Posts Tagged ‘2011’

I’ve struggled a bit with my one little word for this year. Last year’s word, BRAVE, had so much impact on my life that you’re probably tired of me talking about it by now. I followed that word into a couple of English classrooms at ACU, to New York for a lovely weekend in April, into several yoga studios (in three states), into some new friendships, and of course, across the country to Boston.

My day-to-day life still requires a lot of bravery, in areas large and small – from trying a new dry cleaner to shoveling snow (what a workout!) to keeping on with the job hunt and the freelance work. This word’s work in my life is by no means over; it lives around my neck on a pendant a lot of the time, and it’s become part of who I am.

However. There’s a new word that’s been nudging me lately, asking for some space in this big, brave life of mine. I hesitated to choose it because it felt selfish. But on New Year’s Eve afternoon, when I took to the couch with tea and books to try and fend off the beginnings of a cold (which is still with me), I gave in. My word for 2011 is COMFORT.

As I continue being brave and trying to figure out how I fit in this new place and new life, I need to create comfort for myself. Not just creature comforts – though warm sweaters, hot tea and steaming bowls of soup, not to mention down jackets and plenty of cozy accessories, will be necessary this winter. No, I need to create several kinds of comfort. I need to reach out to old friends even while working to make new ones. I need to stick to a budget and then rest in the comfort of having enough. (More than enough, really.) I need to find pockets of peace and quiet, and savor them, instead of rushing to distract myself. I need to realize that while outer order contributes to inner calm, the trappings of comfort (and even a clean house) aren’t the point. I need to seek true nourishment, in all ways, instead of either “treating” myself or neglecting myself.

I also want to create comfort for others this year. I love having people over to our house, and we haven’t done that very often since arriving in Quincy. I want to create a safe, listening space for my husband, my family and my friends, old and new. I want to speak words of solace or encouragement, when needed, and be silent, when needed. I want my word to nourish me, but I also want it to take me outside of myself.

To that end, I’ll be participating in Ali EdwardsOne Little Word online class at Big Picture Scrapbooking, and also just trying to be mindful of my word, and see where it takes me. And I’ll check in here periodically about it, of course. I’m excited to see what happens.

Are you choosing a word this year? Or have you done it in the past? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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“Slowly the splendour died, giving place to the mystic beauty of a winter twilight when the moon is rising. The hollow sky was a cup of blue. The stars came out over the white glens and the earth was covered with a kingly carpet for the feet of the young year to press.

“‘I’m so glad the snow came,’ said the Story Girl. ‘If it hadn’t the New Year would have seemed just as dingy and worn out as the old. There is something very solemn about the idea of a New Year, isn’t there? Just think of three hundred and sixty-five whole days, with not a thing happened in them yet.'”

The Golden Road, L.M. Montgomery

I hope wonderful things happen in all your days this year.

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This is the time, of course, to make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve already been reflecting this month with Reverb10, though I’m hoping to play catch-up with some of those post ideas, and I’ve had, for some time, a secret (incomplete) draft of 27 things to do before I turn 28. “Resolutions” sounds rather stark, while “dreams” sounds more appealing and definitely more attainable.

So here are (some of) my dreams for 2011:

1. Enjoy quite a few of the things on my Boston list
2. Travel to New York to see my college friend Ben on Broadway (he’s Pumbaa in The Lion King!)
3. Knit another sweater (and finish the one I’m nearly done with)
4. Finish a volume of a scrapbook (Oxford, high school, Boston, whatever)
5. Keep building my freelance clientele
6. Go visit my loves in Oxford
7. Follow comfort, my one little word for 2011 (and keep being brave, my word for 2010)
8. Visit a place I’ve never been before
9. Recommence reading the Narnia books with J (we’ve read 4 of 7)
10. Find a job, dang it
11. Make some non-Brookline connections in Boston
12. Keep working toward my writing dreams
13. Reread The Lord of the Rings
14. Travel to Nashville for my sweet Bethany’s wedding
15. Visit my family in Midland (oh, how I missed being with them this Christmas)
16. Exercise regularly (shoveling snow, yoga, walking…whatever)

What are your dreams/resolutions/hopes for this New Year?

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