A Moment in My Life – Friday, December 31, 2021
Jeannie Yee Davis
I’ve learned that I shouldn’t count on things remaining the same throughout the year. Regardless of how certain I was that nothing would change. I discovered this by writing a letter to myself at the beginning of the year. A segment on the Kelly Clarkson show inspired me to do this. A school teacher started this project by having his sixth-graders write a “Dear Future Me” letter with their goals and predictions that they would read on graduation day six years later. I found this idea fascinating. Forget the six-year wait. I was curious. What would my life look like at the end of one year? With that thought, I wrote my first “Dear Future Me” letter, and good thing I didn’t wait six years to reveal the surprising outcome.
I began this year very Country thanks to Laine Hardy, and as of today, it looks like I’m ending the year with Reggae. I’m not surprised. Thanks to Alan Walker, I began 2019 loving EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and adopted Country music by yearend. Throughout the year, I’ve been all over the music map, but the beginnings and ends are noteworthy, revealing how eclectic my music tastes are. My music appreciation is diverse, yet the extreme genre change is intriguing. Still, I am excited to discover new music styles. Since I see a pattern, I eagerly anticipate next year’s genre evolution. One constant revelation I checked off my list was that Country music remains high on my list of favorites.
Reading my letter reminded me that I’m still critically hard on myself, and I have proof. I listed a sizable checklist to complete this year. I met only three out of 18 goals, which is pathetic, people! Disturbing! Traumatizing! Disappointing! Shall I go on? You got the picture.
In January, I was filled with high hopes and so gung-ho, as you could tell from my ambitious checklist. I was inspired, energized, and soaring to the stars in my mind. Everything I set out to do was achievable at that time. My BFF, Noreen, and I planned a celebration trip together in the Spring of 2022 after accomplishing our 2021 objectives. Sadly, I don’t see us celebrating any time soon.
What happened? Life did. As unbelievable as it was, it has been an unusual, crazy, active year, and, to think, we barely came out of Shelter-in-Place. It is hard to keep the pandemic in mind when I think back because so much happened in my life this year, especially with the ripples of lifted mandates that allowed us to socialize in person again. I didn’t feel safe initially, but as soon as I did, I dined with as many loved ones as possible. When in-person meetings weren’t feasible, most of us became acclimated to cyber-socializing, and I was no different. I thought I did the right thing by putting people first, and I had a blast doing so. I became more involved in the online groups I joined, where I met many lovely people, and some of us became friends. The year even included meeting someone special.
Getting more involved when meeting more people means getting more involved—an example, I got recruited as a moderator for a Laine Hardy fan group. After much nudging, I accepted. Now, those who know me know I give my all in my endeavors. This role was no different. I felt Laine’s career and mine mirror each other, and we were both going to soar this year. I wanted him to succeed, so I did everything possible to help get him there, which ended up a full-time job. He is soaring, and that makes me happy. I did my job well, but in hindsight, what about me? Who was helping me soar? By the time I realized this, most of the year had flown by without me. Too much time lapsed to catch up before yearend.
I had a blast with so many people this year. In many ways, I felt like I’d been on a long-term cruise. Shelter-in-Place reminds me of the days at sea onboard a cruise ship where we lived within the means of the ship, and it wasn’t half bad when everything you could imagine to live comfortably was at your fingertips. There was food, events, entertainment, people, music, songs, and dancing everywhere you went. Most of my year contained music, songs, and a new friend cyberly taught me dancing. As I said, I had a blast. Thoughtful friends occasionally dropped off food throughout the year, which feels like room service. When they lifted the mandates and quickly resumed them, it was like being at a port for a day, allowing us to venture out to town.
While cruising, the only way we conducted business in the real world and communicated with people back home was by the internet. Being Sheltered-in-Place was no different. We have been relying on cyberspace for business, shopping, education, workouts, entertainment, and of course, socializing in this pandemic. Thus, I’ve been cruising all year.
I was literally and metaphorically cruising all year. Every cruise for me meant gear in hand, i.e., laptop, planner, and writer’s journal, searching for a quiet open space to write in between events or before someone engaged me into something fun. Much the same way, this has been my story. Remember I said that I thought I did the right thing by putting people first? Well, I did by responding to everybody pronto and saying yes often. No, they didn’t twist my arm. I love being with people, so I cave easily. I started with a daily routine, but changing my plans was often necessary to meet others’ schedules. That was fine and dandy. I always had a good time, but it cost me my productivity.
Time keeps ticking away, but I feel like my life is going nowhere; likewise, a cruise ship keeps sailing, but it gets nowhere except back and forth from port-to-port. After every cruise, there is always much to catch up on, and that’s where I am now. With the year ending, I reflect on all the people I engaged with, the delicious meals we shared, the enlightening conversations I’ve had, and I know I was blessed. People are an essential ingredient to a happy life, but along with the great memories, there was grief, hurts, and disappointments. Being an overachiever, failing to accomplish goals is devastating.
The good news, and there is some, is that I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, and yes, so I dropped the ball, but one person could do only so much. My new goal is to do a better job balancing everything in my life. One huge takeaway is that I need to lighten up and not be so hard on myself. Nobody is perfect. Striving for perfection, my vice, is setting myself up for failure. With that said, so I didn’t meet all my goals, but tomorrow is another day, a brand new year with 365 days to write my story, and I intend to write a great story that begins with “Once Upon a Cruise.”