Many people I know choose a ‘word for the year’.
A word they hope to orient their year around. A word they hope when they look back at the end of the year they will find has been the cornerstone, the theme underpinning all they have done.
I have a word for this year. It has crept up on me. I think it came back from holiday with me in my suitcase.
This year is a big year for me. My goals are bigger, my hopes higher.
On 1st January I wrote (on Instagram):
“I am looking forward to this new year. I feel excited, expectant.
And the one thought I have as I move into 2019 is that I am going to take up more space. I am not going to shy away from opportunity and I am not going to let fear or false modesty affect my actions or determine my plans.
I’m all in.
I’m acknowledging what I have to offer is good.
I’m seeing possibility ahead.
I rarely make such positive statements but I feel excited, expectant. I am looking forward with a smile. .
This has not been how I have approached every new year and if you are in a tough space or just hoping to get through, I am sending you strength and courage. You got this. You are capable of far more than you believe.”
This is still true. I am still aiming for this, and believing it is possible. However I will be holding this in tension with the word I have felt is right for me this year.
My word for 2019:
This year, regardless of my plans and ambitions, despite the things I already have scheduled and the many other things I intend to write in my diary, I am going slow.
Slow enough to enjoy it.
Slow enough to take my time.
Slow enough to avoid the overwhelm.
Slow enough to pay attention.
When we were away over Christmas things felt slow despite how many miles we covered and how much we packed into each day. Slow is not about missing out or inaction. Slow is about relishing each part.
When we were away I had time to chat with my kids. I had time to talk to my husband. We had time to dream together. We had time to make up stupid catchphrases and laugh, to play games and be silly.
I want this year to be slow enough for this to continue.
We live in a world that moves fast, that teaches us to constantly expect to fit more in. We are plagued by the Fear of Missing Out which pushes us to attend more events and make more plans to see more people. If we are not careful, all this endless activity can keep us so busy we miss the things (and the people) we really love.
This year, I am challenging my expectations.
I am rewriting the rules.
I am changing the script.
I will not be bullied by what everyone else is doing, or how much everyone else is achieving. I will be not limited by anyone else’s timescales, or hassled by their activity.
I want to go slow enough to enjoy this day, this week, this month, this year.
As Ann Voskamp writes;
“Life is not an emergency.
Life is a gift”.
I choose to savour it.