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A Vision for 2023

By Lori Welch Brown

Is it me or was 2022 mildly to moderately crappy? In retrospect, for me it was akin to riding my bike across a long, flat highway. In other words, it was a grind, days to be flipped on the calendar. And, December was especially brutal. A sweet little five year old boy my husband and I had come to know died unexpectedly. Heart wrenching.

Everyone seemed to be going through something big and heavy. Maybe it’s always been that way and/or I’m noticing it more because I’m getting older and that’s what happens. People get sick, bury parents—or even children—divorce, etc.  Cancer, addiction and grief seemed to be the buzzwords for the year, and that’s just flat out wrong.

So, I’m envisioning a brighter, more joyous 2023, and I’ve come to realize that’s an inside job. Maybe 2022 felt like I was dragging around a wet blanket because I was the wet blanket. So, instead of a facelift, I’m giving myself an uplift.

Of course, many of us start the year with some resolutions that fall apart with the first hang over of the year. I’ll probably make some of those because at this point it’s a solid tradition. This year, however, instead of using them as failure points to beat myself up about, I’ll use them as directional compass points to guide me towards SMART goals.

Another thing I love to do is create a vision board. If you’ve never done one, I highly encourage you grab your glue sticks and old magazines stat. Besides giving a purpose to that stack of mags gathering dust, you can make a fun girls’ night out of it. Everyone brings their fave mags; I usually provide the poster board, glue sticks, scissors, and wine. We all gather around the table and start flipping and ripping.

The thing about gathering images is to not give it too much thought. If something appeals to you and/or you’re drawn to it, rip it out and set it aside. Once you have a nice pile of pics, start placing them on your board and when you’re happy with it, glue them down. BONUS—It can become a great piece of art for your home office.

I love looking back on mine, and I’m often surprised by the things that have actually come to fruition. Actually, a memory came up on Facebook recently of a vision board party from years ago, and one of my friends commented how my beach themed board had come to life as my husband and I bought a beach house in 2018. Ha!

Again—the thing about vision boards is to have fun and not overthink it. Once it’s done, put it somewhere you can see it occasionally. You don’t have to pray at the altar of your images, but merely look at them because they make you happy.

Another ritual I’m thinking of resurrecting is writing morning pages. I’ve been a fan of morning pages ever since reading Julia Cameron’s amazing book The Artist’s Way.  As the name suggests, morning pages are to be written upon waking.  Roll over, grab a pen and a notebook and start writing. Like the vision board, it’s not a thinking exercise, but rather a doing one. It’s a brain dump. Angry at your boss? Let ‘er rip. Thinking about the bread you have to pick up? Write about it.  No typing allowed. No lap tops or iPads. This is old school pen to paper motion.  There’s something magical about it, and I’m ready to get back to it as I need some magic in my life.

And, I think that’s the answer. Last year felt a bit lackluster, and I don’t want to think the magic is gone so it’s up to me to find joy in the every day. I got sidelined by COVID in late November so my exercise routine came to a halt. Exercise has always helped lift me in countless ways. There’s nothing like a brisk walk and breathing in some fresh air to get the endorphins dancing. And, hey—if it’s too cold to walk outside, I can always turn on the tunes and have a private dance party.  I’ll channel the 1990’s version of myself and get my jazzercise vibe glowing. My leotards and body suits are long gone, but I’ve still got my dance moves!

There’s always good to be found and something to be grateful for, and while I’m grateful 2022 is in my rearview mirror, I’m also grateful for the opportunity to break open a brand new calendar. It’s one of my favorite things. The first thing I do is write in everyone’s birthdays. As I write their name by their special day, my mind pulls up wonderful memories and I think of how blessed I am to have all these amazing people in my life. I look forward to celebrating them, and I see the possibilities that lie ahead and all the potential for cake in my future.

I resolve to be a joy seeker this year. I hope you will join me on the journey, but regardless, I wish you a joyful, healthy and well—mentally and physically—new year.

About the Author: Lori is a local writer, painter and pet lover who loves to share her experiences and expertise with our readers. She has been penning a column for the OTC for over 20 years. Please follow Lori online on Medium for more missives like this.

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