I absolutely love this time of year. I love the sense of a new beginning, even a calendar-driven one. I love how the current starkness and coldness of nature provides an metaphorical clean slate for the resolutions that we make for ourselves.

For the past few years, I’ve started out the year with an intention, a one- (or sometimes two-)word declaration or mantra to guide my thoughts and actions toward the resolutions I tend to always have swirling in my brain. I had to look back and see what my 2013 word was as I managed to forget it about the time nature turned itself to spring. Despite forgetting all about it, ’embrace’ turned out to be a rather spot-on M.O. for 2013 in ways I couldn’t have even dreamed about this time last year, just as ‘do things‘ aptly described 2012 for me. Embracing my interpersonal relationships and the craziness of life is an ongoing project for me, but I’m finally starting to enjoy the fruits of the effort.

‘Embrace’ is such a warm, fuzzy sounding word, but the reality of making it happen in the past year has been really tough. I had a few really high highs in 2013, but I had some really low lows, and I covered all of the ground in between. That came with a lot of mental gymnastics and metaphysical growing pains.

I knew the essence of what my 2014 intention needed to be, though it took me a few days to decide on the right word. I’m settling on (for now, anyway) ‘patience.’ I’ve known for a while that I’m an impatient person at my core. When I decide I want to be healthy, I want the first stab at a healthy eating and workout routine to make me healthy. I want the house to be fully repaired, remodeled and redecorated instantly. I want a deep friendship without putting the work and time into it. You name it, I don’t have the patience to get from the start line to the finish line.

I somewhat unintentionally began working on this in a serious way about a month ago when I acknowledged my long-term struggle with depression, and somewhat ironically can already feel myself changing after just a brief period of working on it. But I’ve come to realize that this is something I’m going to be working on for a very long time. If ever I’ve needed to be patient with a process, it’s now. But I might as well learn to extend that to all that I do.

It’s only two days old, but 2014 is already off to a far better start than last year, and I’m grateful for that and looking forward to the hard work I have ahead of me. I hope your 2014 is challenging in a fulfilling way, yet as lovely as can be.

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6 Responses to Patience

  1. courtney says:

    I’m glad 2014 is off to a good start for you, and I hope it continues.

    I can relate to a lot of this. I also tend to want things instantly instead of putting in the time and effort to get them, particularly when it comes to relationships. I want instant friends instead of taking the time to get to know people. I should work on that.

    • That was one of my biggest frustrations after I quit my old job. I thought, ‘Hey, now I have time to see all of my friends and my social life will be awesome!’ It took me many, many months to acknowledge my part of making it awesome and that my friendships needed some nurturing after I’d neglected them for so long.

  2. I love this! Both the idea of setting one intention for the year and also your 2014 intention. I’m trying to “be here now” more this year – savoring the moment helped make last year better (or it did when I remembered to do it) and I want to bring that into the future. Good luck with your intention!

    • What I love about setting an intention is that if we pick the right one for us right now, many of the things we’d be declaring as resolutions will fall in place. Sometimes it’s easier to just focus on that one thing. I love ‘be here now’ — that’s one I hope goes hand-in-hand with patience!

  3. Melinda says:

    I love this yearly idea of a “word” and intention. Patience is SO important.

    I really intended to NOT overbook, overwhelm and subsequently cancel on people in 2014 — this past year I admittedly was something of a flake, especially when my social anxiety got the best of me — and then I got sick this weekend and had to cancel on an important meeting. *SIGH*

  4. cmmoxley says:

    Love your 2014 word. I should make it mine, as well. But I’ve already made my resolutions. I actually kept most of mine for 2013 (admittedly, I scaled back in the resolution department last year) and am going to give it the old college try again this year.

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