It’s New Year’s Eve as I write this, a time when my mind naturally turns to looking back over the last year and forward to the next one. Even though I gave up on New Year’s resolutions a number of years ago, there is still something about this time of year that encourages reflection on changes that I’d like to see in my life.
As I look back on 2012, I see yet another year of much change—both external and internal. While this change in 2012 has at times been challenging and has caused me to make some fairly radical changes to where I thought I was headed, overall the year has been one of positive changes. This is especially true compared the amount of difficulty and heartbreak that 2010 and 2011 brought with them. It’s encouraging to note that I seem to have turned the corner from the process of being completely melted down to the start of the process of being rebuilt into something new in this journey through the chrysalis.
Of course, this journey still isn’t over. There is much about where I’m headed that I still cannot see. I still don’t know exactly what I am being rebuilt to be. But things are going well enough and I’m seeing enough inner growth that I am a bit more content than usual to wait in the not knowing.
The biggest difference I am noting this year is in my reaction to looking ahead to 2013. Even though I don’t make New Year’s resolutions anymore, I am still usually very aware of all the things I really need to change or improve about my life, and it’s not unusual for me to decide to pay more attention to one or more of these areas. I can usually come up with a long list of things that I know I really “should” be doing differently.
This year, even though I am aware there are ways that I could improve my life (eating better, getting more exercise, etc.), I have no interest at all in paying any attention to these things. I find myself considering the habits that are already built into my life through my morning pages, creative time, blog post writing, and gratitude journaling, and I feel really good about the foundation that I’ve built. These practices are producing good fruit in my life, and I have no desire to pile more on to this established list.
Instead, I’ve considered choosing a word (or set of words) for 2013 to be focus points for the year. I struggle with doing this, though, because my future feels so undefined at this point. I have no idea if the words I would choose today would have any relevance for me by the end of the year. And yet, I like this idea of having loose focus points to keep me pointing in the right direction for continued growth.
So the compromise decision I’ve chosen is that I will commit to always having at least one focus word throughout the coming year to be held loosely as a general way of staying on track. However, the actual words (and even the number of words) that I’m focusing on at any given time is open to change as I move through 2013.
I am choosing to start the year with a focus on kindness, simplicity, and community because all of those things seem to be at the growing edge of where I am right now. Each one is an area where I am sensing a need for focus and growth to become the kind of person that I want to be. I’m learning new ways to authentically live into those ways of being that maintain integrity with who I am as a person.
However you choose to mark the end of 2012 and the start of 2013, I hope that you find meaning in your chosen practice. And I wish you all a very blessed 2013. May it be filled with a rich fullness of life, with meaningful moments, with deep relationships, and with dreams coming to fruition. Happy New Year!
A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.