So here it is...January 1...2017...
The tree is down to its lights and will soon be out to the curb for pick-up. The mantle is bare except for a simple wreath and lanterns. And the toys and games have been enjoyed by two little boys. Soon I will be heading home to put Christmas away in Ohio, but for now, I'm enjoying the first day of the new year with my daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons.
Do you make resolutions to begin the new year? Put away the holiday clutter and give the house a thorough cleaning? Or just move on, business as usual?
I first heard about the Word of the Year as we were rounding the corner into 2015. At the time, I was just beginning to explore my options for life and work after my eventual retirement after 40 years of full-time teaching.
The idea of focusing on just one idea for an entire year seemed to make sense. At the time, I was struggling to maintain a balance between my personal life and my work life. And my personal life was suffering the most.
Sometimes you just know that you need to put more effort into making time to take care of yourself...exercise, healthy meals, time with family and friends, and a decent bedtime. This was one of those times for me.
Although I wasn't totally successful, and there were periods of time when I gave up on the idea completely, I did like the idea. So when 2016 rolled around, I was ready for a fresh start.
Word of the Year... 2016
In December of 2015, I had just finished reading posts from the website "Becoming Minimalist" by Joshua Becker, and was inspired by his lifestyle dedicated to living with less in order to enjoy life more. Of course, inspiration and action are two entirely different things, at least in my world!
Although my closets are a little less full, my kitchen has fewer unnecessary gadgets and utensils, and I have made cooking meals easier by having a rotation of family favorites, I cannot claim to having fully embraced the idea of minimalizing or simplicity, even after two rounds of
participating in Joshua's Uncluttered course!
Word of the Year...2017...Third time's charmed?
This post appeared in my Facebook feed several weeks ago. At the time, I thought...hmmm....maybe ENOUGH should be my Word of the Year for 2017. After all, I certainly have enough stuff in my closets and cabinets...enough money to pay my bills and still have a little leftover for the fun things in life...enough love and friendship...and I have a hard time remembering all of that when I have an opportunity to add just "one more thing" to my very busy life.
But ENOUGH just didn't resonate with me... a bland word...a word that implies standing still...not making changes...not doing things differently. I wanted...needed... more...
And then I found it!
Since July, I've been a member of the Sunday Society, a group of amazingly creative women in business, led by April Bowles-Olin, author of the blog Blacksburg Belle. Our end of the year challenge was to reassess our lives and businesses as we lived them in 2016 and plan ahead for success in 2017.
One of the exercises in our planner was to go through a list of words and circle the ones that resonated with us most. As I did this, the one that jumped out at me was MINDFUL. At first, I didn't circle it, but I found myself drawn back to it after several days had passed, so I knew in my heart that this was it!
In a way, mindfulness (or the lack of it!) is most likely what kept me from achieving my goals of finding BALANCE and SIMPLICITY the previous two years...my a-ha moment!
So for the next 365 days, my challenge-to-self will be to practice mindfulness in my daily life. To remain in the present instead of constantly looking backward and regretting decisions made in the past. To remain in the present a little bit longer instead of moving full speed ahead into the future before the present has been savored and lived.
What about you? What works in your life?
Are you a resolutions maker?
Or a Word of the Year fan?
I'd love to hear from you, so leave a comment!
Meanwhile, Happy New Year to you!