"Snippet" -- a small piece or brief extract
2021 -- how will we remember it? The Second Year of Covid? While Covid has certainly changed us and our world. For some of us, it has stolen loved ones, family vacations, weddings and funerals, and more, my prayer is that we will find a different way to remember 2021. It was a year of survival, yes, but it was also a year of growth and change. It was a year of masks, but also a year of seeing clearly what was truly important. I pray that you can look back at 2021 and see something positive amidst the chaos. For me, it was a year of family and travel and making memories -- a year of finding a new normal after losing Mama in late December of 2020. Interestingly, my word for 2021 was balance. We took some chances with our travel this year, and I know there are some of you who think us foolhardy with Covid afoot. My daddy is 79 years old, and just experienced what was probably the biggest loss of his life. It was an honor and a joy to be able to take him on some excursions this year. This year really was about balance. Life is short. I've lived much of my life in fear of what people thought, fear of failure, fear of not being "enough". I refuse to let fear rob me of spending these amazing times with my family. So, we did 3 big family trips this year: to Memphis, TN and back -- an Elvis Presley/music vacay. You can read about it in great detail here: https://www.tonnyefletcher.com/snippets-bits-of-life-blog/will-the-circle-be-unbroken In the Fall, we went to visit a farm in South Georgia for a weekend, and made some new friends and got some great ideas for some creative endeavors our family is considering. Christmas of 2021 found us in Asheville at Biltmore Estate and The Grove Park Inn (to view the National Gingerbread House competition winners). Three amazing trips! They weren't perfect trips. The first trip Daddy had quite a few minor mishaps that could have been major. The second trip got totally rained out from our original plan, but that ended up being even better in so many ways. The Christmas trip, I got sick and felt terrible for a large part of it. Yet and still, there are GREAT memories, and I am so thankful to have them! If we look for and honor only perfection, we'll live a sad and lonely life.
Last night, Shane and I watched a movie called The Secret: Dare to Dream. It didn't get fabulous reviews, but we enjoyed it. What struck me was how negative this family was -- always waiting for the other shoe to fall. Expecting failure, expecting poverty, expecting issues. I know people like that. Don't you? Maybe you ARE a person like that? We all have moments -- we all have that capacity. It's especially difficult when a lot of bad things have happened one after another. The whole premise of the movie was to become a magnet for good things through positive thinking. How are you doing with that? Bad things happen. We live in a fallen world. Life's not fair. We can sit around and mope and complain about that or we can get about the business of living. Not living in fear. Being smart, taking precautions, listening to the experts, yes, but finding ways to keep living! Every day is a gift!.
2021 ended with me feeling pretty rough -- bronchitis and a sinus infection plagued me over the entire Christmas break. After getting back to school, Covid hit our house -- Hubby first, then me. It was not fun. It's still not fun. I'm needing another day or two to recuperate before I tackle 500 kids. :-O But, I'm fever-free, feeling more human, thinking more clearly, breathing better. Yes, I still occasionally sound like I'm coughing up a lung, feel like a bowling ball is square in the middle of my chest, etc. but I'm improving every day. It could have been so much worse, so I am grateful.
I'm approaching 2022 with a growth mindset -- looking for progress, not perfection. I understand that there will be good days and bad days. I know that failure is part of the learning process. I'm trying to learn not to live in fear of not being ________ enough. I'm trying to learn not to compare myself to others, but only to compare where I am today with where I was before today. I want to be the person that embraces those new mercies every day and starts fresh to see where today will take me. I want to live each day with gusto and enthusiasm. I want to be willing to try new things, to learn new things.
Indeed, this is my prayer for all of us in 2022. Whether you are my friend or my co-worker, a part of the kidlit community, or a part of my Jesus family -- my prayer is that we can all focus on a growth mindset, be willing to learn and stretch and grow, that we would face each day as a gift -- an opportunity. I know if we can do that, 2022 will be a great year -- not perfect, but still GREAT!
I've been a teacher of K-3 students for over 20 years; I'm also a writer of poems, short stories, devotionals and picture books. I'm wife to an amazing husband and mom to Sparkles, Mocha, and Rusty -- our feline fur babies . I love reading, writing, singing and listening to music. I enjoy nature, Bible study and spending time with friends and family!
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