January Reflections

One month is in the books for 2022! I was tempted to say ‘already,’ but I don’t feel like that quite fits. This month was a LOT — Omicron, storms, potential invasion in Europe… Despite all of this, my reflections on January ’22 leave me feeling mostly calm, grateful, and even a little hopeful. In no particular order, here are a few things that have helped frame my mindset over the past weeks:

Oprah Daily — Leave it to Oprah to get a girl thinking and reflecting and doing. The queen of living one’s best life is back in force as a part of my day. I am an original Oprah fan, having watched her show as a teenager and read her book club picks and subscribed to her magazine as an adult. I signed up for Oprah Daily in its early days and enjoyed it, but her new planner has become indispensable. I use it each morning as a time to reflect and set an intention for the day, and the ‘Done List’ is a fun twist on the classic to-do list. (I love a good to-do list and always start mine with at least two things I have already done — oh, the mind games we play to cheer ourselves on!) The sections at the end of each week and month offer space and encourage time spent exploring in more detail what is working and what we need to work on more. It’s also just lovely to hold, as one would expect from one of the world’s greatest lover of books.

• Gratitude journal — I have always tried to focus on gratitude; it was something that was taught to me very early in life (long before Oprah appeared on my television), and something I have always taken seriously. Actually writing down a gratitude list has only happened in fits and starts over the years, but I have made a conscious effort to change that. I have now made this practice a part of my bedtime routine, and have consistently put my grateful thoughts and lists on paper each night for the past four weeks. It isn’t hyperbole to say that it has made a dramatic shift in how I feel day to day. With all that January has thrown my way professionally and personally, I have felt better equipped to navigate with gratitude at the forefront of my thoughts.

• Good news on the daughter front — If you have kids, you have probably heard the adage “you’re only as happy as your least happy child.” Well, when you have only one child, that is still true! (No pressure on that one kid, right?) My college sophomore daughter has been navigating quite a lot of big life questions, and the emotional roller coaster that she has been riding has taken its inevitable toll on me. Some recent bits of good news have boosted her mood and outlook, though, and while the joy is all hers and the accolades hard-earned by her alone, nothing in life will ever bring me more joy than seeing her happy. I’m working on bottling some of this good energy for the next time the roller coaster takes a sharp turn…

• Good skincare — Yikes. Upgrading the masks I wear at work from cloth to the KN95 variety, fewer mask breaks due to a never-ending flow of visitors to my office, dry winter air, and age have conspired to suck even the suggestion of moisture out of my skin. I leave the house in the morning with a healthy glow, but by day’s end…I’m a little tarnished! I have been very happy with my blend of Biossance products, but have added a nightly layer of Summer Fridays Jet Lag to my routine. I have a few morning masks I’ve been playing around with as well, and I am happy to spend the extra time if it helps keep me looking less haggard than I may feel after 10 straight hours of pandemic era school counseling of middle schoolers.

Let’s see what February has in store!

XO, Susan

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