A date that signifies new beginnings. Although I know that each day, actually each moment, can be the beginning of something there is a feeling that stirs inside when the calendar page shows it's the start of a new year. Actually there are usually several feelings stirring which include anxiety, hope, and pressure. Can you tell I have mixed emotions about the whole New Year concept?
I love a new beginning as much as most people. However, I think my "New Year" still begins in September... that signifies new crayons, new routines, and a crisp smell in the air. January 1st seems to be a lot more pressure. People recapping the year past, counting down the big ball drop, making sure that the party smiles keep flashing, and all the resolution making. I admit it makes me a bit anxious because I feel the pressure to be as those around me are being. Even if I'm feeling more reflective and less "party-ish". You know what I mean?
Before I sound like a total New Year Grinch let me say that I do love how the date looks....January 1, 2014.
I like knowing that for right now, right this minute, I haven't messed up the year. Kind of like those first few moments when I held my babies in my arms at the hospital. I knew at that point I hadn't made any mistakes yet!
I also like the fact that many people show a sense of hopefulness, a sense of possibility, that may not be as evident the rest of the year. I wish I could just bottle up that optimism to pull out later as the year rolls on. Again, kind of like when I held my babies for the first time. If I could have bottled that emotion and pulled it out when need be, I'd have had a secret weapon for any feelings of discouragement or negativity.
One of the biggest obstacles for me has been making, and breaking, New Year resolutions. They work for some people...I know they do. But for me? Not so much. I seem to choose the ever popular "lose weight/get healthy", "organize my life", and "write more" as my go-to resolutions. I have to say that the feelings of failure that creep in by February seem to overshadow any feeling of hopefulness I once had. So I gave up making the resolutions a few years ago and instead chose a word for the year.
Some people may say it's the same as a resolution just spun a bit differently. Or others may say that choosing a word for the year has become a gimmick...a fad. I say that it has worked for me and this action of prayerfully choosing one word to help guide me for the year has produced growth in my life. The secret for me is to take time selecting that word...and in all honesty let the word select me back.
A word in which I knew there would be much for me to learn. A word that would stretch me beyond my current self imposed limitations but not dishearten me completely. A word that God could use to help my spirit grow.
After much thought and prayer I realize that embrace will be my guiding word for 2014. Embrace in all it's forms.
Embrace what is....about myself and my life. By embracing I show loving kindness toward who I am, acceptance of myself and my life at a very deep level.
Embrace the changes that are going to come into my life. Changes such as another child leaving for college which will greatly change the dynamics in our home, and changes in my self-care that are needed in order for me to experience the joy and energy of life fully.
Embrace those around me as they are, not withholding that full embrace until they conform to my ideas or plans for them.
Embrace the gifts that God gives me every single moment of the day and not hold back because I'm afraid if I enjoy these blessings too much they will disappear.
Embrace my creativity more and judge it less.
Embrace my relationship with my husband without always thinking we could be "better".
Embrace my relationships with our children without always thinking I could be "better".
Embrace my relationships with my good friends and enjoy all that they bring to my life.
Lastly, allow myself to be embraced. Allow myself to be held, both physically and emotionally, in the way that I hold those around me.
As I look at all these statements they could start to suspiciously look like resolutions. But as I look deeper I realize none of these have a measurable goal to reach....such as 30 pounds, a clean closet, or a blog post every 3 days.
These statements are...
All about process.. not completion.
All about being... not performing.
All about growth...not failure.
These statements are just the beginning. If I knew all there was about the word embrace there would be no reason to spend a year living it. So I look forward to all the discoveries that are yet to come and I pray that I will be able to (wait for it!)EMBRACE them!
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