Well, just like laundry and dinnertime, a New Year is already so quickly upon me and I feel equally unprepared by its prospect. Here I am still trying to process the events of 2009 and 2010 is already tugging at my shirt-tail and pestering me with questions: “What are we gonna do now? Where are we going? Huh? Huh?”
Somehow this scenario feels hauntingly familiar
As I was perusing a couple of my favorite blogs (which are lovely – LOVELY, I tell you…read them here and here) I came across the idea of beginning the year with one word. A mantra, of sorts. A thesis statement intended to define the days ahead. And I thought – why not?
Most days the chaos of everyday life so overwhelms me I can barely manage a coherent thought, so the prospect of having a talisman in the form of a single word sounds appealing – soothing, even. I am going to consider my 2010 word the Seinfeldian equivalent of “Serenity Now!” – my lifeline to sanity and focus. Because in the midst of all my madness I can so easily be derailed and I often neglect to train my eyes on what’s right in front of me.
So often I’ve looked behind and stared at my own turbulent wake and filled with regret over the paths not taken. It’s simple to blame what’s passed for what’s present and to let old regrets pothole the road of new possibilities. I spent the better part of my life living that way and I shut the door to possibilities more times than I can count. And year after year my one word was fear.
Until this moment near the end of 2008. As much as I wanted to let fear define the outcome, my maternal instincts forced me to focus only on hope — and that became the default word for 2009. Until she showed up. And then there was a whole new word:
Enduring the journey that brought our daughter to us made me realize that nothing is more important than the present, except maybe the future. The future is the basket that holds hope and change and healing and opportunity and chance. Looking backwards only made me keep running into walls because I could never see where I was going. Larissa opened my eyes and helped me see the value in looking straight ahead.
So, when I pondered what word I would choose to define 2010, it took me only seconds to settle.