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.