Each day this month I will be answering one question from these December Journal Prompts.
Day 1: If you could summarize this year in three words, which words would you use & why?
When I think back on this past year, I think of the word “life”. I don’t think anything else has ever given me such an appreciation for life as experiencing the first moments of my baby girl’s life this year. I so often take my life for granted. I go through life every day doing normal things like breathing, and walking, and thinking, but forget about how amazing my body is for being capable of all this! When you watch a baby experience life—and learn to do all of these things (and more) for the first time—you can’t help but watch in awe and wonder as they figure this stuff out. Life is so remarkable when you slow down and think about it. It is such a gift—and one that I have become much more thankful for this year.
My life this year has been very rich and full. I have experienced so much joy, so much love, so much beauty. I have also faced challenges and hard moments, struggles with anxiety, and times of deep sadness. But ultimately, I felt so alive this year. I felt so healthy this year. As I look back on these last twelve months, I am so grateful for the depth of life that I have experienced.
The word “growth” seems an obvious choice for a woman in her first year of motherhood. Nothing could really summarize my year better. Growth happens fast and furious in the first year of a child’s life. As Parent Cue puts it, “in the first years your baby’s brain will form around 12,500 synapses per neuron. So even if they aren’t composing their first symphony yet, they will have still learned a good bit more than the average college freshman.” Watching Avra grow this year—physically, emotionally, and mentally—has astounded me in ways I never imagined.
It’s hard to see and quantify our own personal growth at times. That’s one reason why watching a baby grow in those first few years is such a remarkable experience. They change and transform so quickly, learning new things and becoming acquainted with the world around them. As adults, we don’t see that kind of massive, rapid growth in our own lives—at least not in such a tangible, measurable way. But looking back on this year, I can see where a ton of growth has taken place in my life. I have grown to become gentler and more patient. I have grown to appreciate rest and to take better care of myself. I have grown in my love for others and my desire to “be Jesus” to the world around me. I have grown in my personal walk with God and my understanding of who He is and how He loves me.
This has been a wonderful year of growth—both observing it externally and experiencing it internally. I am thankful that, even though growth slows down in many ways after those first few years of life, we never really stop growing. At least, we don’t have to. We can continue to experience growth in one way or another until our last moment on earth. And I find that to be quite a beautiful thought.
My final word of choice is “fluidity”. This year was characterized by a perpetual need to change, shift, and adapt. As Avra grew, her needs changed. Her schedule changed. Her routines changed. And I had to change with them—sometimes every week, sometimes every day. Life this year was in a constant state of flux.
And yet there was a fluidity to it. The seasons flowed naturally (though I wouldn’t say effortlessly) from one to the next with a certain amount of grace. Sometimes adapting was harder than others, but we managed every time.
And we are still managing. This is life. Life is full of seasons. Life is constantly changing. And when you can embrace that, you are able to see the inevitable changes coming and experience fluidity rather than abrupt and unexpected interruptions in life.
Bonus word: Pajamas
I know I only needed to journal about three words… but we just can’t talk about my year without giving “pajamas” an honorable mention. I think have spent more time in pajamas this year than I have collectively over the course of my entire life. And let’s get one thing straight… I don’t regret it!
Which words would you use to describe your year? Leave me a comment and share some of your thoughts!