Taking Flight and A Focal Point for the Year


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New years, taking flight, and a focal point in 2023. Read it now on KaraLayne.com

Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions? Or do you approach a new year differently? I used to love having a list of things I was going to do perfectly as soon as the calendar showed January 1st. Heck, give me a Monday, the start of a month, the beginning of a year. I relished in the idea of a “clean slate” and allowed the calendar to dictate when I would progress on something. However, come March, April, May, or June? That perfectionism would rear its ugly head. I was a failure if I hadn’t adhered to that list of resolutions. And It was several years ago that I decided maybe resolutions weren’t the only way to do it. Maybe they weren’t for me. That is when I started choosing a word. A focal point for the each year.

I still set goals and make plans (big scary ones along with smaller, bite-sized ones). But it’s no longer about chasing a checked box. It’s about investing in real, long-lasting improvements. Because that’s the ultimate goal, right? Becoming better than the day we were before? And that progress can come at any time we choose to start. And to prove to myself that I was no longer owned by a calendar, I chose to leave a vice back in 2022. That’s right. I kicked a bad habit two weeks before the end of the year. And that felt really good.

So back to this focal point. Last year the word I chose was fortitude. Courage in pain or adversity. A strength of mind. I would be lying if I said 2022 didn’t test me on this one in a big way. We walked many trials this past year and a lot of them quietly. It wasn’t until talking on the phone with my mother over Christmas, as our house filled with water from burst pipes (a story I will share soon), that she told me how well I was handling it all. And for a moment I thought, just maybe, I had developed a bit of the very thing I tried to focus on all year. Kinda cool.

It’s funny though, isn’t it? At the end of some years, we may have the thought and say to ourselves, “that didn’t go the way I expected” and look ahead to January 1st wth the hope that maybe the next one does. I have done this so many times. But, oh how I forget that I am not in fact in control. Why would I be so arrogant to think I ever was or am? I heard something the other day that went a little like this:

You board a plane and you don’t have a say in how you get to your destination. You simply make a plan, invest in the ticket, show up when you are supposed to and trust the pilot, who you don’t know, that it will all work out. 

Quite the perspective shift, huh?

Instead of looking at this new year as a way to make up for last year, I simply am choosing to be grateful for what we did gain in the last twelve months. Even despite unfulfilled plans and bumps in the road. We got our hands dirty in creating. We made simple yet perfect memories. We unexpectedly grew by one. We discovered new passions and cultivated talents. We continued to show strength in the face of adversity. We continued living well. We grew a little older and (hopefully) a little wiser. We made our temporary nest even more like home. All good things. Things I am beyond grateful for.

So here I stand. Staring at the next twelve months full of endless possibilities. Twelve months that I want to focus on restoring. 

Restore, verb: To put or bring back into existence or use. To bring back to or put back into a former or original state. To renew.

The past few years I have become someone who expects the worst. Man, I hate to even admit that. However, we’ve walked through quite a lot. Stumbling block after stumbling block. Delays and setbacks. It’s easy to start living life waiting for the other shoe to drop. And in waiting for the other shoe to drop, you don’t even realize the changes that creep up on you before you look into the mirror and you don’t quite recognize the person looking back at you. Because that constant doubt, and that fear, and that exhausted attempt at trying to control any of it? It wears on a person. Not in a good way either. And this year I want to focus on shedding it all. Shedding it like old skin. And I want to restore.

New years, taking flight, and a focal point in 2023. Read it now on KaraLayne.com

I want to restore my faith.

Thinking back to when we moved to Nashville, it was a total leap of faith. A total God thing. We saw literal miracles. We saw stumbling blocks removed. We saw everything happen the way we needed it to happen. And it’s because we gave up control. We had no clear path, just a desire to move somewhere that we had never been to finally build the life we had always dreamed of. And it happened. By sheer faith and letting go of control, it actually happened. That is what 2023 will be about. Getting back to that mindset. Remembering to embrace the view from the passenger seat and having faith that no matter what comes our way, He has us. Trying to control anything is not where my energy is needed.

I want to restore my health.

When Blair was first diagnosed, I remember hearing that it is often the caregiver who depletes faster than the one being cared for. Goodness gracious, how true this is. This past year and a half? I experienced it first hand. The ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ idea has always been a difficult one for me to connect with in regards to motherhood. Because as a mother, I don’t know how to not put my kids’ needs before my own. Ridding our home and lifestyle of toxins and unhealthy ingredients has and will always be a top priority. But this desire goes far deeper than that. I want to feel physically strong again. I want to feel like I can withstand. I want my kids, especially my daughters, to see what it means for a woman to take care of her body. For them to see discipline and self-respect. And I have learned that is just as much a service to them as putting their needs first before my own when life calls for me to do so.

I want to restore my marriage.

Don’t get me wrong on this one. The Bearded Gent and I are solid. I’m grateful for our stamina as we have navigated the last couple of years. But those couple of years have been in the trenches. And in those seasons you don’t always have the capacity to invest adequate time into everything you would like to (see above). Do I regret not making regular date nights and doing those unexpected things for each other a priority? No. Because you do what you can in the season you’re in. Sometimes that means thriving and sometimes it means surviving. And you can’t function in both. I still remember those early seasons and not always having the budget for a babysitter. If you are there, enjoy it. And know that it doesn’t last forever. We have entered a new season as a family. We no longer have little ones that need us home at all times. We are no longer in survival mode when it comes to managing Blair’s condition. We are suddenly feeling a bit of weight lifted and know we need to take advantage of it to develop new habits to support the most important relationship in our home. 

It’s funny too. When talking about the new year and the goals we have, we both said this was our top one without knowing it. Glad to know we are on the same page after all of these years.

I want to restore my confidence and sense of self.

Previous seasons have weighed me down and I think I’ve just continued carrying it. Like war wounds. Scars that have simply healed on the surface. Perhaps it has been for self-preservation. A way to quietly excuse myself from anything that would force me to get uncomfortable. Because I have been busy putting out fires. Or maybe there has been a fear of doing the work required to finally heal from it all. But that comfort zone starts to feel like home when we let it, doesn’t it? Whatever the reason, it has held me back in a big way. And I no longer have time for it.

Now, as I step back and look at these areas that I want to focus on, it’s funny how much they intertwine. And the domino effect that will most likely happen if I am willing to put in the work. Hoping in twelve months I can tell you all about it.

So here I am. Walking into 2023. Metaphorical ticket in hand. Goals, vision, hopes, and plans all packed. And I’m showing up. And I’m going to trust that no matter the turbulence that may come, the view along the way will be unforgettable. 

Happy new year, my friend. I’m wishing you all the good. Thank you so much for being here.

Xo, Kara

January 10, 2023


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