I sit with a friend and we reflect on the last year. 

We reflect on our jobs, our habits, our families, what went well and what could have gone better. We’ve found that the practice of slowing down, revisiting, and rethinking helps us as we transition into a new year—a new season.

New Year, New Goals, More Everything

I drink my tea and mentally jot down some goals I have for 2024. I grab a pen and paper because I know myself—if I don’t write it down, no matter how much I tell myself I’ll remember, I really won’t. I write a few blurbs about health, how many books I’d like to read this year, how far I’d like to progress in my Korean studies, and a few other things. 

I read over my notes and think about the fact that in 2023 a lot of things happened. There was a lot of joy and fun and ridiculousness—and sadness and grief and loss.

And also, a lot of EVERYTHING that lives in between. 

And although I’m no fortune teller—I cannot see or predict what’s coming in the new year, it’s likely that EVERYTHING will still exist in 2024.

EVERYTHING may include my best year ever—I sure hope it does! 

EVERYTHING may include heartache, suffering, and challenges. It probably will. 

EVERYTHING will surely include a lot of life between the margins of high highs and low lows. 

Sometimes Everything is Wonderful and Sometimes it’s Not

The unpredictability of a new year is exciting, but also a little unnerving for a person like me who thrives off of a good schedule and routine. 

When EVERYTHING happens, like it does in life, I don’t always handle the twists and turns with a peaceful mindset and flexible spirit. 

My diverged plans, unmet goals, and routines I’ve thrown out the window sometimes leave me feeling like a total failure. You too?

I guess what I’m trying to say is this—because we’re people, we have the privilege of experiencing EVERYTHING all the time. 

A new year is exciting and hopeful and wonderful and I hope that 2024 is literally the best for us. I hope we experience a lot of joy and laughter and rest in our EVERYTHINGS

But if it’s not the best year ever or if we end up experiencing a lot of frustration—if our EVERYTHINGS includes a lot of sadness and grief—know that it’ll be ok if we diverge from our plans, goals, and routines. 

Hope For Everything

EVERYTHING has a tendency to affect EVERYTHING else, so if things have to change, mature, grow, or dissolve, it won’t make us failures or losers or idiots. It won’t mean that we’re unlovable or unworthy or incapable. 

It might mean that there are consequences from our choices we have to deal with. 

But, it’ll also remind us that we’re human beings with more information now than we had before and more experience today than we had yesterday. 

So here’s to a new you! OR, the old you in a new year with more wisdom, grace, compassion, and knowledge for everyone (yourself included) who is experiencing EVERYTHING.

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Katie Walker
Katie was born in Seoul, S. Korea and adopted at the age of one to a sweet family in Ojai, CA. While growing up as an adoptee came with challenges, she is incredibly grateful for the gift of processing her experience through writing in hope of supporting and encouraging other adoptees and families thinking about adoption. In 2005 Katie married her best friend, Dave, and since then have had three kids - Layla (14), Eli (12) and Caleb (9). They’ve spent a lot of their family life pursuing higher education, traveling, and driving kids from one activity to another. In a normal week, you can find Katie knee deep in homework assignments, Bible study research, and catching up on all the K-Dramas - always a cup of iced coffee in hand. Reading literary fiction, walking the dog (audio book or podcast in!), and working in the garden are other ways she unwinds and stays sane. Oh, and sometimes she cooks and cleans, but now that her kids are older she benefits from their homemade pancakes and ability to wipe down a countertop.

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