Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year: Thrive

Well, hello there, 2013. I must confess that 2012 was a year that we're not sad to see go. It was full, true, but not always the best kind of good kind of full. All that to say, we're happy that you're here. I know it's only the change of a day, switching of a calendar and changing the number we write in our dates but somehow, your arrival brings with it a newness that inspires hope. Your arrival brings with it a new beginning. No pressure.

I've never really been a big fan of setting a bunch of new year's resolutions. Perhaps it's years of watching people set them and fail, landing in a pool of disappointment and failure. In the spirit of looking forward and creating change, I do, however, like to set goals and evaluate directions.

Over the last several years, I've watched many bloggers come up with a defining word or concept that they want to define the coming year with. Words like fearless, rhythms, rise, explore, engage...words that inspire something, that reflect the values of the one owning it and that encompass a number of smaller, life-giving goals.

I thought about a lot of words last year but nothing truly captured the spirit of what I was hoping for in 2012. Perhaps it was a fear of truly evaluating where I was at. Perhaps, already being in a year of firsts, transitions and change (newly married, newly 'step-momed', newly sharing a house, so much new and so much adjustment), the idea of defining it was just too much, too daunting. And, perhaps, that is part of why 2012 brought what it did.

2012 could be defined, if I'm honest, by a lack of control and a lack of healthy boundaries. By sacrifice, both willing and demanded. By a lack of rhythm, routine and intentionality. By not enough time, space, energy, health, hope, faith, relationship or financial freedom. Not enough me to go around. By reacting to circumstances. By feeling like life is being done to us, instead of being participated in by us. By surviving, not exactly thriving. And, through it all, by being together. In it all, I'm thankful for my wonderful husband, with whom I still laughed, loved, and took one step after another.

With the exception of the joys of my man, 2013 cannot be defined the same way as 2012. I'm tired, too tired, to carry on that way. Some of it, I know, is my attitude. In changing my perspective, some of the things that have sucked the life and energy from me can be robbed of their power. Some of it will be discerning what I can control and what I cannot and making small changes to improve the areas I can control. Some of it will remain, will always remain, out of my control and I need to be okay with that. Some of it will have to be looking at what we, as a couple, can improve...small, manageable changes or bigger changes requiring some battle and work. All of it will require a certain level of courage, ownership, perspective and "thick-skinnedness" (if that's even a word). It will require all the help I can get.

It will be a process.

Small steps leading to bigger steps.

Oh, but I'm not good at that. I'm a fixer and I'm impatient. I want it done now. I want tomorrow to be a better day. An ALL better day. Or better yet, today. I want answers, solutions and plans. I want schedules and organized, intentional goals and directions. Wouldn't it be nice if life were like that?

At the end of the day, this year, I want to learn to thrive. I want to find the will, ability and energy to thrive. I want to find freedom from some of the shackles I feel have kept me from thriving. I want to take steps to thrive.

In my home.

In my marriage.

In my step-parenting.

In my relationships.

In my hobbies.

In my work.

In my faith.

In my own skin.

And perhaps, once I can find a way to thrive, I can help others to thrive as well. Perhaps, in taking care of myself, I can be better fit to take care of those entrusted to my sphere of influence and they, too, can thrive. 

And so I welcome you, 2013. I name you the year to thrive.

*for a good description of the one-word concept, check out this post. 

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