It is hard to believe that another year closes today, and a new one opens tomorrow. 2021 was a year of many challenges, from COVID-19 to Delta and now to Omicron. There have also been other challenges for many people, including job challenges and financial worries. In spite of it all, those of us who are able to read this, and me who is able to write it, also should be grateful for our blessings. While I marvel at being seventy years old, an age I became at the end of November, I also marvel at a life that I have been blessed to live.
My family life as a child was difficult. I lived with various relatives, moving around as my mother tried her best to cope with the challenges her life included. She left high school at an early age and went to work to help support her mother and siblings. She was smart, but not in the choices she made. She did the best she could, and when she was not able to provide a stable environment for me, she reached out to family and made sure that I was taken care of. My mother passed away in 1998 at sixty-four years of age. I miss her and wish that we had been able to connect more often and on a deeper level. But we did the best that we could. As a child, I was not responsible for some of what happened to me. As an adult, I am totally responsible.
As an adult, I became responsible for my own choices. One example comes to mind. When I realized that my wine consumption was not healthy for me, almost three years ago I stopped drinking alcohol completely. I did not want to risk that habit taking control as it had in my mother’s life. As an adult, I am responsible for my own choices, and have no one, not even genetics, to blame for any of my behavior. I am (at least, I think) mentally healthy, and as such, my behaviors are a result of the choices I make. If mental illness was a factor, things would be different.
So, I conquered my drinking habit before it became an addiction. What I have not conquered is my spending habit. Managing my money better was a 2021 goal that I have not met. I will carry this goal into 2022 and have some specifics that I will implement to increase the likelihood that I will be more successful in this area.
The end of a year and the beginning of another one is a great time to reset, to decide what we want to change to have more of the life that we want. Managing money better is at the top of my list. I also plan to declutter more. I began that process with the listing of our home for sale. An update on that is in order. While we did receive two offers for our home, neither one was the price we wanted, so we took it off the market and are resetting in that area. We may do some painting in the spring and re-list it for sale, or we may decide to stay put for another year or two. We are happy with what we did and know that it was the right decision to make to stay put for now.
How about you? How did you do in 2021 related to the commitments that you made to yourself at the beginning of the year? What does 2022 hold for you?
Stay safe tonight and welcome the New Year in on Saturday with a clear head. Greens, black-eyed peas, and other traditional New Year’s food await.