New year, new goals, new adventure

by State Sen. Jessica Garvin

I hope this finds you and your family well and rested from the holiday season. Christmastime and New Year’s Day is always a busy time for my family; we’re always celebrating and preparing for parties with my staff and residents at the nursing home. Being a nursing home administrator during a global pandemic is not anything I ever dreamed I’d experience and has truly made me value, even more, what time I have with my family. If you have a loved one in a long-term care community, you get it.

With a new year brings new goals, new adventures and fresh starts; I’m ready for all the above. My goals this year sound pretty simple but are things that are difficult for me. I intend to be more present, become more intentional and to be more forgiving. The past two years have taught me a lot about myself and that’s where these goals are rooted. Being more present, to me, is a goal to focus on my family instead of letting my thoughts drift to my “To-Do List”. I oftentimes find myself letting my mind wander during church, during a board game with the kids or answering emails during a baseball game. This year, I’m making a goal to check out more so that I can check IN more and focus on the things that should be my first priorities. My friend Liz always says, “When you get home, if you have nothing left to give to your kids and/or your husband, then you need to reevaluate.” That really hit home for me this year, and it’s the most important goal for me this year.

My second goal is to become more intentional. What does this even look like? To me, becoming more intentional is about simplifying my life so I can focus on the priorities. I’m the kind of person who hates to say no because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. BUT… in order to become more intentional, I know I need to say no more so that I can say YES to the things that should get my attention. Instead of volunteering for a thousand things, I’m going to spend MORE energy on the things that I’m the most passionate about currently in my life. I’m going to practice gratitude and learn to be more thankful for the little things in life. I’m going to work on being a better listener so that instead of just passively listening to conversation, I have a deeper understanding of what is being said. Lastly, I’m going to be more mindful of what I put into my brain and who puts it there. My friend and boss, Jeff, always impresses the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you. I’m going to be more intentional about who I’m allowing to influence my input so that I have better output.

Third and finally, forgiveness. I’ve had to learn this over the past two years more than I ever have in my life. When you put yourself in the spotlight by running for office, some people can say extremely hurtful (most often untrue or taken out of context) things about you and/or your family. I’ve learned to make peace with those things, but I don’t know that I’ve ever actively tried to forgive and because of that, I carry a lot of those things with me every day. Instead of allowing those words to just be things I get over and brush off, I’m going to focus on taking a stab at forgiveness. This will probably be the most difficult of all three goals, but I’m a work in progress. 

I hope you’re able to make at least one goal for you or for your family this year. It’s been a year of loss, grief, and hardship for many Oklahomans; hopefully, 2021 will provide new opportunities for you and those you love. One of the greatest blessings of 2020 is being elected to serve and represent you at the Capitol. I hope you know that your prayers carry me every day and I know they’ll continue as we approach session in just a few short weeks. As always, please contact me if I can ever help you and again, wishing you only the best this new year.

If you have any questions or concerns on legislative matters, please contact me at or (405) 521-5522. You can also write me at Senator Jessica Garvin, State Capitol, 2300 N. Lincoln Blvd. Room 237, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105.