Whoah. 2020 is history. Good riddance of course. but has anything really changed? We are still where we are. We still have some very dark times coming as we fight to curtail the pandemic, stay alive, care for one another, and work to build a functioning country and globe that will have a better future. It seems insurmountable.


to quote Lin Manuel Miranda in Hamilton:

the sun comes up and the world still spins

In other words, life goes on. We can drag out feet the entire way kicking and screaming or we can regroup and adapt.

So, does flipping the calendar from one year to another matter? I say yes. Here, at my dining table on January 1, 2021, I feel a shift and I am here for it. It is a time for reflection and intention. I am not one for typical resolutions. For the past two years, I have chosen the same word to center my year. If you have followed my work at all, you can probably guess that word. It’s resilience. It’s my lifetime word I guess. In 2019, my focus was on personal resilience and sharing those skills. In 2020, with an impending sense of doom hanging over me, I began the year with a strong focus on community resilience. In March, that sense of doom became real and, suddenly, my obsession with food and resilience was a hot topic. Almost magically, I had an online community that was ready to hear what I had to teach and to pull together and support each other–all while we stayed far away from each other. It’s been a real source of comfort and support to me throughout 2020. It’s a silver lining. It helped sustain me.

My word will always be resilience I guess, but this year I will focus on the silver linings. Not in a pollyannish, let’s ignore reality kind of way, but with an eye on what I have to be grateful for and what sustains us in the day to day. My focus is sustenance. What sustains me? What sustains you? The sustenance is the silver lining. It’s what we need to be grateful for and celebrate.

Sustenance is a great word. Here are two definitions:

food and drink regarded as a source of strength; nourishment

the maintaining of someone or something in life or existence

Sustenance is the kindling required for resilience. It’s the raw materials we build upon to get us through. It’s the vegetables I am still growing (even in January) that nourish our immune cells. It’s the fact that we found a way to keep our bills paid even though we are restaurant owners in a pandemic. Sustenance is coming home to three cats and three dogs who lavish us with unconditional love. Sustenance was making this Christmas about others even when we personally had little to share. Sustenance is making the best of a pandemic.

I am going to devote time, thought, and action to the practices and thoughts that sustain me, my family, my community, and my world. Let’s make the most of this pandemic. Join me. Happy New Year!

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