Welcome back, Violets!! I hope you had a lovely holiday, full of peace, joy, and quiet! No? Neither did I. Well the joy part, yes. The peace and quiet not so much. In fact, On Christmas Day as we were headed off for the second big family gathering in 24 hours, we decided that we would designate Dec. 26 as the LaFevers’ Official Cone of Silence Day. It was awesome! We were all at home, engaged in individual pursuits, yet we would connect briefly throughout the day, but without a whole lot of talking. It was a much needed balm to all our introverted souls, and we plan to make it a permanent part of our family tradition.
With my deadline met and the holidays behind me, I have been filled with a white hot rush of all the things I can’t wait to talk about here on Shrinking Violets. I am struck again by how very bi-social I am: an extreme introvert when in my writing cave, but when I come out, almost extrovert-like in my desire to catch up on all the people and connections I’ve missed. Almost like a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter, I immerse myself in these social interactions until it’s time to go back to the writing cave. This year I want to learn to accept that and work with it more rather than fight against it.
With the New Year comes the urge to make new resolutions for the next twelve months. I haven’t made resolutions in a long time as I set goals on a continuing basis, an ever changing and evolving set of challenges I want to meet and things to accomplish.
Instead of New Year’s resolutions, one of the things I like to do is to choose one word for the coming year. That way, I have none of the painful self-loathing if the resolutions fall by the wayside, and just being mindful of that word can act as a touchstone for my growth and focus for the entire year. Some examples of the kind of words I mean:
One of the things I want to focus on in the next year is unmuzzling myself a bit—not letting fear of offending someone or their not liking what I have to say box me in quite so badly. Some words I’ve been considering for this have been:
Courage Truth Brave Risk
But none of those have quite clicked for me. Courage just doesn’t feel right; Truth, well, when I DO speak, I do tell the truth, so that isn’t quite right either. I feel I am brave already in many ways, and Risk, well, that word feels too big and loud for what I want to accomplish.
In my search for the perfect word, I stumbled upon Jessica Spotwood's LJ and fell instantly in love with her word. NOURISH. It is the perfect word. As she points out on her blog:
According to Merriam-Webster, nourish means to:
2. to promote the growth of
3 a: to furnish or sustain with nutriment: feed b: maintain, support
And I’ve sat with that word for a few days now, thisclose to selecting it as my word. But as I was typing up the list of words for the word cloud to spark your own ideas, when I typed Trust, I had a warm little zing that told me that was the word. Trust is going to be my guiding word for 2011
And actually, now Trust is no longer my word for the year.
While writing a draft of this post, I was talking about words with my twenty one year old son, explaining what I wanted my word to accomplish for me this year. He raised his eyebrow in this delight-if-annoying way he has and said, “Trust is an awful lot like faith.”
And I said, “Yes, and faith is a good thing…”
He said, “True, but for what you want to accomplish, it needs to be something you control. You need to own this, not trust it will happen. Your word should be confidence.”
Yeah, schooled by my own child. And I share this with you so you can see how hard it can be to find the right word, that nuance of how it frames and shapes your focus for the year. And how easy it is to shy away from the work we really need to do.
So what about you, fellow Violets? Can you think of a guiding word for 2011? If you do, please share it in the comments and we will have a drawing! The winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to Staples so they can stock up on organizational supplies for the new year (my version of crack).
If choosing a word is not your thing and you have resolutions or goals you want to share, that would be equally awesome (and yes, that enters you in the drawing as well.)