this year), and I learned all about building my own home from the ground up.  I also learned about how much I am capable of, and that I am not what I was labeled as since childhood.  I am worthy, I am smart, and I am so very resilient and able to think out of the box.  AND I learned I am a finisher, not just a starter!  I just have to work extra hard at it.   But I can do it!  And that's all that matters. 

How can I make this coming year better?

I can stop being so afraid to speak my mind, ask for what I need and want, and to attempt things that I normally would be too scared to do.  And I can stop playing so fucking small.  I need to not be afraid to take up space on this earth and to allow myself to come into my own.  As an adult survivor of child abuse, I was taught to hide my real self under layers of muck, because that person wasn't good enough to exist.  But fuck that.  I am not going to hide my real self anymore.  I am ready to step into the light and be my real self this year.  I used to be her.  Now it's time to be her again.  And to surround myself with people who will let me be her, as well as I will let them be who they fully are, too.  I am so ready for this.

Various Goals for 2022

As for writing, my goal this year is to not finish my fiction books (though I want to do that, too), but to finish all the books in my memoir and self-help series on maternal narcissism.  I do have one book called "Escaping the Wilderness" that's about self-care that will be out this year that will go with this website.  My other books will go with my other website, where I write about maternal narcissism under a different name.  

As for art, my plan is to add more and more art to this website with my YouTube channel, which will be healing art (aka: Art Medicine).  But more on blog stuff below.

I am also expanding my tarot and oracle card website called Rainy Day Tarot with more classes and more videos, as well.  

And I am going to finally be starting on my clothing store, as my husband will switch to working from home (hopefully!!) in a few months.  We'll be building him an office/music room and me a sewing/art room!  Whoo hoo!!  I am very excited for that!  

"But how will you get all this shit done??" you may be asking yourself.  Chunking!  That's how.  I'm going to film huge chunks of videos for this blog and for my tarot blog (we'll be making our own oracle cards, soon!) all at once.  And then I'll be breaking it up throughout the year.  And I'll be writing huge chunks of my books all at once (which is how I got four done in a year, plus the beginnings of the ones I am writing now).  That way, come April or after, I will have time to sew, too.  

I'm also still going to be working on purging more and more until I am at a level of owning "stuff" that I am comfortable with.  I am also going to be getting back into mindfulness meditation and visualization.  I always feel better when I am more in tune with myself and nature.  

I'm also changing my eating habits back to how I used to eat, with lots of a fresh veggies and less eating out.  I am a cook, by nature, and I get into these habits of being super lazy about cooking and eat out constantly.  I am so very tired of that, so I will be "batch cooking" meals, because with my body issues, I just can't stand and cook every single day.  So, I'll be making a lot a once (like chunking!), to give my body time to rest as much as it needs.  

And I'm also stopping expectations of myself to have to get shit done every single day.  I need to be more okay with just existing at times, because in reality, it doesn't matter if anything gets done or not.  What matters is feeling good.  Some things I don't have a choice with, I have to get them done, but other things can just be put on hold.  That's why chunking is so great!  I don't have to be actively doing something every single moment or even every single day.  I can rest.  I can play video games.  I can watch Netflix (oh this show I'm watching now is so good: Stay Close).  

And this all will be happening alongside my POTS, my migraines and cervicogenic headaches, and anxiety.  But I hope keeping busy and active will help it all be better.  And if it doesn't, I can just rest and watch my shows.  Because life isn't about accomplishing everything all the time.  It's about making each day the best it can be.  And sometimes that's about getting stuff done.  And others, it's about enjoying what is.  Finding the beauty, even in the hard days.  

Funny, I have a stack of Keri Smith journals I was going to write about doing this year, finally.  They've been on my shelves for years.  But now I think I will sell them.  Because, why?  I don't want put more pressure on myself do something more that I never really had to time to do before.  And now?  I have enough on my plate.  

On Finding My Way Back to my Spiritual Center

But I will try a few different things.  One, to get me back into a spiritual mode, I'm going to do a 30-day "soul journaling" program from the book "The Lotus and the Lily" by Janet Conner.  I love her book "Writing Down Your Soul", so I am really happy to be starting this one.  I have several unfinished journals I can use for this, so I am excited.  

Even as an atheist, I do believe that the human brain needs to feel spiritual and connected in order to feel mentally healthy.  I think this is why so many atheists are so freaking angry.  For real.  They need something other than just being angry at religious people for their beliefs in order to make them whole.  Because it just ain't working, folks.  Which is why I've been on a journey to find a way for atheists to be spiritual (humanism, by the way, is boring as fuck).  And I think I am on to something.  

Another spiritual/IFS/archetype book I'm also going to explore (this book is not IFS, but it seems as though it will bring up some of my "parts" as I read it) is called "The Four-Fold Way" by Angeles Harrion, PhD.  It though now only seems to be an audiobook, as she's been purchased by Sounds True.  But I do have the paperback book, so that's cool :)  

And I'm also going to explore the book "The Astonishing Power of Emotions" by Esther and Jerry Hicks, which was recommended by one of the minimalist YouTube channels I watch.  I am a fan of Esther's, even if she's faking it (and I tend to believe she is, but maybe she doesn't know she is?).  Anyways, I find her advice amazing and even though I've owned this book for years, I've never read it.  So, this year I will.  And soon.

Changes on the Blog

And then there's all the IFS books I own, which I will also be digging into and taking TONS of notes on.  This will help shape my blog here in the future, as I will be eventually gearing it towards being based in IFS, as well as including LOTS of art medicine projects that will include IFS and other psychological and healing modalities.  IFS won't be the only thing we talk about, though.  Just mostly on the healing sections.  

I'm also going to be really pushing YouTube for this blog (and my tarot blog), mostly because I feel I have so much to say and do, and just typing it out isn't enough.  We'll see if this lasts, but I hope so, as I think YouTube is an amazing platform for bloggers, and pretty much anyone else in this world.  It gives people the freedom to teach what they know or think and gives the rest of us the freedom to learn on our own schedules.  So, more bloggers should be using YouTube if they aren't already.  Which I know they are, but I also know that some aren't. 

I am also thinking about giving the blog a makeover to better represent how I feel it should look.  Right now, it's just not doing anything for me anymore.  So, we'll see what I can find.  

Financial Planning

I have too many subscriptions to too many things, and I am going to go over our finances with a fine-tooth comb and see what we are actually using and what we're not (and cancel what we're not).  We're also going to be trying to buy the house we're living in, as well, as working on our credit to do so.  And we want to buy a truck this year, as well.  We're thinking about buying a piece of land nearby, but it will all depend on if we can buy this house or not.  If we can, then we may still buy land, I am not sure though.  

I'm also going to be opening up my clothing store this year, so that should also help our finances (I hope!).  

Have you picked out your words of the year yet?  Here is mine: 

So, I picked some words/phrases for the new year for myself, based on oracle card pulls (something I've never done before, but it turned out quite well!).  Feel free to copy mine if you like them or let me know below what yours are!  I'd love to hear them.  

  • Catalyst: This word stands for using my past as a catalyst for my future.  I drew the card "Everlasting Life" from the Peace Oracle, and this is what it means.  To not care where or how I learned things in life, but just to take the fact that I know them and let that be all I need.  Like say, my uncanny ability to recognize a narcissist within 10 seconds of speaking to them (not always, but usually).  The point is to use that for good, and not dwell on how I know how to do that.  I like this way of thinking, but it will only come after:
  • Healing and Letting Go: To forgive only for forgiveness' sake is "wrong effort", according to the eightfold path.  So instead, I need to work on actively healing and finding a way to forgive, even if just myself, if I can.  If not, that's okay, too.  But I can't let go of my past until I find a way out of my mental mess of my childhood abuse.  And letting it go does not mean I will be 100% healed or even in a place to forgive anyone.  It just means I can look at things with a new perspective instead of anger.  Which I tend to feel a lot these days.
  • Primal Power/Activate:  I think like many of us who have been abused as children and adults, we have ZERO connection to who we really are and are super disconnected to both our bodies, and our souls.  I drew this card from the "Cosmic Dancer" oracle deck, and I immediately felt it's power, and yearned to feel my own power again.  So, I am working on finding it through ecstatic dance, rewilding myself, online workshops/classes, and visualizations and anything else I can get my hands on.  I want to activate my power again.  I used to have it, as a child.  I was fully in my body and self.  Somewhere along the way I lost that.  And I've felt so lost ever since, especially in 2021, which manifests as a feeling of emptiness and apathy towards life and myself.  I think we all need to find our primal power again, because I am sure on some level, you feel the same way, too.  I will most likely be doing posts about this as the year goes on.
  • Discipline:  This word is a HUGE trigger for me.  I have zero discipline.  Or say everyone has always said about me.  It's a source of shame.  But I think I need to a) look back at my life, take stock, and see where my discipline lies.  It's there, somewhere, I just I think I must ignore it and brush it off.  And b) I need to follow what I did in 2020 and 2021 writing all my books, and finishing them, and keep at it until they are done.  Then I can start releasing them.  But I will not beat myself up about being slow about it, because I do have my limitations.  Which leads me to:  
  • Rest and Just Be:  I need to allow myself to rest without judgement.  I need to be okay with "I will not set any goals for myself today, other than just existing".  Because I place too many expectations on myself, and I don't achieve them and then I feel like shit.  So that's going to stop this year.  I'm going to impress this upon my husband, as well, as he does the same thing to himself.  
  • Simplify:  This is always a word for me, and always will be.  I started it in 2016, and every year I include it, as it's the word of my life, not just the year.  I have ADHD, and everyone about my life can turn into chaos if I let it.  So, simplify is my life's motto, in every situation, and in every way.  Chaos is not my friend.  I am what someone would call an HSP.  But in reality, that just means someone who has sensory processing disorder and most likely autism (as I do).  Everyone bothers us: too much light, too much noise, too much chaos.  Now, sometimes I LOVE loud ass music.  As someone with autism, I need auditory stimulation sometimes (and I don't get it enough).  It energizes me.  But, let there be a ton of people making tons of noise all at the same time or a ton of people asking me to do something for them?  And I will have a literal meltdown.  I also need quiet, time away from people to do my own thing.  I need the simple things in life.  Too much chaos makes for a grumpy life coach.  So, I prefer downtime, and with sprinklings of acceptable amounts of chaos in my life.  But having ADHD means I can be chaotic myself, which really bugs me.  So, I really try to keep this word in my mind at all times, when I am choosing to do anything and everything, from shopping, to conversing, to visiting someone, to shopping, to everything.  Simplicity is my friend.  

I think that about wraps it up.  I will be doing more planning posts, as January is my planning month for the year.  It's when I re-up my blog addresses, reassess what's working and what isn't in my life, and plan out my projects as I go.  So, are you ready for 2022?  Let's do this!  

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