There is a single file marching through my Facebook feed — words, one by one, setting intentions for the year by friends and acquaintances and people I know only by name and update.
These Words of the Year many people I see on my screen have chosen fills up more space than resolutions for the next twelve months or recollections of the past. Just one word per person to call out for themselves and to those on the sidelines what they want to do, who they want to be, what they want as a guide going forward.
All of that — a tall order — one word at a time.
Resolutions work for some people, but they are tough for me. Time slips away, projects and paperwork pile up, clients call, kids cry, I fall in bed exhausted or let my mind loose in a long string of reality shows. Then, the guilt. The guilt trumps all those intentions for self-care and being the better me. The guilt cranks up and keeps me up so late that I fear the light coming in under the curtains and all it means I have not yet done when another day arrives.
This year, I will pass on that parade.
Instead, I am choosing one word. The dreams and goals and hopes, then strategies and to-do lists will follow. The one word I will not invite in to my 2015 is guilt.
The words I've seen have stepped high and proud the last few days:
CREATE TENACITY ENDEAVOR ACCEPT WHOLENESS EMBRACE ALIVE ACCEPT and SPARKLE. Oh, yes, sparkle. In all caps.
But my word, the one that would not leave me, after thinking and thinking and mulling some more, after asking my family about their words, even after trying to make other, prettier words fit is this:
My word is ACTION. (Also all caps.) And here is why:
I am thinker. An excellent thinker. Most of my work, the stuff that pays those bills and brings in the clients is all about strategy, and one the gifts I am most grateful for is thinking things through clearly with open eyes and a full heart for what I do and who I serve.
But I struggle with doing. Putting that strategy into action is a challenge, a mountain I march up every day. And the person I back down first from doing things for is — you guessed it, because you may relate — myself.
The crazy part of this struggle to do is that I have been my best self, I AM my best self when I spring into action. I am great in a crisis because I am on the phone, on a plane, packing a bag or care basket while other people around me are still processing the situation. I found myself when I was brave enough to walk away from a marriage, a big dream job, safe choices, bad moments, toxic people who I loved like crazy. When I do act, I get to be the real me, I do some things I am really proud of, I serve myself, I find that women who gets otherwise avalanched by over-thinking and resolve and guilt.
I have a list in my head of things I want to do. I've dreamed up some strategies I want to make a reality this year. All of them will take ticking off little boxes, day by day.
It won't be easy. I don't need it to be. It won't be pretty. That's OK this time. But things will happen because I am choosing to make them, to do them. Because I am beginning by choosing this word.
Baton up, flag waved. ACTION is my word for 2015.
What is your word, SMN friends and citizens?