If 2020 was a novel, it would most decidedly *not be a best seller. Part thriller, part science fiction, part horror, 2020 showed us a whole new way of showing up in the world. 2020 required more of us. More courage, more compassion, and dare I say – more patience.

Except that in 2021, we’re tired. We are raw, tired, frightened, cracked, and fractured in a million ways. I’m going say straight-up that many people are suffering pernicious waves of ennui, fatigue, and straight-up pandemic exhaustion. We’ve been pivoting like Olympic downhill banshees for year. We are experts at the bounce, the rebound, the leap, swivel, adapt, adopt, evolve, and spin. Has it worked? Not sublimely.

In 2021, I’m going to shift gears. I am going to reassign my inner minister of productivity. Rather that trying to outsmart the random weirdness that I now fully expect, I vow to embrace life in all of the broken ways it shows up. I commit to take my raw, wounded, deeply tired self into my heart and love the cracked places. At least as much, or maybe more, that the places that are already covered with glitter.

I’m going to dedicate 2021 to falling in love every single day with what shows up. That’s a scary statement –and as a life coach, it’s also a call to accountability. You can call me on it if I fail. Hell, I’ll call me on it if I fail. I resolve to be in good company.

When I wonder what a year of falling in love again, and again, and again, looks like, I look to others on that intrepid path. It may look a lot like the year the Shonda Rhimes committed to saying YES to everything that showed up. It may look like the year Michael A. Singer responded with YES to what showed up without hissy fits, without judgement, without bogus superiority.

This isn’t how we were taught ‘soldier on’ and to ‘fake it ‘til we make it’ and ‘be positive,’ but maybe it should have been. Maybe the daily struggle doesn’t come from accepting what the universe has seen fit to deliver, but from dialing in to our inner Smartie Pants and judging somehow that the life that shows up is not good enough.

Maybe what shows up is a giant, generous, do-over. Maybe what shows up is a test of whether we really trust in the power of love…or not. Maybe what shows up is not the actual problem. Maybe saying YES to what shows up in a daily way, fresh with insult, tumult, rejection, or messy bloody horror is a test. Like the Princess and the Pea. Am I aware enough, in the midst of chaos, to step back and understand that the pea is the blessing and not the curse?

I don’t know. I’m going to give it a try. As a spiritual mentor once said, “your best thinking got you this far. Are you willing to try something new?” Yes, I am. I really am.

Cynthia Gregory, MFA, is a life strategist and writing mentor. When you’re ready to say yes to publishing the book you’ve carried around in your head all these years, reach out and request a no-frills, no-obligation call to talk about your dream of publishing.