2022. Two thousand twenty two. Hopefully it’s the year where we finally perfect a process around managing Covid and assume life as we once knew it. As Omicron persists, I wish I could plan a trip, or even a day at a museum. I love to go to the Yale University Art Gallery, located in New Haven, CT — or to the overwhelming and fabulous Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Walking through those spaces, ideas come to me for writing and for my own pieces of art. These experiences feed my soul.
What’s feeding my soul right now, as the Yale Art Museum is temporarily closed and we are masked and working not to acquire Covid? Unfortunately, not a lot.
And yet, last week I had a conversation with a good friend that left me … intrigued and inspired.
Four months ago, my friend Evelyn moved herself and her 12-year-old son to Florence, Italy. I didn’t know the details and had only seen the story on Facebook until she and I visited via Zoom last week. As it turns out, Evelyn completely flipped her life on end, left a relationship that wasn’t working, picked up stakes and moved across an ocean to a city she had never been to, where people speak a language she knows nothing about, and where both she and her son will have to continue to adjust to new customs and culture.
And she is loving every minute of it.
It was an “add,” and a big one at that. She added an adventure that she had always longed for. Instead of heading into 2022 with a subtraction (weight, debt, etc.), she took the jump into the unknown and is now having the time of her life as she manages her public relations business in the US from across the sea and learns new bits of Italian each day.
“How brave,” I thought, “and what a great add!”
I think about what lies ahead, after four interesting and often comforting years in our little house, and the last two years consumed with Covid, it’s time to add something new. If all the pieces fall into place, we’ll build a new farmhouse on our property this summer. It’s an add I look forward to. It’s time for a new chapter.
But what else? What else should I add? I think one goal is about intentionality with my friends and family. Adding visits, phone calls, and zooms to stay closely connected to the key people in my tribe. Also, adding an apple a day seems wise. Adding a walk 3 times a week would complement that apple nicely. As I think about 2022, all shiny and new, it feels like a good time to change the way I think about a new start. Instead of thinking about eliminating every bad habit, I think instead that I’ll continue to consider the “add” rather than the subtraction. Positive versus negative. New opportunity versus old, tired resolutions.
What can you add? How can you grow?
Maybe I’ll add another birdfeeder and buy a better bird book. Maybe I’ll add fresh flowers in our house every week.
And I just might add a trip to Florence as well.
The painting under the dome, “The Last Judgment” painted by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari in 1579