- What did you do in 2020 that you had never done before?
Hum – let’s see – Survived a Pandemic?! Published my first journal. Got hypnotized and liked it.
- Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions because I don’t really believe that all of a sudden every January I can “resolve” to change a bunch of things in my life. However, I do change my spiritual discipline focus every year. Last year, I continued my focus on contemplation. This year, I’m entering into a weekly relationship with a spiritual director as I practice the daily Ignatius’ prayer and contemplation. However, I did create a vision board which, from the outset, looks much better than my vision board of 2020 (see below).
My oldest saw the vision board and said, “Does this mean we can get a puppy?!” And while it looks like I may have had one too many “fun” stickers (which be true), it’s a posture I’m cultivating inside of me as a recovering “over responsible oldest.”
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Did anyone close to you die?
What countries or new places did you visit?
We were supposed to visit the UK last summer but, like most of us, cancelled plans due to pandemic. So we did some staycations and had a ball at Surf and Sand in Laguna Beach, something I’d never have done since we live an hour away. But it was a magical time as we prepared for the incredible losses this year would bring with Eden going through her senior year online.
What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?
More time to do things at home. (kidding!) There are so many ways to answer this question but what I’ve realized is I want to take more risks – with ideas, with conversations, with vulnerability.
What dates from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 20th – I celebrated my 50th with dancing, dancing and more dancing surrounded by friends and family. March 12th – Eden got sick and missed school March 13th – which would have been her last physical day of school at her high school – as a junior. LA County shut down March 15th and most likely won’t return to in person until after her graduation. May 26th – George Floyd’s death sparked the fires of turning racial justice into a movement to end police brutality.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I owned how I wanted to celebrate my 50th birthday. I didn’t wait for someone to ask. I didn’t ask someone (read husband) to read my mind. I sat with what would be meaningful and went for it. At that event, I created a journal and gave it to my guests. Who knew the positive responses I received from so many would lead me to be brave enough to “put it out there” to a larger audience? #grateful
What was your biggest failure?
I CANNOT prioritize mail. I hate mail and all things paper. I get paralyzed deciding what to do with it. I will do good and then bam – a clutter mess in my bedroom. Obviously, this has nothing to do with time since I was stuck in my house (and continue to be) and it still hasn’t gotten done. Maybe 2021 can be the year I actually start adulting with my clutter?!
Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had some ongoing shoulder/ hip pain but it is much, much better than prior years. However, I momentarily forgot I was 50 and played “how far can you go” on a hammock against my son and bruised my left ribs. I won. #noregrets #worth it
What’s the best thing you bought?
We bought an outdoor screen to watch movies on so we could provide some civid-safe social activities. This and my amazing, though it’s rarely cold enough to wear without overheating, oversized leopard sweater by & Other Stories.
Where did most of your money go?
What did you get really excited about?
Socializing. In person. Though outside and six feet apart. Waiting patiently for hugging to return.
What song will always remind you of 2020?
Lasting Lover by Sigala and James Arthur. This song was on repeat for hours as I finished writing my manuscript this October. I can’t explain all that went this match – me typing, James singing as I wrote about my relationship with my husband in my memoir but it worked especially as I walked the cliffs chewing on the words yet to be written on the page.
Compared to this time last year, are you:
—happier or sadder?
happier. Friends, who make me laugh and help me find meaning, have never been so important and present in my life than now. Also, I’ve never felt so deeply called as now to revive some of the oldest spiritual disciplines in order to transform a dying, shallow Christianity so present in today’s churches. Love has become an afterthought in one’s Christian faith whereas Christ put it front and center.
— thinner or fatter?
Slightly thinner. Emphasis on slightly.
— richer or poorer?
Richer. My job took a hit the first two months of the pandemic but rebounded after that. However, due to the economic impact of the pandemic, once a month I gave 100% of a day’s wage away to either a particular person or to an organization standing in the gap for heavily impacted covid people groups. I supported students, artists, as well as communities both medically challenged as well as physically vulnerable to food scarcity. We also became monthly supporters of Equal Justice Initiative, Long Beach Rescue Mission, Grassroots Law, and a student following her dreams. I will continue this practice in 2021.
What do you wish you’d done more of?
Gone to concerts, travelled, or anything that was suddenly unsafe once covid invaded like being next to people without a mask.
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stayed at home except, well, it was the loving thing to do. #stopthespread
How did you spend Christmas?
We were at home, just our family because of well, covid. We bought matching pajamas for the first time because it was that kind of year.
What was your favorite TV program?
Lucifer! Completely hooked and I can’t wait for it to be safe to make more episodes. Best Limited Series for me was hands down Queen’s Gambit – full of complexity and eventually, hope.
What were your favorite books of the year?
Favorite book was Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes. It’s a book about hope and incredible resilience when circumstances could have killed both. Guillotine: Poems by Eduardo Corral was my favorite poetry read. Powerful. It’s one that continues to stay on my nightstand. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins was favorite work of fiction. Transforming the Soul in Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry by Ruth Haley Barton was my favorite spiritual book.
What was your favorite music from this year?
Mumford & Sons Delta Tour EP, Maverick City Vol. 3 Part 1, Saturn by Sleeping At Last and Tim Fain and Lights by Florian Christi, Esther Abrami and The Modern String Quintet
What was your favorite film of the year?
Any Documentary with David Attenborough. I love that man’s voice and anytime I need to feel revitalized with nature I sit down and listen to the films he’s narrated. I thought the Social Dilemma was excellent should be part of the curriculum for every student. I also loved What the Constitution Means to Me though I watched this onstage in January.
What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Amazing party with friends and a dj.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
not wearing pajama bottoms while doing zoom therapy sessions because I would be seeing people in person where I would actually dress normally for work.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?
See above – comfort above all else but don’t look like you’ve just rolled out of bed or are actually in bed while working
What kept you sane?
Having a new office, which I’d moved into mid-February so I could work from there while Dennis worked from home. I think it kept me married more than sane. As well, the lovely Shannon Ahern took over the interior decorating and designed it around a painting I feel in love with, which makes me so happy.
Also – friends, friends, and more friends. They carry me toward sanity often, and when necessary, drag me there.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.
Having friends who can hold complexity and regard open-mindedness as an important virtue is worth its weight in gold.
What new habit are you developing to decrease your environmental footprint?
Less is more. I’m committing to buying only one personal item a month, including clothes, shoes, books, etc and giving away something twice a month. Just today I gave away empty boxes I kept in my garage in order to be more environmentally responsible by reusing rather than simply recycling boxes from online shopping.
Now go hug a damn tree.
Have an incredible year and, Lord willing, I’ll be back with 2021 reflections.