I Resolve to Retreat

I’m not setting any goals for this year. 

Living in a pandemic, I have learned that one can set goals that seem totally realistic one week but which can mutate into something completely impossible the next. My personal goals around publishing books, travel and even self-care plans have been decimated over the past two years. 

So I’m not setting goals or deadlines for myself any more. 

Far from giving up, this is part of my adaptation to a constantly evolving and changing situation. I have learned that goals are not just about my willpower, effort or follow-through. Goals are also highly dependent on our environments and on the predictability of our routines. 

So instead I’m going to resolve to create more space for things that are important to me. More realistic, right? 

I’m going to resolve to create more space for things that are important to me.

The first thing I want to do more of in 2022 is retreat. I don’t just mean retreating from the world (although there is undeniable value in doing that). I mean retreating into the things I really want to do, the things I highly value but which seem to sink to the bottom of the to-do list.

I want to retreat to my writing space more often. 

I want to retreat to the keyboard and songwriting space a bit more. 

I want to retreat to sacred spaces of stillness with God, places without noise (including the noise from my brain), so I can just listen for a change. 

These retreats matter more to me these days. So I want to be intentional about creating space for them. By holding this extra ‘space’ in my mind, I can give more of myself to creative and spiritual practises that enrich and nourish me. 

By holding this extra ‘space’, I can give myself to creative and spiritual practises that enrich and nourish me.

The second thing I want to do a bit more is reach out. I am bad at reaching out for help, even when I really need it. (I suspect it’s part of being a recovering perfectionist.) Whatever the reason, it’s bad for me to persist with things like chronic illness and the fallout thereof without support. So I want to reach out more. 

The third thing I want to create more space for is rest. Our culture has long valued the busy person, the over-scheduled calendar, and the productive lifestyle. Rest is fundamentally countercultural, and it seems to be what we crave the most. 

I have just taken three weeks off work, and I do not feel rested. I have had plenty of ‘rest’, but it was not restful. This highlights to me how necessary it is for me to find real rest, and how things that look restful to others are not necessarily restful to me. I want to find more places of true rest, Steffie-style. 

I want to find more places of true rest, Steffie-style.

So these are the things I resolve to create more space for in 2022: retreating, reaching out, and resting. I hope to incorporate more of these good things into my life. I hope you have some hopes for this year too. 

What would you like to create more space for this year? What are the things that really matter to you, things you wish you had more time for? What might you regret *not* doing this year? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation. 

Join the conversation