My 2020 January Rest: The List

What is My January Rest? For anyone new, read the next couple of introductory paragraphs. If you know what My January Rest is, then skip to this year’s list.

For years I have had a New Year’s tradition to share with anyone who wants a fresh way of refocusing their values at the beginning of a new year. Years ago, I became disgusted with the decadence of December. While I wanted to focus on the most important things, Love and Relationships, it seemed to rotate around indulging–overeating, overspending, and overdoing! Sadly, all-the-while waistlines, debt, and stress increased, satisfaction dissipated.

That is why I created My January Rest, to refocus my appetite, replenish my budget and re-establish my margins.

While December’s focus was on getting, January’s focus is on giving. Giving up for the purpose of refocusing my “appetites” by “refraining or resting from” some things for the month of January.

To see some things I have done in the past (with explanations), you can read my post.

The 2020 List

Last year was a difficult year, and I while I did finish My Rest, I didn’t write my updates. Why I haven’t written? The short version is my dad became gravely ill. Caring for him turned out to be a full time endeavor. His condition worsened: he went on hospice. My dad died in the spring of last year. Just when I thought my life would return to normal, the night of his funeral, I severely broke my wrist. It was four months until I could open a tube of paint. As a painter, that was a problem! And my teen began to have health problems that put us both in physical therapy, twice a week. This week, she will have surgery. After she is stable and on her feet again, it will be my turn, again. On joy! Because of complications, they’ll take the hardware out of my wrist. Then we will both be in physical therapy, together, again! These are a sampling of my life’s challenges. Yet, here I am! I love My January Rest and sharing! It sets the tone for my year.

Here’s the list!! This year I will rest from satisfying my appetite by using up food in the pantry and freezer and rest from consuming refined sugar. That means adding no sugar to my coffee, and no hot chocolate, or other sweet treats.

I will rest from spending by not shopping for non-essentials. I’ll fix food with what I have, but buy what is needed to complete a meal. This year will be trickier than others in that my girl is now lactose intolerant and I’m eating more whole and fresh food, and attempting mostly grain free (100% gluten free). The grain-free (and dairy free too) is an attempt to help my wrist heal. In my pantry, there is a lot of food I cannot eat, or shouldn’t eat and now my girl has limitations as well. I plan on going through the pantry and freezer, using what I can, and donating what is good elsewhere. While I hate meal planning, I am going to write out meals to use what I have. I’ve already started: I roasted a hubbard squash and maked a spicy curry soup using up some of my frozen jalapenos. Also to save money (and eat what I already have) I’ll rest from going out to eat, unless I have a gift card. While staying home is my choice for The Rest, my husband and I will still attempt our monthly date…away from our teenager!

Save time and money by using up certain lotions, shampoo, makeup samples, or other items that are close to gone, or aren’t my favored items. Or, those travel sized items that never get used up.

I’ll again rest my eyes from looking at sales flyers and emails, advertisements, and magazines. This rest saves time and money and keeps the discontentment away! I’ve already deleted over 750 emails and unsubscribe from 20 places! It feels so liberating to not be fearful about missing out (mostly on sales items for my girl). I was suffocating with email clutter! I’ll rest from reading none-essential emails and blog posts (unless specifically forwarded by a friend, which means they feel there is something of value for me: I trust that).

My soul is crying out for rest! Connecting more deeply with God is a longing. I’d gotten out of my morning quiet time routine because of caring for my dad. Plus having a teenager pushes my idyllic bedtime off the table, through the hood, and out of this universe! I allow work to get in the way, then when work is done, I am done! But, instead of heading to bed, I stay up, because I crave the quiet without the doing. True confession: I have more control than I have been exercising! Shocking, I know! I hope…really hope...The Rest will bring more rest!

This Christmas, I was given two amazing devotionals, He Holds My Hand by Carol Kent and Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst. My friends knew exactly what I needed! Also, I’ve been attempting to finish Carol Kent’s riveting and healing book, A New Kind of Normal. Going to bed earlier is critical to getting up earlier (duh: another shocker). This is again critical to having a morning quiet time. I’ll let you know how it is going.

While I usually rest from excess activities and use the time to connect with people in person, this year I’ll be busy helping my girl rehab. I’m not sure of what this next chapter will be, but part of My Rest, will allow me to be more available to her. Good timing, don’t you think?

Besides resting from email, magazine, and mail consumption, I will rest from playing on my phone. I generally do not play on my phone, at all, but once I got started (like when I went to WI and one of the cousins shared a game with me), it became a thing. It is a mindless puzzle called BlockuDoku. I find it to be a good stress reliever. And time burner. Since I am wanting to rest from lesser things for better things, I’ve put this in the category of a lesser thing. I’ll refrain playing unless I “allow” it while waiting during my girl’s surgery. Or, her twice per week physical therapy. However, my first goal is a book (if I can concentrate). I’ve never played Sugar Crush again since MJR years ago!

Again, I will avoid looking up stuff just because I am curious. It takes time and sends me on tangents. Yesterday, I became curious about one of my instructors and decided to look her up. I paused and realized this wasn’t necessary and chose to table my curiosity. I probably saved myself a 15 minute rabbit trail!

I’ll watch zero TV, but allow family movies. Years ago, I avoided movies, but as my girl got older, a good movie is an important connector. Also, I’ll avoid videos on the phone and computer, unless there is a good purpose. Yes, these parameters make me think more: they cause me to consider what I am doing, how I am spending my time, and make informed decisions rather than mindlessly carrying on my my status quo.

Are you interested in trying a January Rest of your own? It is never too late to decide what options you will try and for what duration. Feel free to share your experience. What you most likely will find out is that by telling yourself “no” for a season is like picking a fight with yourself. We can not only save money but we can retrain ourselves to be good managers of the resources we already have.

My January Rest helps me reclaimed some of my time to use in a restful way, versus mindless consumption of whatever comes my way. Many friends have commented on what The Rest has meant to them.

Happy New Year! I hope you “rest”.

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