I flew back to SA on New Year’s Eve and spent the first week of the year in my childhood home surrounded by my parents and the neighbors and community I grew up with. This last week reminded me of so many things I used to love, things that brought me joy and made me happy. Small unimportant things but that are true to me and shaped me in some way or another. Things like sniffing out the best local coffee spot and appreciating the barista’s process, going for long runs because they clear my head, going for hikes in nature because that’s where I process things and get the best ideas, watching sunrises and sunsets because they proclaim God’s mighty work to me daily.
It’s not that I couldn’t do these things the last few years, I just kinda forgot how good they make me feel. I adapted to my new environment throughout the last 6 years which have been a whirlwind: moving continents, accustoming to a new culture, giving up speaking my first language daily (try expressing your emotions in your second language – it’s just different and sometimes distorted), getting married, starting my own business, dealing with family health scares while they are a million miles away instead of a quick weekend trip, being stuck not able to travel home for 22 months like so many others during Covid…
An accumulation of distractions made me unknowingly set aside the small things that didn’t seem like they were that important in the bigger scheme of things. Having coffee on the beach watching the sunrise isn’t that important. Going for that long run will take too much time, a quick workout in the garage gym will save at least 20 min. Skip the cute weekly coffee shop visit and make a cup of coffee at home. It’ll save money and driving time. Before you know it, the small things that mattered are forgotten. The small healthy habits you had that helped fill your cup are labeled as unimportant. If they are important to you, they matter because you matter. I’m a believer in small wins because in life, it’s the small wins that accumulate to eventually be our biggest victories. The sum of all your long runs, morning sunrises and little moments like a good cappuccino that was made perfectly to your liking which have filled your cup consecutively end up being the victory of showing up joyfully, kindly and enthusiastically even on the unimportant or less perfect days.
Looking at social media this past week has honestly unlocked some anxiety in me with the pressure of feeling the need to write the perfect inspirational “new years” caption or even just come up with the perfect list of New Year’s resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, I personally LOVE learning of ways I can better myself, I value a good self help book, and growth and improvement is a constant conversation between myself and Tim + the people I get to work with. It can be a great thing! Imagine looking back at your life and realizing that bad habit never improved. Even worse, missing out on spending the time to cultivate and nurture a God-given talent you have that might bring you a lot of fulfillment and God a whole lot of glory.
This year I’m not hoping to make drastic changes, but rather remember and tap into the small things that once brought me joy, made me better and allowed me to be confident in some way. Don’t let the pressure of a New Year’s resolution distract you from things that are healthy, special and personal to you. No matter how silly, small or unimportant something might seem… If it matters to you, it is important. Don’t brush it off, don’t label it as unnecessary, don’t see it as not worthwhile. As an image bearer of God, you are labeled as royalty, so don’t label the desires of your heart as unnecessary or unimportant when you delight in Him. You matter and that means you are worth pouring into every.single.day.