Life in 2021

I’m noticing that the year of 2021 is bringing along the aftermath of its predecessor 2020.
I, with the rest of the world, spent the better half of 2020 locked up inside because of a pandemic.
My reaction to being locked up was spending the better half of 2020 measuring myself by what I didn’t have rather than on what I do have.
This meant that everywhere I turned, someone was always ‘jumping online’ to sell me something and I was here to consume it all, like a panicked Sebastian looking for Ariel.
I felt like I needed better lounge clothing. A better coffee thermos. My cleaning products needed to be completely vegan. I needed new baking pans because I became a baker. A new apron. There was always a sale for limited stock – only for the next 24 hours. It didn’t feel like there was any time to be doing anything else in life.
I needed a new ‘radiance’ oil because my skin will thank me later.
My skin hasn’t thanked me yet, unless it came in the form of 3 sun spots that needed to be removed.

The feeling of constantly chasing the next thing to bring me life’s wonders has left me feeling more empty than anything else. Now that life has moved forward in this new reality, this bottomless barrel feeling is coupled with the stress of trying to work in an environment that consistently stops and starts, due to some type of exposure, and the feeling of making up for lost time. The combination leaves me standing in one place and staring at a wall for long periods of time due to a mental overload.

So I decided to put myself on a budget. The biggest motivator when making this decision was seeing that @ezwass developed a twitch in his left eye. If we’re being honest, I waited until day 3 of his uncontrollable twitch to start thinking about implementing change.

I don’t think the budget will affect my kids that much. I strongly believe in their ability to find the opportunities to make as many requests as humanly possible.
Like every day during carpool.
“Can you skip this song?”
“Leave this song, it’s a good one.”
“No wait, I thought it was another song, can you skip this song?”
“Can you make it louder?”
“Can you open the windows?”
“Can you close that window, I’m cold!”
“Can you put on the Greatest Showman playlist on Spotify?”
(No.)

I want to turn around and shout,
“Do you know what it was like to be a passenger in my father’s car? The windows were not allowed to be open because he wasn’t providing AC to the streets. There was no music. There was no complaining. And if you didn’t like the smell of cigars, hold your breath.

Instead I usually turn and around and say, “This is the song we’re listening to now. If you don’t like it, sit through it. It will be over in less than 3 minutes.” Then I rest my head on the steering wheel and weep, because conscious discipline is exhausting and I only implement it 1% of the time.

The decision to put myself on a budget, for those of you who are more woke than me, shop with intention, is a starting point. It’s not going to take away from the laundry list of other mental health hazards life in 2021 has to offer. It’s my small way of creating a little more sense of peace in my life and to help me slightly shift my focus. My goal is to spend the better half of 2021 putting down the self measuring tape and truly see what and who I am surrounded by.
Life in 2021 is looking up.

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