2022 Resolutions: Recover

The last few years, I haven’t made a resolution list like I have previously but instead sought a word from the Lord.

My word for 2016 was “clarity,” and much was made clear to me in 2016. By the end of 2016, I changed jobs that eventually brought us back to Ashland. My word for 2017 was “build,” to build on new confidence and direction, and by the end of 2017, we moved into a new home and back into this community. In 2018 it was “resolve,” and for 2019, it was “grow.” 

This strange practice in 2020 weirdly prepared me for one of the most troubling and physically exhausting years of my life. “Make space,” God said.

So funny!

I didn’t have a word in 2021, not one written down anyway. I think I was too tired for it. To make amends, the word that defined last year for me was “rest.” I learned the importance of rest in 2021. I remembered my worth separate from a steady paycheck and productivity. I experienced grace and love from my God and my family just because I am me. I rested in nature. I rested in the comfort of smallness and the steady rhythms of a quiet life. I also took long naps and slept deeply for many hours. It was glorious.

But that’s all done now. It has been a full year of rest, and as I turned the corner into 2022, I began to ask more of my body. Are you ready yet? I whispered to her. Do you think you can climb this hill? Do you think you can do this meditation? Do you think you can begin to recover?

That is the word I have for 2022: recover. It captures much of what I hope to achieve in list form this year and defines the stage of healing I feel like I’m in now, recovery. Recovering is returning to a normal state of mind, health, or strength. My body is surprising me with its renewed strength, with its resilience, its healing. I was not sure we’d ever be back here. I don’t want to abandon what I’ve gained in my year of rest, a soul-level peace I value as the best consolation prize I’ve been given in this year of suffering.

With this return to health, and with this being my 40th year, I have a renewed list of resolutions for 2022. I’ll be sharing some of these at Root & Vine as well, in additional detail, but here they are in summary:

  • read a chapter a day of scripture, beginning in the gospels
  • read 40 books (I read 39 last year, crushing my goal of 24, so here’s to beating myself in 2022)
  • workout 3 times a week with my daughter
  • retreat with Brandon at least once this year
  • complete The Family Bible Devotional, Volume 2 with my children by the end of this year
  • hike and eat with my mom at least twice a month
  • make a will
  • routinely compost kitchen scraps
  • explore one state or national park a month (this includes our plans to go out west in July this year)
  • schedule one event/webinar/podcast/speaking opportunity a month to promote American Honey and The Family Bible Devotional
  • secure an agent for Some Bright Morning (my novel)
  • write at least two essays to add to my second essay collection and begin seeking publication
  • participate in #napowrimo
  • begin writing a second novel by the end of 2022

What are you resolving to do in 2022? Do you have a word or phrase for your year?

Cover Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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