I have a problem. Each time I sit to write words I hope will reach you, everything inside, bottled up and shaken, fizzes to the surface. I see you. I think of how much I love you, our friendship, and I have a million, trillion things to say. I try to open up. Instead, I feel overwhelmed. I give up. Power down my laptop and walk away.
This is not your fault. You need to know this.
This is my fault. Absolutely.
Today, I will try. I can sit here with you, wherever you are, whatever you feel today.
You don’t need my opinion. There are plenty of those in the world.
Let’s make like Jesus and draw away from the crowd. I found a tree where we can sit. Listen to the leaves. Feel the sun. Soak in the sky above us.
I have a gift for you: A list of all the things that have brought me life this year. Remember the goodie bags you could buy in stores? Bags of randomness thrown together with a price tag slapped on? This is mine to you. Sift through it. Pick what you like. They gave me what I needed in the moment. May they provide the same for you.
“Take some books and read; that’s an immense help; and books are always good company if you have the right sort.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
A few books ended up in lockdown with me when the world first shut down. With no due dates or library fines (can a person ask for anything more???) I read and re-read each one. These are some books that changed me this year.
When: The Scientific Secrets to Perfect Timing – Daniel Pink
Finding Your Own North Star – Martha Beck
Steering by Starlight – Martha Beck
Finding Your Way in a Wild New World – Martha Beck
The Choice – Dr. Edith Eger
The Gift – Dr. Edith Eger
“Truth is the greatest marketing campaign.” – Richie Norton
You know me. If I’m not reading (or paying attention to my family), I’m listening to a podcast. These episodes helped me cry, made me laugh, and gave me space to grow. I’m thankful these episodes exist.
Dolly Parton’s America
Dispatch 1: Numbers – Radiolab
Dispatch 3: Shared Immunity – Radiolab
Summer Pop Culture Recs, plus a Visit from Kirk Franklin – It’s Been a Minute with Sam Sanders
The Halo Effect – Hidden Brain
“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
You can listen to my full list here: 2020 Year in Review. Below are the people who carried me, when I could not carry myself.
Soap – The Oh Hellos
Fight For Me – GAWVI
Sunday Morning – Lecrae & Kirk Franklin
We Gon’ Be Alright – Tye Tribbett
Afasawaya – Emily Brimlow
Bigger – Beyonce
All We got – Chance the Rapper
“It is an example of what films can do, how they can slip past your defenses and really break your heart.” – David Gilmour
How many movies can one person watch in a year? 😓 Ugh. Movies are not my favorite escape but a few bear mentioning.
Some apps became appropriately essential this year. They helped me stay organized, find resources, and kept my closet up to date.
Libby – connect with your local library and have access thousands of books, right from your phone or download to another linked device.
BublUp – Think of Pinterest – but on steroids, much friendlier, and way more orderly. This is how I organize any interest – from car shopping, to crocheting, this is my idea
LikeWise – So, are we done with social media yet?? 😒 Thankfully, there is LikeWise – the only place where sharing is caring. A happy community where the goal is to share your favorite books, podcasts, TV shows and movies.
ThredUp – What would I do without thrift stores? When Goodwill shut down, I turned to ThredUp. Tons of sales and fabulous clothes all at my fingertips. The company’s mission is to reduce waste. Look good and feel fabulous at the same time.
Anything you want to add? What’s brought you joy? I’m always ready to receive some goodness.