This year when I sat down to try to choose a word of the year (WOTY) I felt like all the words were speaking to me. I wrote down the words I felt pressing on my heart and at one point, no joke, I must have had a list of 60+ words. It felt overwhelming so I decided to take a different approach.
I made a list of the words that I did not want to be the focus of my year for 2019 – words like ambition, expansion, growth, adventure, and explore. Our last few years have been full of moving, career shifts, road tripping, and more changes than I felt like we could reasonably keep up with from day to day. As I explored the words I didn’t want I began to unravel what my heart has truly been craving – contentment, belonging, and consistency.
I wrote up a new list of words that captured those vibes, words like:
and ultimately settled on CONNECT as our word for 2019. It feels like a good focus item for me as we start a new year and I look ahead toward what I want to accomplish and what I want my life to be like 12 months from now.
I’m breaking my WOTY down into three primary areas of focus:
- Feeling connected to our new city and establishing ourselves in St. Louis
- Feeling connected to the community by joining a new church and building new offline friendships
- Feeling connected to my husband by spending more time offline and being fully engaged with him and our lives.
I’m excited to share our journey with you in 2019 as we pursue these new goals and focus on developing true deep connections in our new home and with the new people in our lives.
Connect … to St. Louis
There is so much in St. Louis that Brandon and I haven’t done or seen yet. We haven’t been down to Grand Center yet or visited a lot of the museums. We went to the zoo but we weren’t able to see all of the animals since they were hiding away due to the heat. Shortly after arriving here we visited the Gateway Arch but the tram and museum were closed for renovations so we definitely have to go back. There is a lot on our St. Louis To-Do List that I think will help us feel connected to the city and encourage us to lay down real roots here.
I’ve connected with a lot of St. Louis focused accounts on Instagram, like STLBeckster, Fox & Hound Antiques, and The Boulevard lately too. They are great at sharing local events and encouraging us to get out and explore more of the area. Really getting to know St. Louis is a big focus item of mine for 2019. I want this area to feel like home.
Connect … to the Community
Our biggest disconnect since moving to St. Louis has been our social circle and social engagements. Living here has been, for lack of a better word, lonely. The people here are probably the friendliest of anywhere we’ve ever lived but we’ve struggled to make real friends and develop relationships beyond superficial acquaintances. It’s been difficult and the fact that Brandon and I both are pretty introverted people makes it even more difficult. It’s hard to open up to strangers and make friends, especially as an adult.
We are both struggling with the disconnect so I’m working on making changes to help us feel more engaged and hopefully form closer friendships with people in the area. I’m looking to connect with a church and I’ve joined MeetUp to try to meet new people. I joined a couple of local dog-focused groups too since I always find it easiest to socialize when the dogs are around. I never struggle to start a conversation when I can say, “Oh! Your dog is so sweet. Tell me about her.” Us dog people, I’m telling ya, we love to talk about our dogs. 🙂
Connect…with my Husband
Leading up to my Christmas break I made a promise to myself and said that I wasn’t going to pull out my laptop or get on my computer even once during my days off. I was off from work and determined to also remain “off” from the blog. The time off was beautiful and I was conscious to spend it investing as much time as possible into my marriage.
During my time off we watched holiday movies, went Christmas shopping, and did a bunch of other little things to just enjoy our days together. It was exactly what I needed and I want to do more of that in 2019. I hope to be better organized when it comes to managing Honey & Pine Co and do more batch work to maximize my time spent on it. I hope to be more deliberate with date night and set limits on my blog / screen time so I can be more engaged in real life.
I’m looking forward to sharing our CONNECT journey with you in 2019. Just like for our WOTY in 2018, I’ll share monthly updates on the first of each month. Happy New Year!