This Year Will Be: Week 1

I’m kicking off 2024 with a series of journaling projects. I’ll be mixing a few different guided journals together as none of them have specific daily prompts, but one has a weekly prompt. Every Monday, we’ll kick things off with that prompt. I’m also taking weekends off as I want to keep weeks free for a better work/life balance. This isn’t really work, but it can feel like it at times and I want to avoid that. Without further ado, here is the first entry!

If money were not an issue, you know you couldn’t fail, and all your dreams came true, what whould your ideal life be life?

Write in the present tense as if you are already living it.

I’m walking from baggage claim at Midway Airport in Chicago and I see her standing there. I’ve only been gone a week, but Scarlett seems so different. Older. She’s 16 now and starting to come out of her awkward teenage phase. You can finally see the woman she’s meant to be peeking out from that goofball preteen. 

The last few years have been hard – adjusting to life in Chicago, spending summers with her mom in the Florida heat, traveling more for holidays and birthdays – but we’ve settled into a groove. I’m traveling a lot more too. Not so much to Florida, but to Cleveland to see Zoe. She visits me too though, so it’s been a fair trade.

Lindsey’s been holding the fort down with Kennedy all week. Living in a school system that actually cares about autism has allowed Kennedy to thrive. They’re standing next to Scarlett, as excited as ever. 

Lindsey got over her jealousy issues a long time ago. Actually meeting Zoe helped a lot. Meeting Liz and seeing just how connected they are made a helped even more. Seeing the way they care for each other and how similar it is to our relationship took away the threat. The work to find that balance has been worth it.

Moving back to Chicago was terrifying, but it gave us a sense of community we didn’t know we were missing. The kids are thriving, Lindsey has become the dream boss I needed to take our businesses to the next level, and Zoe’s been the best podcast partner a girl could ask for.

We’re coming on three years in the Windy City and it’s hard to believe we were ever upset about leaving Florida. Sure, the winters suck. But we take vacations now when it gets too cold because the stability we found means we can actually afford them. We even go to Disney…albeit in California. We’re planning that Tokyo trip for next break though. Finally seeing Disney Sea is going to be epic!

As I kiss Lindsey and hug the girls, I’m shocked at Kennedy’s height. She’s taller than all of us now. It’s still shocking, no matter how long it’s been the case.

“Did I mention I have a surprise, Boo?” I say to Lindsey.

“What did you do now?” she says, giving me that look and the tone like I’m about to be in big trouble. I’m not. Not when she sees what I’ve done.

“Turn around.”

The teenager standing behind her lowers her hood, revealing the daughter Lindsey hasn’t seen since Christmas, Kendall.

“Hey, mom.”