I swore I wasn’t going to do this.
I was not going to write an end of the year wrap-up post, or a list of my favorite books, or favorite moments of the year. I was not going to make any New Year’s resolutions (aside from the perennial one I make to stop swearing) or post any goals related to weight, writing, water consumption, or anything else. I find the whole concept – much like all of January – just…ugh.
But I have done the word of the year thing for the last few and I definitely liked it. I suppose I didn’t do much with my 2015 word, Progress – at least not here on the blog – so I figured picking a word for 2016 was probably a wasted effort. But it’s not.
Just because I didn’t actively or regularly report on my word doesn’t mean I did not make Progress in many ways throughout the year. And as I recall, I chose Progress as a theme for me, the Hub, and Zilla – whether they liked it or not. In many ways we have all made significant progress in the last year. I’m calling all of that success.
But I’m kind of done with 2015 so let’s move forward, shall we?
Despite my original protestations about this sort of thing, I’ve decided to go ahead and follow Thoreau’s advice to be comfortable with changing my mind. Admitting and accepting a change in opinion or belief is a sign of growth and, well, progress.
“Speak what you think today in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today.”
All that said, I’m doing the over-achiever thing and opting to carry a heavier load by choosing two words for 2016 – Calm and Control.
Calm is a simple choice for me. You see, calm is something I very much am not. I have developed an annoying little anxiety thing over the last few years. I am certain that it is a by-product of my husband’s job loss in June of 2012 and all the things that have happened since as a result of that event. OK, in truth I’ve never been what anyone would call a calm human being, but I find myself even less so in the last several years for so many reasons. I know I need to find a better sense of inner and outer calm and I suppose I owe my Husband a bit of thanks for pointing it out to me several weeks ago. It’s OK; I needed to hear it out loud. So Calm is my primary word for the year.
But let’s talk about Control. Control is such a dangerous word, isn’t it? I’ve been accused of being a “control freak” more than once in my life. I’ve come to accept that this is pretty much true, even if not very complimentary. The word control has so much negative connotation associated with it but I’m taking it on as my secondary word anyway. Why? Because I know that in order for me to actually be calm, I need to feel that I have control over my life, my decisions, my emotions, and my reactions. If I can gain control, I can find that much-needed calm.
But being in control of all these things is an unrealistic endeavor at best. I realize that. And I accept that there are circumstances in life that are simply beyond my control. I can not control events or other people or the weather. Hell, I can’t even control my cats. However, I can take control of how I react to the world around me and that is how I am going to approach the whole concept of Calm and In Control for the year ahead.
Yup, it’s a challenge. A big one. I’m equal to the task, though, and it’s about time I started to actually believe that. To draw upon last year’s word, I am a work in progress; there is much I still need to do to reach the place and the person I want to be. There is much all three of us can do to continue to work toward our family goals. But I also secretly think there’s some uncomplimentary truth to the line “if mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” When I step back and look around me at my family and even my pets, I realize that my mood and demeanor have great power to affect the overall balance of things in this home. So that’s where I’m operating from – the realization that this calm starts with me.
Wish me luck.
Also joining Kat Bouska’s link-up this week which I haven’t done in forever!
Kat’s prompts this week also included an option to talk about a word of the year.