Friday, January 15, 2016

My One Little Word for 2016

I first learned of choosing a theme or “one little word” as a motif for your year from Ali Edwards. Two friends and I used to exchange year-end summaries and goals, and we added a one-word-theme to our tradition. The letters have waned in the last two years, but not the one-little-word habit. Some years I’d reach October and not remember what my word was. Other years that word colored the entire year, and became a touchstone for me even after the year ended. I’m sure the difference has more to do with me than the word, with how much time or energy I put into the idea, but some words are just magic.

Past words: 2007 Move; 2008 Now, 2009 Time; 2010 Attend; 2011 Love; 2012 Light; 2013 Present; 2014 Let Go; 2015 Brave & Kind

I could write a whole post about the influence Brave and Kind had, and why I chose them. Another day. They had a huge impact---on everything---in 2015.

My One Little Word for 2016: Rest

I laughed when I first thought of choosing this word, which is often a good sign. I shared it with my friend Angie, half-jokingly, but it stuck. I can’t help but the feel the need to justify it, explain that I don’t plan on taking a year “off” or use my word as an excuse for not meeting my Fitbit steps. I’m a striver by nature, and all that effort has benefitted me in many ways. A common cycle I get myself into though is that phenomenon of “dancing as fast as I can”---the hustle for worthiness. I have often felt an irrational need to justify my very existence.

All of which is to say that I want the word Rest to help me consciously choose to not “hustle for worthiness” this year---I want to rest in the knowledge that I am enough, flaws and all, just as I am. I want to take comfort in my faith and in let go of the need to convince anyone, especially myself, that I am a good person.

I wrote this post over a week ago, but today I listened to Jess Lively’s podcast with Tara Mohr. Tara was describing how some years you plant seeds, some years you set down roots, and some years you branch out or bear fruit. 2015 and 2014 were big years of branching out and bearing fruit. Actually, so were 2013 and 2012. So I would like 2016 to be a year of “rooting down”, taking some down time to get my bearings, to focus on my family and my work but not necessarily taking the big leaps of the past four years.

I’m still a goal-setter and a list-maker, and I’ll post about those soon. Aidan will start high school in 2016, and we already have too much travel planned for family-obligations, so there will leaps for sure. But my intention is to hold this word in my heart and mind and body: rest.

Photo: morning sunrise on our last day in Mexico, 2014.

Blogity, Blog, Blog

I so don't have time to blog.

And yet, I'm planning to make time for it in 2016.

This tiny, long-neglected corner of the web that I claimed for myself in 2007 has served me well. I still find some tried-and-true recipes more quickly here than elsewhere. I love clicking on random "You might also like" links at the bottom and finding memories and images I had forgotten (just today this one about an April Fools Day that I'm sure we had all forgotten). It has evolved as our life has changed. It started as a form of memory keeping during our final pregnancy and Nolan's first year. Then it became a semi-private journaling place, and then a component of my photography business.

What form will it take now? 

I plan on posting at least once a month, and writing about books, recipes, home and figuring out what works for me. Writing has always been a way to make sense of things for me. I'd like to continue the letters to my sons but need to figure out how to do that while respecting their privacy. My oldest is now 13, and in recent years, I've made sure he read and approved any post I wrote about him before it went public. More and more, my sons' stories are their own and not necessarily mine to share. Photos of the boys, however, I feel no conflict about sharing---are you as delighted by those dirty toes in the above photo as I am?

Photo: iphone, Point Reyes, CA in August, 2014

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