2023: The Year of “Nourish”

Wow, y’all.

What a feeling it was to dust the cobwebs off this blog and realize I haven’t even posted since October 2021. That kind of says it all. 2020 and 2021 left me so drained that I didn’t even have it in me to set an intention or to hope for much more than “surviving.” If you’re still with me, I hope you’re hanging in there. I hope 2022 was a little better than the years before it. I hope you’re thriving, and if you’re not, I hope you still have the fighting spirit to demand better of 2023. πŸ™‚

It turned out 2022 wasn’t so bad for me. Maybe it was my low expectations. It was a strange cocktail of ugly and beautiful things. Among the beautiful things:

  • Book events returned! I missed these deeply. The Tucson Festival of Books (where I met V.E. Schwab again and T.J. Klune, and swooned over both), Phoenix Fan Fusion (where I got to reunite with two of my besties after a few years apart), Tucson Comic Con, and YumaCon were fantastic.
  • I got into the podcasting world. It started with my friend Vickie inviting me to cohost an episode of her new show, Speculative Sandbox. Speculative fiction lovers: I highly recommend you check it out! Since then, I started my own little show called The Quantum Realm. As a Marvel love, a writer, and a human, it’s been medicine for the soul. Connecting with friends and talking about the MCU? What could be better?
  • In November, I flew to Miami, Florida to finally accept my Reader’s Favorite Award for Roses in the Dragon’s Den! I had never been to Miami before and had fun exploring their downtown book fair, enjoying the local food, and being in “adventure mode” again. I also learned a TON and can’t wait to put my new knowledge to work.

Writing this out, I’m filled with gratitude. Ugly things did happen along the way, and I won’t even attempt to expect anything different from 2023. But for the first time in a while, I feel good about looking ahead! I set up my new notebook for the year, and the word I bolded on the first page is NOURISH:

  • Nourish my body: I’ve lost about 50 pounds and lowered my blood pressure since 2020, and I want to keep the benefits going! Cook good food, hit the gym a few times a week, actually sleep…
  • Nourish my mind: I got a book on mindfulness exercises for Christmas, and want to try them out! I want to do more reflective journaling, even if it’s just one line every day. This is especially important when I get into the middle of the year, when I’m likely to fall into patterns where I spiral into stress and DON’T nourish myself. πŸ™‚
  • Nourish my financial health: The short version of this is that I’m 2-3 years into a 5-year plan for a “debt avalanche.” Debt avalanches involve a LOT of initial patience with no instant gratification, but this year I’ll hit the huge first milestone and see it all slide down and wipe out the remaining debts with more and more momentum over the next 3 years. YAY!
  • Nourish my passions. I’m working on two books right now! The first is called Dark Deals and Tarnished Gold, which is my “spin” on Rumpelstiltskin. The one I chose to tackle for NaNoWriMo is a twist on Godfather Death, one of Grimm’s lesser known fairy tales. I’ll share more about each in separate posts this year, but the goal is to keep the progress going on these. I also have a new event lined up for March: The Arizona Renaissance Festival! I plan to keep looking for new ways to connect with readers in person, and doing SOMETHING for my writing every day, whether it’s reading, thinking, or putting words on a page.

The last thought I’ll leave you with is that I fell into a habit of apologizing for being true to my intentions. Does this sound like you? “I don’t have much energy to hang out today and need to rest up–I’m really sorry.” “I’m not going out tonight because I’m trying to save a little cash this week. Sorry!” I would genuinely feel awful about saying no to something, and it would drag me down. Let’s experiment with being unapologetic about the time we need to nourish ourselves. The past few years have been WILD. We deserve some grace and kindness, especially from ourselves. πŸ™‚

Do you have a one-word theme or intention? How will you nourish yourself in 2023?

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

Jacob

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