By Kate Kole
We’ve officially crossed into the territory of the countdown to the end of the year. Only this time around, it feels like there’s added significance. Because we’re not just closing out one round of 365 days and moving into the next, we have a whole 10 years to reflect on and finish strong before setting new goals to achieve.
I simultaneously feel a surge of motivation and a dose of anxiousness each time I see an inspirational Instagram post reminding me of the number of days we have left in 2019. How will you make them count? It asks. I stare at the screen, momentarily frozen as I try to come up with an answer that seems monumental enough to match the transition from one decade to another.
My 18-month-old saves me from the spin cycle of my mind by beginning to climb on the furniture. I toss my phone on the coffee table and wrangle him from the couch cushions, from there moving to play our favorite game of ‘empty all the kitchen cupboards’.
With a toddler, two dogs, and a baby on the way, washing my hair, eating a handful of carrots, and keeping our family in clean clothes often feel like my biggest accomplishments at the end of any given day.
I’m realistic enough to recognize that 2020 might not be the year I run a marathon, write a book, go on a tropical vacation, or start a new business.
That being said, I know it could still be the year of something else that’s equally worthy. Of taking deep breaths when I feel my patience waning and drinking more water throughout the day. Of really listening in the conversations I have, tasting the foods I eat, and noticing the things happening around me. Of letting go of the feelings, experiences, beliefs, and relationships that are toxic to create more space for what is physically, emotionally, and spiritually good. Of showing up for my life, as it is, right now.
It’s so easy to get caught up in mindset that more is better, that normal days aren’t worth documenting, that the best outfits should be saved, and that something more important is just ahead of here. When the truth is, so many of the best moments come out of the mundane. Like watching your favorite movie for the fifteenth time, but laughing as if it’s the first, the long awaited arrival of holiday cups and sipping on your first egg nog latte of the season, an impromptu drive to look at Christmas lights, family traditions that you didn’t even set out to create becoming a staple, or unstaged photos that become framed favorites.
So, how will I make these last 22 days of the decade count? As anticlimactic as it seems following such a powerful prompt, I’ll probably just keep playing with everything in the recycling bin with my kid, cuddling with my dogs, watching Jeopardy with my husband, and trying to put together an acceptable dinner each night.
And when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st (I’ll be asleep, and…) I’ll do more of the same. Because albeit simple, the little things matter too. They might even matter the most.