2015 Your Word is: Cry

standard February 9, 2015 Leave a response

January slipped by in a haze of carefully crafted headlines, subheaders, body copy, and million little or big edits to those same carefully crafted words.

I wrote little else last month. Advertising is fun, but it’s definitely eating up huge chunks of my days and even bigger chunks of my head space.

Instead of wandering around my days imagining smart, insightful blog posts or pondering deep thoughts about worldly issues, heh, instead I wander around noticing all the banners and headlines around me.

Some impress me. Others, not so much.

And so, a whole month slipped by without me really giving any thought to what my word of the year should be.

I thought for a bit that I’d just skip that this year. I fell flat last year. I haven’t embraced a thing. Instead, I think I spent a large part of the year doing the exact opposite. I feel like I’ve been fighting my way through my days, through the choices I’ve had to make, though the situations thrust upon me.

And I’m tired. Really, really tired of fighting.

Exactly the same way I was last year, only more so.

I sat down last week, in the middle of a tiny lull, and pulled out my Leonie Dawson workbook. It’s hoakie, and pretty, and cheesy, and everything I love. The goal of the book is to help you close out the previous year and prepare for the following one. The business aspects don’t 100% apply to me because I don’t have a product to sell, other than my words and my expertise, but the personal life stuff? It’s spot on.

I didn’t over think it. I didn’t analyze my answers before committing them to paper. I let myself be vulnerable and honest, secure in the knowledge that no one would ever read what I wrote.

And when the workbook asked me what I wanted to open myself to in 2015, even without realizing it, I wrote

“I want to allow myself to feel all my feels.”

I am the queen of masking my feelings, of denying them, of walling them up, burying them deep, and turning my back on them before they can cause a chink in my armor.

As one friend has recently pointed out. I have mastered the art of grinning and bearing.

I am strong. I endure. I get on with my life.

Feelings just get in the way of that.

I think part of the reason I’m so tired, so drained, is that I’m losing the battle with the feelings. There are just too many. Too many demanding to be felt.

I think it might be time to start taking down the wall, time to acknowledge the feelings behind it.

I cannot think of anything more terrifying than that. I worry that the ocean of tears that lies inside me will drown me if I let it. I worry that all those denied feels will each extract their pound of flesh as they make themselves felt.

And yet, I’m more worried about what will happen if I keep denying myself the luxury of wallowing in my hard earned emotions.

In the past I’ve strongly adhered to the notion that it simply takes less energy to not fall apart than to fall apart and then have to rebuild yourself.

But in the past I didn’t have the support I have today.

I have a husband who keeps proving to me over and over that he’s there to help me. That he wants to help.

I have amazing friends who not only watch me cry without judging, but who have come to my rescue when I’ve been at my lowest, feeding me exactly what I need to feel strong enough, supported enough to be vulnerable.

I have family who is always there, loving me for who I am, proud of who I have become, silently and not so silently supporting me in every way, and reading between the lines of what I write to see what I really need.

In the past I always worried I’d have to rebuild on my own, and I always knew I wouldn’t have the strength required to do it.

Today I know I’m not alone. I know I’ll have help.

So, my word for 2015 will be Cry. Which I know sounds really sad, but is really a strength. I will feel the feels. I will embrace the emotions. I will let myself be vulnerable.

It won’t be easy, and it sure won’t be pretty. And I know that I’ll be scared to let it happen. But I think it’s necessary. Because maybe the reason I failed at embracing everything last year is because you can’t embrace what hasn’t been felt , what hasn’t been named.

But scared is just another emotion to embrace, right?

Embrace: My one word for 2014

standard January 2, 2014 6 responses

Every Tuesday morning I hike with a friend at a well known nearby trail. It takes us about an hour to hustle around the 3.3 mile loop. We chat about everything under the sun, exercising our bodies and exorcising our petty annoyances at our worlds. At the end we’re sweaty, happy, and feeling ready to face another week.

During one of these walks my friend mentioned that 2014 was going to be the year she gets fit and thin, and 2015 would be the year when she’d fix whatever hadn’t been “fixed” with the help of some plastic surgery.

Now, I’m not averse to plastic surgery. Heck, my father-in-law is a plastic surgeon and I’ve seen first hand how it can truly be a wonderful thing.

But the whole plan, the two year process, just the mere thought of all that time, all that effort, exhausted me. Not the actual effort, the working out, the eating better, etc, just the sheer amount of time that would have to be spent self-analyzing, self-critiquing…. bah. Exhausting.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent my whole life seeking out my flaws, physical and behavioral. I’m over it.

So I told her I was skipping straight to the 2016 portion of the plan. The part where we shrug and say “oh well, what you see is what you get” and get on with the business of living our lives.

I’m not going to stop eating as well as I can, or working out as often as I can. But I’m going to stop berating myself for every little perceived failure.

Because that’s what they are, perceived failures. Who sets that bar we all seem to measure ourselves against? Do we? Does society? And why do we allow ourselves to move that bar whenever we feel like it?

Madness I tell you. Or at least it leads to it. And I’m done with that for now.

2014, your word is Embrace. 

This year I vow to embrace who I am. 
All my flaws.
All my shortcomings.
All my failures.
All my successes.
All my quirks.
My looks.
My sense of humor.
My habits, both good and bad.

And it’s going to extend to beyond my personal sphere.

This year I vow to embrace what happens to me. 
The highs.
The lows.
The in-betweens.
The surprises.
The plans.
The changes in plans.
The challenges along the way.
The setbacks.
The opportunities.

I tell a lot of my friends that life flows along like a river. You can spend a lot of effort and time fighting the current, trying to force your way up stream or even force the river to change direction. Or you can relax and let the river flow, see where it takes you, open yourself to the uncontrolled adventure.

I’m convinced that the destination is the same. The river drops you off where it wants. But if you change the way you approach the journey, you’re the one who’s changed upon arrival.

I’m tired of fighting the river. I want to embrace the journey.

Last year my word was Brave and it served me well as I faced down many a personal demon and triumphed all the way!