- Kristen Kehoe
Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Clever title aside, it appears that 2020 is going to be the year of numbers. Olivia determined that today when she followed me around the house saying "fifty-five" in a goofy voice, certain that I would see the hilarity in it.
A few days behind because inspiration had not yet hit (seems as though 2020 is following 2019 when it comes to the lack of words inside of me), I knew what the theme of this blog-post was when I found myself turning away from Liv and muttering to myself, "little girl, the only number that will ever be funny, no matter how it's said, is 69."
My middle sister proved me right when I said just this thing to her later and she laughed out loud.
Last year, I worked on recognizing, and rejecting, the comparison game, finding some humor in the grossly underachieving moments and moving forward without feeling like a failure, or worrying that every missed math question equaled no college future for my daughter. While there was absolutely progress--to the point that I even removed personal Facebook from my phone--I've discovered that this year my goal needs to be furthered, and rather than amusement at my failings, maybe I need to accept them, see them clearly...with 20-20 vision.
Not clever, this play on numbers, as I'm certain it's been made no less than a million times in these first five days of the new year, but it is very true.
A month ago, one of my friends and co-workers talked about a yoga program she was doing--something that took her practice beyond her body and into the emotional, almost moral and ethical, parts of her life. She said something about self-integrity. It's an awkward phrase, but one that's come back to me several times since we were talking, because it's not about being honest with others for the good yourself and others, but about being honest with ourselves so we can, in turn, be honest with others. "To thine own self be true," and all that, or, 20-20 vision.
I don't wear glasses--for fashion or function. I have a big head, and even sunglasses that I spend around a gazillion dollars on still give me a headache after a time, so it's always been a small blessing that I was born with perfect vision. Ironically, as far and close as I could see with ease, turning that into a reflection, that "inward study," has always been difficult. Sometimes, it's easier to not examine our actions, our motivations, our desires for certain things, because then we might have to examine what they mean and whether they are healthy. Spoiler alert: many of my own examinings resulted in the understanding that I am not as healthy as I want to be. Which means...shit, I don't know what it means, except that I don't like looking in the mirror and only seeing the flaws; I don't like focusing only on the things my daughter needs to improve on, instead of the things she excels at, like happiness and reading and compassion and curiosity; and I really don't like walking around spouting off about my own failings, fearing that if I don't, the people around me will. Yikes--add narcissism to my lists of flaws.
So, in this year of numbers, one in which I have already listened to over 16 hours of Harry Potter with my daughter, and graded 86 English essays over the impact of the natural environment on our social and emotional well-being, while listening to the approximate 15 thousand words Olivia got out while playing one Grand Prix on Mario Cart, in which the highest place I came in was fourth, I am going to continue to do my best to evaluate my 2020 self with my 20-20 vision--with less judgement and more integrity...and a Mrs. Maisel-like sense of humor and ambition:)
Happy 2020, my loves. Here's a year of clarity and honesty...and the happiness they will bring.