Last week I wrote a guest post for Christine Kane’s blog about my 2009 word of the year, which of course got me thinking about 2010. I’m a sucker for a fresh start. That clean, pure, fresh, supple (yes, supple!) feeling I get at the start of a brand-spanking new year. Ahhhh.
But I would also consider myself part of the resolution backlash. That whole self-mastery thing… it tends to backfire. So for anyone like me, with resistance to setting New Year’s resolutions, maybe choose a word instead – like an intentional theme for the year to come.
And to write up my 2010 word of the year, I’m borrowing the idea of an Itty Bitty Personal Ad. Although choosing one word to guide an Entire Year of My Life isn’t really all that itty bitty. Which means I get to be purposefully vague. Which means my word should probably be clarity. But, no.
I love the structure, and light-hearted irreverence of the personal ad. And I would like to get better at asking for things, and expressing what I want with some clarity. And I love the delicious irony that my word this year is kind of tangentially related to the sort of thing real personal ads are seeking.
So let’s do this.
2010 Word of the Year… Connection.
Related: Friendship, Family, Relationship, Community.
And I think the idea of this whole personal ad thing is to maybe start small. Not with something life-sized, like, oh, I don’t know, how I relate to myself, other people, the world around me. But, oh well, I have a whole year, right?
What I want:
More connection. Stronger, deeper relationships. And a sense of community. It sounds all warm and cozy and kind of jovial. I want to keep letting the right people in, and reach out to them, too.
My circle of old friends is so spread out. The friendships I’ve made lately feel so comfortable and nourishing. Our conversations and time together feels exciting and boisterous. I walk away feeling cheered and inspired. And it would be cool to actually see more of these people.
Or these kind of people. Because these particular lovely people are sprinkled all over the planet. Awesome for travel; highly inconvenient for weekend brunch.
Ways it could come:
I guess it’s normal that this is the hardest part, right? If we knew how to get there, we’d just go. So, brainstorming here…
I could say yes to invitations and opportunities just a tiny bit more often than I do now. And it could feel exciting and comfortable at the same time. Juicy and safe, gutsy and nonchalant.
Someone (or more than one someone even!) I already adore could move closer.
I could find new ways to connect with the people I love who live far away.
I could (now this is totally crazy and so I hesitate to even say it, but it is within the realm of possibility, so…) move again.
I could find ways to keep connecting with my online people.
I could will move to a living situation that’s dog Grover-friendly.
Some of my current relationships could shift, change, and grow. Or I could be willing to let them drop away to create open space.
I am so incredibly willing to be surprised.
Not to overcommit. I must still be carrying some remnants of the whole “Adhere to New Year’s Resolution as a Form of Self-Mastery” concept, because my brain keeps coming up with scary ideas like “say yes to every invitation” (NOOOOOOO…) and “reach out to one person a day” (ewwww).
To notice when connecting scares me, and to make space for it instead of forcing myself into something and then feeling too vulnerable or exposed.
To be willing to let go of the way I think it’s supposed to look or happen.
To look for the ways I’m already there. To live where my feet are planted right now.
I will try harder to keep in touch with people who live far away. Understatement alert: Sometimes I’m not the best at this. I will take it seriously.
So this personal ad is kind of purposely vague, because you know, I have a whole year. And because, yeah, I’m crap at expressing what I want. So hopefully I’ll keep tweaking and refining this ad during the year, and getting more specific, more descriptive, more elemental.
Are you doing any New Year reflection or intention? Or complete resolution rejection?