For the kickoff of 2020, I will admit that our family has not created a single resolution. However, life and the powers that be seem to always provide a more organically created list.

Nothing drastic, just “character upgrades” if you will. When you have a child you are trying to mold and a business you are trying to build, your “stuff” (good and bad) is very, very present. We have come to realize that, even in our sweet and lovely life, there is still too much stress and too much “stuff” to care for.

It’s something we help clients with all the time — purging, sorting, organizing, selling. As we help them, we come back to our own spaces and see the need to reshuffle and continually purge — and most importantly, to create systems that stick and make life simpler.

Over the holidays, we were both struck by how much consumerism is around us. Even as we limit the amount of online shopping and non-local buying we do, it’s still amazing to see packaging practices and the amount of waste in the world!

Locally, there are limited places to donate, as those facilities are completely full. At our recycling center in Westmoreland, they had a dumpster filled within three hours of being open after the holiday — a town record, and not a good one.

For the stress, we are signing up for the gym, but not in a “New Year’s resolution” sort of way. It’s more about sanity, community and providing outlets for ourselves when the normal summer-funsies are unavailable.

With a toddler, going out in the snow is fun, but lately it has just been too icy. We tried the park one day and I’ve never seen Zavier more hurt. Last year, I slipped and got a massive concussion.

Some families can get their kids all geared up properly. We are lucky if our guy sits still long enough for a hat. The photo at top left shows a more successful day on his daily morning stop at Prime Roast for a croissant.

Enter the YMCA. Unintentional resolution, check!

The biggest piece to all of this is that I no longer feel the need to start over at the turn of the year. Toddlers are so present-minded, and I feel like we “start over” all the time. Literally, minute to minute we can have a fresh start. It’s liberating!

One of the things I am realizing about Z is that he needs focused activities and tasks. Games. But even chores can be games, and since we do chores and cleaning for our work, we have started to introduce him to what we do on a daily basis.

He cleaned a window and “painted” with soapy water for 45 minutes!

And yeah, it’s fun to throw toys off our high porch. I get it, bud. Now clean them up! (Photo bottom left.)

The moral of the story is that sometimes you intend, and sometimes you adapt. Whatever your style is, from our family to yours, we hope you have a happy, healthy and super successful (whatever that means to you) 2020!

Jazmin Kellis Henkel is a freelance writer, mom of 2-year-old Zavier and wife to an incredible partner. She loves writing about the health of our souls through all the wisdom that gets collected over a life well-explored. She is co-owner of Sanity Saver Services and can be reached at or 209-5432.