2020 sucked. The end. Just kidding... all in all, this was a surprising year.
I feel like this was the year I got into a groove with Davy and with my business. In the spring we went to Orlando for his animation school class reunion. It was so nice to connect with his friends (many of whom have become mine as well) and just have a fun trip. We got to the point where we could afford it too! I've never had such a good time at a theme park. Their animation school (DAVE school) was at Universal Studios, so the alumni had a deep knowing of the park and guided us noobs around in the most efficient order through rides, lines and other attractions. Folks, NEVER go to amusement parks with children. And NEVER go with the inexperienced.
In 2019 my little brother tied the knot. He found the best partner and mother in a woman named Kate. In preparation for their nuptials and because I'm a masochist, we bought them a 1960's Shasta Compact Camper and re-did the inside, booking stops for their honeymoon in Colorado and gifting the entire thing at their wedding. I definitely had other things to do, but this project solidified my love of large projects and hatred of detailed, skilled work.
I'm happy to announce that the result of their marriage is a happy 4 year old Ellie, and a brand spankin' new Rory, born May of 2020, and creating the best and brightest spot in the entire year.
Professionally, I became a druggie. To clarify, my fascination with neurobiology and somatic psychotherapy came to a head and I found an amazing training and externship experience learning how to use psychedelics in therapy. This is truly the new (but 30+ years old) frontier in mental health. I got a new wardrobe, and learned how to sit with clients indoors to facilitate a new level of healing. In this job I found new friends and a new respect for my own intuition.
I also flew (for the 5th time in 2019 - remember when we could fly?) to Austin for the Psychedelic Science Summit. What. A. Blast. No - I didn't do drugs. I did meet like-minded practitioners, and I got to visit the archive at the UofA campus and see letters from Timothy Leary and manuscripts from Kerouac - all contemporaries from the first psychedelic revolution. I rode an electric scooter to obscure bars and read the Dharma Bums under starlight with a belly full of southern food. I literally felt my world expand by millimeters and centimeters, taking in things my conservative upbringing never allowed me to consider.
I was scheduled to go see my dear friend in California at the end of Feb/beginning of March, when I found out that my little Butter wasn't long for this world. I turned around on the way to the airport to see him, knowing I needed to be present with her no matter how much it hurt.
Making the choice to say goodbye was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
Davy said he would make the call for me when it was time. Initially I felt relieved. When the time actually came, I knew it had to be me. I chose her, I saved her, I cared for her, and I had to be the one to give her that final relief. I called the vet. I'm so grateful it was before they stopped making house calls. She had pizza - the good parts, not the crust. We spent the week before taking trips to swimming pools and the park, taking photos and sitting with her while she slept in her queen's bed like a derp.
I love you, my little soul...
We bought property in Saguache County, I met my old man friend, Gill.
I am so unbelievably proud of my partner, Davy, for his perseverance and tenacity. He's officially on his own now, the head of a team of 3, working with remarkable skill on a game that will launch them into the realm of influence and making people's lives better. I can't say how grateful I am for him sticking with me, through this whole year and all of the ups and downs. A long time ago I decided that a non-negotiable goal of my life would be to have a successful long term relationship. Speaking from the heart, I wanted to know someone, truly, and have them know me. Through different seasons, through challenges, through boring times, through joy and excitement - and have it last. I wanted to witness someone's life, and have my life witnessed. I've found that in my Davy.
- Focus on my physical health and what my body needs in order to perform correctly. Wow. How relevant. I feel like I've improved on this inch by inch. I've got my cert in nutrition for mental health, and am using what I've learned to help my clients and myself. So far it's working. I'm actually exercising (beyond hiking/climbing) on my own at home, and taking a more active role in cooking/nutrition.
- Get an accountant/financial adviser. Well, no. I'd still like to do this. Seems we might as we make plans to buy a house. (?!?)
- Take one week off per quarter to catch up on personal and professional development stuff. This means finishing courses, reading books, organizing files, documenting, etc. Didn't do this, but had it in mind the whole year as I ended up taking more time off for self care and not suffering financially at all!
- Journal. (Not gonna say more, this has big implications and feels scary.) Kindof. Journaling is triggering and has all kinds of implications. I like my routine right now, let's leave it at that. Maybe 2021 can be the year of the blog - for business marketing purposes and for loosing these fingers.
- Make it to the AEE conference this fall. I DID ALL THE CONFERENCES AND SPOKE AT ALL THE THINGS IN 2019 AND AS MANY IN 2020 AS I COULD!!! YAY!
- Finish the airstream to take to Ellie and Greg's wedding this summer, then leave it on it's own piece of land out by the Sangre's and the hotsprings. (YEP!) SOOOOOOO... Didn't finish Marge, but finished the Shasta and BOUGHT PROPERTY IN THE SANGRES!!!! YEAH BABY!!!
- Create momentum in the outdoor mental health world, helping to bring it to the mainstream. Hard to measure, but if 2018 is anything like 2019, this should be easy. Not easy, still chugging. Haven't given up! I got to be part of the founding of the AAC Grief Fund, among other things, which feels amazing!
- Present for at least two professional gatherings, or get a public speaking gig. Weird goal, but I just need to do it. Yep. Definitely did this. Super proud of myself.
I, Aleya Littleton, do hearby resolve:
- To teach. Online, in person - whatever. I want to complete my class at RRCC and learn from doing it, finish my online rock climbing therapy course, and follow that thread towards a different side of this career.
- To travel again! We made it to Australia in 2018, 2022 is IATC Norway, but in 2021 I just need to move. Be it camping, hiking, climbing or a beach. I'd like to take two deliberate, vacation-like trips.
- To move or have a clearer vision of where we want to live next. Housing has been awful, I'd like it to be less awful.
- Have another intern. Did I mention I got a practicum student intern in 2020? She's amazing, and I want to do it again.
- Save. Get that financial advisor, learn more about money, get less afraid, level up. Coming from a poverty mindset, I'm realizing this won't be easy or feel good. I want to tackle that.
- I want to go to the movie theater in my PJ's.
- I want to hug a stranger.
- I want to be a part of a regular supervision/consult group.
- I WILL run WildGathering in 2021.
- Develop the property in Moffatt so that it can be on HipCamp and we can use it comfortably.
- Visit my family again.
- I also resolve to have more fun. To break out of the rut and introversion, to let my creativity thrive again. I'm already humming and singing to myself, but I want more. Like, to take up painting.
- Learn how to parasail. I have a friend who does it. I at least want to try it once.
- I will track and lean in to what my body wants: Working out, not eating or drinking something, getting more light, more vitamins, more fiber. I resolve to listen.
- I also resolve, and will every year, no matter what, to care for and love my partner. To grow what I know and can offer to allow him to live the best life possible.
Let's see how it goes...