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Evaluating My 2022 Focus Word

Here's my end-of-year review evaluating how I did on my chosen 2022 focus word.

If you remember the focus word I chose to guide me in 2022 was GENTLE. You can read my original post on it HERE.

In 2016 I chose STRETCH and in 2017 I chose BLEND. You can read more about them HERE.

In 2018 I chose LISTEN.

In 2019 I chose SHED. You can read the end-of-the-year recap HERE.

In 2020 I chose CONTENT. You can read the end-of-the-year recap HERE.

In 2021 I chose FAITH. You can read the end-of-the-year recap HERE.

So how did I do this year?

I'm more attentive to my son.

I realized he was struggling more and more with anxiety, so we revisited therapy and started him on meds which have helped a bit. With these interventions in place, I can breathe a bit easier and have a softer approach to him. Also, I've found other ways to be more connected with him as we've been enjoying playing frisbee together (my son is not an athletic kid so it took a bit to find something physical he was interested in) and we've begun reading the Harry Potter book series.

I weathered a loss with compassion and love.

I mentioned in my initial post when selecting my word that I had a friend in her final stages of cancer. Well, she passed away in September. I kept visiting her right up until the end and gave myself grace for when I didn't know what to say or do but knew that my presence was what was needed. For the wake and funeral, I extended a gentle offer to the family to babysit her very young grandchildren so they didn't have to worry about juggling babies and shushing toddlers during the services. They took me up on my offer and were so appreciative.

I worked on gentleness in my thoughts & words.

I started keeping a devotional journal. By reading scripture and reflecting on it, I'm shaping my thoughts to show mercy and grace to myself and others. I also continued with my bible study group at my church and have embarked on another 22-week series that focuses on the Gospel of John.

I re-instituted family dinners.

Prior to my son being born (over 10 years ago now), my in-laws used to host weekly dinners. It was a way for us all to connect and enjoy each other's company every Sunday. Well, as we are all getting busier and getting older, my husband and I realized it was time to gently nudge everyone back to the table. I'll admit I have lowered the bar as we only host monthly meals and the fare is simple, but it does the trick!

I'm holding a gentle boundary.

I mentioned in my previous post that I tend to have perfectionistic and people-pleasing tendencies. So what I was doing every few weeks was printing out the photos on my phone and giving them to extended family and labeling and filing them away in photo boxes. I've been doing it since 2012 (when my child was born), but no more. Take your own photos, I say! I'm done with being the family photographer and holding the archives. The one thing I will still do is put together my own family's annual yearbook through Shutterfly.

I started listening to worship music.

So I'm the type of person who likes routine and appreciates when many of my day-to-day activities can be put on auto-pilot and require no thinking. In the car, I realized I was constantly scanning the stations and decided I needed to find consistent, go-to music. Enter K-Love into my life - a Christian contemporary station that's tagline is "Positive, Encouraging." Starting my morning with these gentle vibes puts me in a healthy frame of mind. Bonus, my son is singing the songs too!

I cut out some social media from my life.

I deleted my Twitter feed and deactivated my Facebook account. I know, gasp! The snarky comments, the invasive advertising, the annoying memes, and the so-called friends who only reach out on your birthday (because they get a reminder) are all things I can do without. I don't need that abrasive 'noise' in my life. I will be deleting my FB account in January once this post has had some time on to circulate.

I showed my own body some love.

I figure what better way to be gentler on my body than to invest in a bit of cashmere and a French lotion. They feel luxurious on the skin! I spent more on these items than I normally would but, sometimes we have to remember that we're worth it and show ourselves a bit of love too.

I spoke at a professional conference.

The CT Pro Organizers' Association that I belong to puts on an annual conference every November and this year I was one of the presenters. The group has done so much for my business and they're such a supportive group of colleagues that I wanted to give back. The topic of my talk was Motivational Interviewing which is a guided style of communication focused on a gentle and curious way of being with clients.

I started a new volunteer activity.

I joined the Reader Ministry at my church. About once a month, I read the scripture readings at mass. As anticipated, I have met some other gentle-minded souls and despite the nerves, I get before I walk up to the ambo, I am really enjoying proclaiming the word of God.

I made the decision to dissolve my business.

Yes, you read that right. Classically Organized will no longer be providing services. 2023 marks 10 years since inception and while the business served me well while my son was younger and I could make my own schedule, he's now a tween and it's time to let it go. I'll be finishing my current client projects through the spring, but am not taking on any additional work. Also, my agency job has been giving me more and more hours that I just can't refuse. In a gentle way, I've improved the lives of many people through the gift of organization, but it's time for me to end this chapter of my life's journey.

So there you have it, a recap of my Gentle Year.

I appreciate all of you who have been supportive of my decision to discontinue my work as a Professional Organizer. Know that I appreciate YOUR gentleness and understanding.

I'm looking forward to being able to devote more time to the mental health work with the youth and families at my agency job, be more present (especially on nights & weekends) for my husband and son, and take on a more active role in my church.

Thank you to my loyal clients, followers, colleagues, and friends. Wishing you a lovely holiday season and a blessed upcoming year and beyond!

Image by Taru Kurenmaa / Pixabay

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