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Every year a new years resolution of mine is to loose weight. Get into shape. Trim the fat. Lose the mom bod. Get back to my athletic six pack I had back in the days of soccer and running. Days that now seem long gone.

This past year has tested my mental strength more than any other. Trying to stay calm within such uncertainty. Trying to stay sane amid such craziness. Watching the country I love so much go ablaze. The country where dreams come true. Now seeming like the country that represents a radicalized divide. Trying to do the best I can raising a young son when we are told to socially distance. Away from school, his friends, trying to keep things "normal". Taking art classes online as well as pilates and soccer skills. Buying a fucking kayak, so we are still amongst the living, while still being distant from others, while still outside. Playing sports with him, teaching him to skateboard. Being a coach, while helping with his education. Desperately trying to make up for everything he has lost and is missing while I worry about his social and emotional well being. About him developmentally. While my career evaporated, and I became a house wife. A cook and cleaner. A homeschooler. None of which are my strong suits. Praying I don't mess him up in the process. As I've gained weight and definitely let some upkeep slip away.

I have carried a sadness, an overwhelm. I've carried a fear.

Now, here we are. New Years resolution time. Looking the usual in the eye. Reigning it all back in. Losing some "lbs". Fitting back into them skinny jeans instead of active wear and sweats.

But that's not my resolution this year. I still want to trim the fat. But not in the physical form.

I want to trim all that weighs me down. I want to get back to a peace. To rolling with the punches. Accepting what is going on around me. I want to cut out the news and welcome new leadership. I want to trust in who we are as people again. I want to turn down the noise and go inward. Meditate. Still exercise. Still enjoy the kayak. Floating in peaceful waters. The time spent outside. I still want to social distance from some and I want to embrace others. And I want to still enjoy this blessing of time I now get with my son.

I want to build the spiritual muscle that feels like has atrophied throughout this historic year. I want to trim down all the fat that has mentally fogged me down. The negativity, the judgments, the falsehoods, the anger, the hate. The ignorance and misunderstanding. The lack of compassion and cure.

I don' t want to become an ostrich, and bury my head in the sand. I want to exercise my mind and spirit to the point it all doesn't weigh so heavy. I want to get back to seeing all the blessing this time represents. I want to feel sorry for those who are missing this chance.

I want to surround myself with a connection of community, far and wide, because even though we are apart we haven't been distant. We can and are still connected. Experiencing a similar ride. And I want to meet this moment where it is. A once in a life time pandemic, a country on the brink, I want to meet it mentally present and spiritually strong.

So, my new years resolution is to exercise both my mind and my soul. To build up its strength. To trim the fat. The negative chatter. All that is not needed. To become my ideal self and cherish all those who welcome her. And not despise those who don't. To respect they are on their own path. One, like mine, that holds the lessons we all seek. I will continue to use my voice. I will continue to share, to post, to speak. But the choice is theirs and I will honor it. Instead of argue it or mentally want to scream. Knowing our belief is each our own. In America, the home of the free.

And I will keep walking. In my lane and on my journey. While getting that shit in shape. Embracing the here and now. With all the blessings that are at stake.

So, Happy New Year. A time to trim the fat. Losing the extra weight, the baggage, the sadness, the dread, the burden I have been carrying. Getting into mental shape so I can be the mom and person I've always wanted to be. My true self. The self I welcome. The self that has made it through one of the most difficult and cherished years of my life. I will allow her to be sad, overwhelmed and scared... but I will also honor that she is strong, grateful and has hope. I will treasure this time and all who accept me. For all the many layers that I am. So, cheers my people, my friends, my tribe. Here's to a new year, a new beginning, a new chance as we all try to enjoy the ride.

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Josie L James
Josie L James
Jan 16, 2021

Thank you Leila! Happy New Year! Xoxo


You inspire me. Xo

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