Saturday, May 21, 2022

Strong Women

Here's to Strong Women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. 


Grief is a funny thing. 

My mom died. She died two weeks ago. And yet she doesn't feel gone. Or rather, she feels gone, but not Gone. 

I keep waiting for the sense of finality that I know will usher in the grief, and it continues to evade me. I got the call that she'd died the day after she'd arrived home in Durango. I spoke to the first responder who was still in the house, who explained that they'd done everything they could. I talked to the coroner and gave her medical details that they lacked, hoping to help them understand why she'd been able to drive 17 hours alone, and then gone to bed never to get back up again. I made phone calls and arrangements and plane trips home to pack up a house I hadn't stepped foot in in years. I've spoken with lawyers and banks and collected death certificates and accepted flowers and attended to all the business that comes with death. 

And yet, I returned home and it still feels like I'm waiting for her to come home from a trip. When my dad died I was crushed with the shock of it and with my mom, it feels like the grief is waiting somewhere just out of reach. 

About three years ago, almost to the day, my mom called to tell me that she'd been diagnosed with stage four cancer. The doctors in our small town had delayed and missed signs and by the time they'd reached the diagnosis, the best they could offer her was hospice care. She asked me to look into cancer centers, to see if there might be other options, and in July she flew out to California to meet with a surgeon at UC Davis. It turned out she wasn't a candidate for surgery, but she was eligible for a clinical trial. And what was meant to be a two week visit turned into three years of living together and being a part of our lives. 

I had no idea at the time what a gift that would be. We went from seeing her once a year to being a part of each other's daily lives. I am so, so grateful for that and at the same time it really fucking sucks. And I think part of what's making it hard to accept is that she was on a trip when she died, so I keep waiting for her to come home. 

She didn't want a funeral or a burial. She always said, "I just want to be gone." When I was putting together my dad's service she said, "Please don't do any of this for me." So there's no "event." I can't bring myself to write the obituary, though I did finally do the Facebook post. I'm going to have to clean out her room soon and Sydney will move back in there eventually. I think that's when it will feel real, more than cleaning out her house did. 

In the meantime, I want to honor her for the strong woman that she was and for the strong women that she raised. It is because of her that I will always approach adversity with an attitude of defiance. 











 

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Stressed, Blessed, and Wrestling Obsessed

I keep threatening Eli that I'm going to buy and wear a shirt that has the title of this post bedazzled on it. They exist, and they must be easily purchased because every Saturday I am DEFINITELY in the minority of moms in crowded gyms not wearing them. 

I'm not going to wear the shirt, but I realized that I haven't really memorialized this kid and his accomplishments lately. Wrestling season is officially over, which I thought meant we'd have our weekends free again to, I don't know, not perch in high school gyms waiting to run across campus in time to watch him wrestle for three minutes and then wait for another four hours. I shouldn't complain because it's actually the perfect sport for me to parent because I love waiting. My entire responsibility is to sit patiently, reading and mindlessly scrolling, and the cost is a brief three to five minutes of agonizing anxiety. Then I walk it off and get another couple hours to recover. Plus the snack bar food is not terrible. But I digress. 

So we thought the season was over, and then Eli told us that his coach was holding off-season practices. Cool, sure, whatever. Then there were off-season tournaments. Okay... Guys. Off season wrestling is actually WAY busier than regular season. Eli has wrestled every weekend since the season ended. He's also working every tournament and helping coach the junior team, which he got Averson on to. And rather than be petulant about my loss of freedom like I want to be, I'm actually kind of loving it. He's so invested and he's also noticing that his coaches are recognizing his commitment. For a kid who really hasn't had to work hard for much, being recognized for your effort is a pretty big deal and a lesson I desperately wanted him to get. And he's killing it in these tournaments! Because it's club and not school, he's wrestling a lot of the same kids over and over, and it's fun to watch them strategize against each other. I don't know that I'll ever be able to comfortably watch a match, but I'm to the point where I'm not making a fool of myself anymore and that's progress. I gave myself a sticker for it. 


Spectators spectating
A kid and his varsity letter. Now we just have to get the jacket to go with it

Refereeing tiny little wrestlers! I tried to find a picture from when he was that little but they're from the way-back-when of pictures not on my phone and it's a lot of work


Some day I'll get a picture of my children not making weird faces, but today is not that day. But he's happy with his medals, despite the face he's making

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

My little poet


 In second grade our school does a Poetry Night where the wear black berets, we all sip lukewarm coffee, and the kids recite poems they've memorized. It was one of the few things that bummed me out about Averson being virtual last year because it's both adorable AND tolerable, a rare mix in the world of elementary school performances. So I was absolutely thrilled when I realized that they'd decided to combine the 2nd and 3rd grade classes this year, meaning that she'd get a chance to perch upon the stool after all! 

She was so sweet and so earnest and so, so nervous. It's a big deal to the kids that the parents don't know their poems in advance, so all we knew was that she had a two person poem and a poem that she'd written, and that she was nervous that she'd forget her lines. The night before the performance she nearly gave herself an ulcer second-guessing her preparation, given that she'd only performed in front of other students and now she'd have to perform in front of ADULTS. What if she didn't make eye contact? What if she froze? She was so sweet and so excited and I was only a teensy bit worried for her. 

She totally nailed it. Her poem for two voices "House Crickets" by Paul Fleishman, was adorable and her own poem about Christmas was sweet (even the part about being scolded for being too loud). We all did jazz hands instead of the art house snap which I didn't totally understand and there wasn't any coffee, but it was perfect nonetheless. 


Friday, April 22, 2022

I took boudior pictures and you should too

Back in February I got a wild hair that I wanted to do boudoir pictures. As is my style, I had a thought and then had fully booked and paid for a session within the span of about 6 hours, and then promptly freaked out about all the things. The nice part about being impulsive though is that I'd booked it inside the non-cancellable window, so it was happening whether I liked it or not. If you're considering getting naked in front a stranger and then documenting the process and you think you might be a little uncomfortable with that, I highly recommend my strategy. 

I have been working really hard and I feel more confident about my body than I ever have before, but I still thought my lifelong love/hate, mostly hate relationship would come out in full force either during the session or when I saw my pictures. I was really, really worried about it. Like, she sent a survey that asked about any concerns and I replied, "I'm afraid I'll cry."  It's wasn't an unfounded concern. I've spent so much of my life focused on all the ways I thought I was falling short that I worried that something like this would set me back. I worried that my flaws would ruin it.  I so desperately wanted this experience and I was so, so nervous that I would somehow screw it up. I was certain that I was setting myself up for disappointment. You know that feeling, where you want something so badly that you worry that there's no way it's going to live up to what you're hoping? That's where I was. 

Spoiler alert: I definitely didn't cry. If anything I think this experience may have resolved what I'm starting to realize was body dysmorphia once and for all. In fact, I'm having to consciously restrain myself from inappropriately showing the pictures to people who definitely don't need to see me in my underthings (and less.) I can't wait to do it again. I think everyone should do it. I wish I'd done it sooner. 

Y'all. I think this was one of the best, most awesome things I have ever done in my entire life. It was so fun to be pampered and to feel opulent for the day. I purposely chose a higher end photographer because she included hair/make-up/wardrobe/studio. I literally showed up and that was it. The lead up was nerve wracking but the day of was that awesome feeling of "Fuck it. We're doing this." and being able to lean in fully without worrying about whether I was doing it right was really nice. The make-up artist made me look like me, just fancier (lashes!) and then the photographer walked me through everything so I didn't feel at all awkward or weird like "I don't know what to do with my hands"

C, as you might guess, is also thrilled that I did it, and he was super supportive when I floated the idea, but I genuinely did not do it for him (though his response was a nice bonus). In fact, I think even if I didn't get pictures it would have been worth it just for the experience. There is something so powerful about doing something that makes you nervous with positive results, and being able to see yourself in a new way. I look at these pictures and I absolutely feel beautiful, but I also feel proud, independent, and powerful. Not really things that are typically triggered in the day to day monotony of making a living and raising kids and holding down the fort. I think there's something really profound in the act of literally stripping down, getting away from all the trappings and labels. It's intense and honestly, it's pretty magical. 
 



If you’re in Northern California, I cannot recommend Colleen highly enough. She’s awesome  and I think she would’ve made the day incredible even if I had cried

Monday, April 18, 2022

Last Kids on Earth

I have been doing a lot of things and blogging few of them, which I know I’ll regret. Today I’m home sick with some kind of head cold that is not Covid, but also felt like might be poor show to try to work through, so I’m taking the opportunity to catch up. Starting with Averson’s big event, a Meet The Author for one of her favorite books/shows, Last Kids on Earth. As part of the event she also got a signed copy of the book being released that day, which she thought was about the coolest thing ever. 

When it was her turn to ask a question, she asked “Why do you insist on writing more books?” I’m sure she meant it well but the adults shared a collective pause. Then she got a very honest answer. He’s under contract for two books per year, April and September. Three left in the contract and then he’s done. So…maybe not that off-base


 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Follow me for more parenting tips

 I sent this to our family group chat



I told Eli this week that if I caught him eating in his room again I was taking his bedroom door. He’s so stubborn he’s not eating now. 

Averson confessed that she was “a little scared” last night after watching a Dahmer video with Sydney and my mother, even though “I’m probably safe because I’m the wrong age. And the wrong gender. And he’s dead.” 

Sydney chose the Dahmer video and I vetted it as the most appropriate option for public viewing. Guys? I know who Dahmer is. 

One of my children did this and I’m not even all that surprised 



Sunday, April 3, 2022

Career week (alternate title: Fangirling librarians)

 This last Friday I presented to Averson’s class for career week. It was via zoom, and last minute, so unlike years past I did NOT over prepare. Or really prepare at all :/ Luckily I’d at least asked Averson for tips and she suggested highlighting how much school I’d gone to and leaving lots of time for questions. 

I think it went well! The kids actually had questions, thank God, and now that I don’t work in a prison they were definitely more diverse. I did get asked if I’ve ever had to call the police or the FBI but most were along the lines of “what does your day look like” and “what’s your favorite part of your job?” One kid asked what I would be doing if I weren’t a psychologist, and for some reason I totally blanked. Guys, I have an answer! I have a good answer! And I totally couldn’t think of it so I think I said “teacher” or “writer.” 

Both of those are good, but you know what I really would be? A librarian. I remember considering it in college and not wanting to lose my love of books, but I had no idea at the time all that librarians do. I think if I had, I 100% would have gone into library sciences. Yesterday I was telling a friend about how our library just added cake pans to their catalog and she told me that she DOESN’T HAVE A LIBRARY CARD. I geeked out on the community impact of the public library, and why it’s so important to patronize the library, so hard that it got a little awkward. 

I just love the whole concept of an equal access resource so much. Our library abolished all late fines post pandemic, after being able to show that people continued to return books without them. My local branch, which is in an area with a lot of homeless people, has free feminine hygiene products in the gender neutral bathrooms. There’s a seed library! I’m sure there’s drama and bullshit but I would love to be in the meetings where they say “Hey! We need more of this thing in our community. How do we make it happen?” My dream is to get to pick a book for a”staff picks” display. If I got to make a whole display I could just die happy on the spot. 

I want to hear from librarians. Is it as awesome as I think it is? Or am I totally fangirling? Or if you’re burnt out, do you want me to make your display for you? I totally will

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing (librarian or otherwise) what would you be doing instead?  

Friday, April 1, 2022

Billie Eilish

Tuesday afternoon I got a text from C that said "Want to go see Billie Eilish with Sydney tomorrow night?" Turns out he had a friend who bought tickets forever ago and then last minute couldn't use them. Sydney has loved Billie Eilish since she was small (she reminded me that she once sent her a DM on instagram telling her that she bought her book and that Billie responded with a heart emoji) and now I'm afraid that all future events will pale in comparison. She declared it "The Greatest Night of My Life" 





In line waiting to get in

She had no interest in wandering around the venue and wanted to make sure we were in our seats as soon as the opening act started. Then when Billie came on stage she was fully rapt, and occasionally she would whisper, "I think I might cry" or "I just love her so much." She sang every song. 

I like Billie Eilish's music, so I figured I would enjoy the concert, but I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did! She did such a great job of managing the mood of the show, and had such a positive, lovely energy. There's a part where she outlines her rules for the show and she said "First, don't be an asshole. Second, no judging anyone here. Finally, you are 99.9% in control of whether you have a good time tonight or not. So put yourself in the mindset of having fun and let's have a good time." Maybe I'm hormonal or maybe I'm sentimental but that was the part where I thought "maybe I'm going to cry too" And then she kept talking about how close she and her brother are and I totally did cry. So fair warning if you're going to the show. You're probably going to cry. 
                                        
Terrible concert selfie


                                                     
Happiest. Girl. Ever.


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

I don’t know who I am anymore

You guys? I made Greek yogurt. From scratch. Twice. And I like it a lot and I'm probably going to keep doing it. I, completely unironically, was singing it's praises to my friend talking about how it's packed with protein and probiotics and is "so easy to make!" That alone would be weird enough but then...
I walked in to work today with a rain stick. I don't even know what to say for myself. 


 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Love thy neighbor?

 A few weeks ago I sort of impulsively booked a boudoir photo shoot for the end of the month and then immediately freaked the fuck out because 1) it definitely wasn't in the budget 2) because I impulsively did it, I booked it for within the cancellation period so there was no backing out and 3) excited and nervous feel the same in your body and I was both REALLY excited and REALLY nervous. But it's something I've always wanted to do, and I've been working really hard in the gym, and well, what's done is done so here we go. 

So then I started doing what I do and obsessing over it as a distraction to all the other things, like anxious kids and dogs who kill woodpeckers and oh, say, a horrific war erupting in Europe. I booked this amazing photographer who's been sending me "how to prepare for your shoot" e-mails, and one said to start a secret pinterest board with your inspiration shots. So I've been dutifully collecting pictures on my phone of different poses, outfits, etc. getting more and more excited for my shoot. And as I've gotten more excited I've gotten less modest in my screenshots. I mean, it's a SECRET pinterest board, right? 

Know what's not secret? Google photos. Which automatically archives the photos from my phone. Which then upload to become the screensaver on my TV. Which you can see from the street if anyone fails to turn the TV off when they're done watching. Which they frequently do. Which I realized only when I pulled up to my house last night to my neighbors' toddlers playing in the street and my window perfectly framing a VERY non-PG (but beautiful) image of a lovely, pretty close to naked stranger. 

So now I'm waiting for THAT awesome letter from the HOA... 

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Nine!

 

Guys? I have loved having big kids. I rarely feel nostalgic for diapers and tantrums and toddlers and I haven't had a lot of "no more babies!' moments, but I definitely had a hard time saying goodnight to an eight-year-old for the very last time. 

I just marvel at this girl. She is wise and silly and wry and thoughtful. She has big plans to eventually turn our house into a zoo once everyone moves out, and is spending a lot of time studying how to be an animal trainer. Her hamster (who is terrible and was a regrettable purchase) bit me and she so empathetically explained that he is small and probably was very scared of a big creature reaching towards him, but is also so pragmatic and matter of fact that when I delicately mentioned that I hadn't noticed him moving for a couple days she just went right up to see if he was dead (he wasn't.) If he had been, I'm not 100% convinced she wouldn't have tried to dissect him. She worries a lot about the passage of time and yet is the most in the moment kid I've ever met. She is currently obsessed with dragons and Greek mythology and Roblox and plays a mix of Disney soundtracks and wholly inappropriate music in the drop-off line for school (this morning was D12 and even I couldn't make eye contact with the crossing guard). 





Friday, February 25, 2022

Howling and handstands and pie

This is really just a photo dump of pretty pictures. Not much more to say than that. I'm on a medication right now that's got the awesome side effect of making me feel an anxious that I haven't felt in quite a while, and while it's fun in the way that winding up a swing to see how fast you can spin before you puke is, and I can get real entertaining when I get going, it's really not great when the world may literally be crumbling between WWIII and horrible people and global warming and impending fire season and tax season and teenager season and my possible abject inability to ever successfully do a damn handstand and all the things. 

BUT. We went outside. And it was lovely and I remembered how much it quiets my brain when I need it. And it seems to quiet the brains of my little anxious people too (hence the smiles and howls and handstands). 












And then there was pie that we dove in to too quickly to take a "before" picture of, which should tell you both how delicious it was and how good the hike was

 

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Random things making me happy

I kept my hair in braids over the weekend and ended up with these crazy waves, and now I think maybe I need a perm

I volunteered in the middle school library and it was delightful. In another life I 100% would be a librarian and I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider how I could do my real job and run this little school library too


This girl's smile


I've been working on trying to learn how to do a handstand and C took this picture of me. It's absolutely a shameless brag. I love how I look in it and I love that I love it. 


 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Spirit Days

I typically am not a huge fan of Spirit Days that cannot be 100% executed by children on their own. I finished school and I don’t want anymore homework. But this year both the high school and the middle school held “Anything but a backpack” days and I am HERE FOR IT. Like not only did I assist in the procurement, I also stalked the schools’ social media to see what other kids did. It was so fun to see so much ridiculousness and enthusiasm :) I do love ridiculousness
Trash can that previously held our dog toys

Shopping cart borrowed from one of our favorite 2 year olds

 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

This house is clean!

Not my actual house. My actual house is a wreck, but at least it’s not a teeming petri dish 
COVID is fucking weird. The house is cleared, everyone’s testing negative, and no one had a single symptom. We never would have known if Eli hadn’t been doing sports. I can’t tell if I’m relieved or if this just makes me more nervous…

 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Poorly practicing frustration tolerance





 "This is a great opportunity to practice frustration tolerance!" 

I used to have a supervisor who would say that, and I loved it. What a great reframe! Something sucks? You're angry? Traffic is moving too slow? What a great opportunity to practice frustration tolerance! It's even better if you say it with a huge grin and enthusiastic hand motions. 

I would like to publicly apologize to every human I've ever said that to. Including my husband, who has repeatedly and loudly informed me that it's the biggest load of bullshit ever. But that's not my point. Today. Today is... not a great day.

Here is a list, in no particular order, of petty things I hate today:

Delayed shipping. The bright side of the pandemic is that we've all learned how easy it is to get things delivered. I've done a lot of personal work to remind myself that it's not always reasonable to expect immediacy and that waiting 2-3 days is perfectly reasonable. But now?! Now I'm waiting 2-3 weeks and no one cares because apparently "guaranteed delivery" is really "arbitrary number we attach to your receipt" and no one gives two shits that you needed your thing yesterday and thought you were doing the right thing by not going out shopping in person with all of your toxic face germs. 

Conflicting/confusing policies regarding quarantine. It's only been two fucking years. How is it that we still have to comb through policies with a fine tooth comb to figure out what we're doing? Why do I have to go digging for anyone's decision-fucking-forests? 

The phrase "Decision Forest." Decision trees are designed to make decision making easier. If I wanted a forest... Nevermind. I don't want a forest. I want clear and rational guidelines one way or another. 

Seasonal coffee creamer. I'm looking directly at you, Maple brown sugar oat creamer. You made me love you in October and now it's January and I'm trying to figure out how to hoard all the cartons before we're back to ridiculous boring flavors like "vanilla" and "hazelnut." It's a fucking pandemic. Nothing is fun anymore. All I have left is my coffee. 

Shoes that make noise. WHY? Why do they make noise? I can't go to stores anymore. I certainly can't spend enough time in a store to walk around in the merchandise to make sure that they don't make a weird squeak or that one doesn't click when I turn left. 

Meal planning. I am SO TIRED of trying to figure out what to eat. I want Jetson's-era food pill machines. I've already moved to having my groceries delivered but ugh. Also, my grocery delivery keeps getting screwy so I had to order Costco three times last week just to get my dog food. And I'd hate to make someone shop just for one thing at Costco so it's not saving me money OR time at this point. 

Drink packets and other food wrappers. They're everywhere. It makes me nuts. If I pick up one more sad, depleted applesauce pouch I may commit a felony.  

Automated messages with robovoices. This is stupid. It takes 10 minutes to record an actual human, any actual human. If the robovoice can't even pronounce your company or school name correctly, get a different system. 

Things I don't hate: 

Getting pictures from my stir-crazy teenager who still isn't too old for the occasional costume




Tuesday, January 11, 2022

2/6

 Another one down. C tested before school on Monday and promptly got kicked out of work. Same as Eli, he’s completely, 100% asymptomatic. The girls continue to test negative. This thing is so fucking weird 


Update: Dude. I just came across this article that says that having fought off a cold has been found (in a VERY small study) to be potentially protective against COVID infection in home exposures. We were convinced that all of us that got sick over Christmas but continued to test negative just had sneaky COVID, but now I'm wondering if that's why only the boys have tested positive? They're the only ones that didn't get the bug over the holiday. 

Saturday, January 8, 2022

And…we’re hit

 Two years. Eight million masks. 14 shots. Countless declined invitations and awkward conversations. So, so many nasal swabs. 

Our school district handed out home tests this week and Eli took one yesterday, in advance of a wrestling tournament this weekend. He tests 1-2 times per week for wrestling, so he’s old hat at this. It’s a formality and probably over cautious since all the wrestlers would get tested at weigh in, but since it was an away match the coach figured it would be better to test before everyone traveled. Spoiler alert: we are not at a wrestling tournament. 

We’ll test everyone else tomorrow. For now he’s holed up in his room and wears an N95 anytime he leaves, but looking at the school quarantine rules, that might be unnecessary since the girls might have to stay home the same amount or maybe even longer. He’s going stir crazy. Quarantine isn’t fun or novel anymore and we’ve watched all of the things by now. 

I am grateful that we’re all as vaccinated as we could be. I wish I’d jumped on boosters sooner. So far everyone feels fine, which is simultaneously frustrating and reassuring. Part of me hopes that everyone tests positive tomorrow so we can be done running from the unknown. The other part of me knows how lucky we are and that we shouldn’t press it. I laughed at the CDC’s new guidelines but now I’m definitely benefitting from them. Trust the scientists, right?  

I worried that this would feel like a failure and I’m surprised that it doesn’t. I’m glad that it doesn’t. I hesitated to put anything out there, but I also hope that other people won’t feel like their efforts were wasted if they get hit too. We avoided infection clear up to the “highly contagious but mostly mild to no symptom” variant, which is the one I’d pick if I had to pick one. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Good intentions

 I often find myself saying the same thing to several people at work, suggesting that there are messages that lots of people need to hear. One of them is this: If you want to build a new habit, the first step is to make it as easy as possible. You basically want it to be easier to do the new thing than to keep doing the old thing. So for example, when I wanted to work out in the mornings, I slept in my gym clothes. At that point it was easier to just go than to justify sleeping in a sports bra for no reason. It's weird, but it works!

I'm not doing resolutions, but I have decided on a few personal challenges The first is that I want to work on reducing my use of disposable things. I've got reusuable silverware in my office and my purse, so that's easy. I'd really like though to get away from plastic shopping bags. It's so dumb  that I pay .10 to crumple it up under my sink, occasionally use one, and then throw them all away in a giant fit. I own lots of bags. I have a laundry basket in the backseat of my car for the sole purpose of corralling purchases. I don't even do my own shopping that much anymore, so why, why, why is it so hard?! If anyone has any tips, I could really use them. In the meantime I'm embracing my inner abstainer and only allowing myself a store bag if it's paper, since I use those for recycling. Which is how you found me walking out of the drugstore this morning juggling a handful of sinus meds and tampons. 

My other intentions, I hope, are easier (and less cringy). 

I'm giving myself a challenge for January to spend the couple of minutes before class working on my handstands. I'd LOVE to be able to do a full handstand at the end of the month, but even if I don't I will definitely be more comfortable upside down. 

I am challenging myself to back into parking spots (so far so good!) 


I'd like to work on reducing my orders from Amazon and I think I have a plan. My goal isn't really morally driven (Jeff Bezos created a brilliant company and I guess if he wants to be an asshole he can) but it hurts my wallet and my soul to get packages on a near daily basis. My thought is that if I have a designated "check out day" that I will be less inclined to hit the "Buy it now" button and maybe make more thoughtful purchases while also reducing the number of boxes that get delivered since the orders will be combined. 

And a goal. I would really like to publish an article. About something. Somewhere. I don't have anything more specific than that yet, but I do have an accountability partner and some ideas of what I might write and...that's about it. But I've now stated it out loud so my chances of success just went up and hopefully it'll be easier to keep moving forward than to justify why I didn't. 

I'm definitely only making eye contact with 2022 out of my peripheral vision, for fear of inciting something that none of us are prepared for (see: welcoming 2021 ridiculously and where that got us). But if you are setting any goals or challenges for yourself I would love to hear them and support them in any way that I can! I don't have a word for 2022 but if I did, I think I'd want it to be "Encouraging."