So, 2017 was kinda a weird year, huh? I realized just at the end of December that I’ve been carrying some anger in me. Like, unexpected, wow I-really-didn’t-know-I-was-that-on-edge anger.
Some of you made 2017 the year of embracing your anger. Without judgement, as soon as I could name this feeling of being vaguely on edge all the time, I wanted it gone. Living with a bunch of low-grade anger and anxiety about things I have absolutely no control over was not improving my life, my relationships, or my effectiveness in the slightest.
I’ve already made a ton of progress in letting go of some of those icky feelings in the past couple weeks and I’ll talk about how soon. (Spoiler: basically meditation, which I currently suck at. But sucky meditation still helps.)
For now, I want to start 2018 with a list of words I brainstormed in about 4 minutes after I realized I had some shit to work through. These words represent how I want to focus my energy and consideration in the upcoming year.
In the seven years I’ve been blogging, I’ve talked about New Year’s Resolutions, not resolutions, goals, habits, and all the rest this time of year. All the buzzwords of highly effective, productive people. Right now, part of my self-care is backing away from being so specifically goal and achievement driven. It’s letting go of some of those internal assumptions, burning off some of the unhelpful deadwood in my life, jettisoning the limitations of perfectionism, and focusing more on the joy in little moments.
So, no New Year’s Resolutions from me this year. No goals, no checklists to look back on in December 2018. At least, not yet. For now, just a list of words. What would your list of words be for 2018?
Abundance. Meditation. Practice. Pause. Grace. Gratitude. Attempt. Create. Simplify.
Probably should’ve added “cheese” – lol
Nancy E. Sutton says
Pretty much the same…. I’m a feeble meditator, also. I’m also starting the book you mentioned (eBook is downloable from KCLS)… after already getting into Wright’s ‘Why Buddhism Is True’… which is also about science and meditation 🙂
Did I see ‘presence’ listed twice? : ) If I had to pare my list down to a dozen… or half, this would be the most important, for me. Along with ‘slowness’ and ‘silence’. I, too, have been an angry person for so much of my life… superficially, the ‘righteous indignation’ sort, but also deeper roots that originally spring from fear, I think, and with no good results.
So glad one of my very favorite people/writers is on this ‘path’, too. Looking forward to your ‘sharings’. (Maybe I’ll share ‘what if…’ as we go along 😉
We will call that double my “release of perfectionism” for today. 😀
Homebrew Husband says
I, too, find myself eschewing the obligatory mania for bucket lists, transformations, and drama in favor of a quieter review of my life this year. There’s a line from The Lord of the Rings that’s been running through my head for a few weeks now, “It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life,” as I’m focusing on the most intimate circles of family and friends, dearly held values, treasured knowledge, and essential possessions.
One thing that may integrate this list into daily living is an index card flip book. I used to write down items like this and maybe an affirmation or two and flip it to a new card each morning. Could also post it on the fridge etc. It’s a great little trick for our brains to break things down into small chunks. Great post by the way!
I love this approach!!! I’m thinking once I come up with my list I will salt the words around my home – painted on a rock or carved in an old wooden bench in the garden, pinned on the fridge, on a post-it note inside the bathroom cabinet, scrawled along the edge of my yoga mat – reminders to be noticed and pondered at odd moments.
Nancy Ging says
Whew! Wonderful words, but what a long list! I try to work with a single word for the year. Last year the word was “deepening”. That resulted in tears of either deep joy or deep sadness just about every day. As you said, 2017 was a weird year! This year I decided on a word that was less of an emotional roller coaster but still something I think can make a huge improvement in my life: “consistency.” I want to learn to be consistent with a few habits I’ve been trying to develop, and perhaps that’s where a list like yours could be useful: sleep, meal planning, flexibility, strength, time outdoors doing nothing in particular (“wandering” might be a good word for this one), and art. I’ve only been doing this for a couple of years, but I love the approach! Choosing a single word for the year is an interesting exercise in itself that keeps me mentally occupied for most of December. It’s also can lead to great party conversation–“What word would you choose?”
As I begin the eigth decade of the life my creator gifted me, I would choose the words
to inform the choices I make and the relationships I wish to nurture.