As this past December approached, I began thinking of what my One Little Word would be for the coming year. The practice of choosing one word to use as a guide during the year has served me better for the last four years than making resolutions ever did and I looked forward to finding out what word would get my attention this year.
It didn't come to me easily and in fact, as the days and weeks went by, I wondered if I would even choose a word. I tend to overload myself with lots of really great things, but manage to let too many fall to the wayside because in my attempt to do all the great things, "overwhelm" becomes my state of existence. I looked back over my "One Little Word" posts from 2010, 2011, and 2013 (I shirked it in 2012) and found a consistent thread ... I consistently longed for "focus", I desired organization, deep relationships, and accomplishment. And ... I chose THE SAME WORD in 2011 and 2013. :/
The month went on and I kept my heart and ears open. It wasn't until January 1st that it hit me ... while I was ...
- cleaning bathrooms that had been neglected during our holiday celebrations
- vacuuming way too much dog hair and turf blackies up because I had let the vacuuming go
- sorting out the laundry room again because we tend to use it as a dumping ground
- making an office renovation plan because my workspace doesn't currently work very well
- thinking of how to expand my business because it is past time!
- imagining how to do things differently on the blog because I'm in a rut
- strategizing how to make myself better because I CAN improve
- remembering past disciplines that called for my return because I've been lazy
"Refresh" ... whispered.
Then spoke louder ... and kept bouncing around in my head while I scrubbed the tub, ringing in my ears as I measured my office space, and finally hit me between the eyes when I finally took time to sit and rest. I knew that the word "refresh" encapsulated what I need for this year. I had found my word!
A friend asked me, "What are some things that you will 'do' with your word?" It is easy to have good intentions and hard to set them into action so I made a list of things to refresh in myself, my home, friendships and family relationships, my business, and this blog. Then I sat down with my calendar and set aside blocks of time in my days and monthly reminders to make more of a chance for accomplishment. This action in itself is refreshing! I'll be sharing those lists and blogging about how they are being impacted by the word "refresh".
Then the message floating in my head was, "But you've done all that before, Tam, and look at you ... you didn't accomplish it! How will 2014 be different?" That spurred me to examine 2013 to find what improvements actually did take place. Turns out that the list I made at the beginning of 2013 has many check marks beside it and I found renewed faith in my determination. So take that, Negative-Message-Floating-In-My-Head! Will 2014 see more checkmarks?
I expect that in 2014, there will be items on my list that will remain unchecked, but just as I found progress in 2013, I expect as much or more this year. Rather than think about what used to be, I want to feel the refreshment of moving into another season and the calm that comes from a refreshed heart, mind, and environment.