Happy New Year, y’all! 2017 already, hey? Feels like 2016 played peek-a-boo and just never came back (where did it go!?) Now this new year, I’ve closed my eyes on resolutions once again, and I’ve taken to the one-word-challenge to keep me in check of my goal to grow, to love, and to live fully.
Let’s recall what I had planned to do last year – for the leap year. To save you the trouble of reading two posts in one night, ladies and gents, I planned to leap. I know, I’m so original, ask me when my book is coming out.
This is what I hoped to do in a nutshell:
Well, let me explain what the One Word 365 is supposed to mean for anybody participating. It means we’re letting go of resolutions and the pressure of it all. Basically, we don’t have to feel like crap for not sticking to them to the end of the year. We assign one word for our year that helps redirect us daily. But to be honest, the word leap put a lot of pressure on me even though I went into the year thinking it would do the exact opposite. Whenever I wanted to make a decision about travels, or relationships, I was like, “Well I mean I have to do it, I promised myself I would take chances this year.” But, I would forget that some things aren’t meant to be blindly dived into.
You can dive in a pool, an ocean, a pile of leaves, or even a Guinness-world-record-breaking bowl of milk, if you really wanted to. But, you can’t dive into concrete, right… or ice in that German guy’s defence? Case closed; I shouldn’t just do everything.
But, I’d forget that sometimes. I’d forget that some of my decisions may hurt me, or even the people around me. I feel like a lot of this leaping around was caused by FOMO (fear of missing out). Like, oh my gosh if I don’t date will I not live the college life the way it’s meant to be lived? Or if I don’t go to France, will I regret it because it will only get more dangerous? So, my decisions were based on making sure I did the most in one lifetime. But, whoa! I learned this year that I need to take it eaaaasy. I figure I’d be better off stepping back and reevaluating my priorities and intentions.
So after I had prayed about a word, I asked the people around me what they thought I should work on this year. And the closest person to me (ironically he was also sitting right beside me at the time I asked the question), is my brother. He suggested it be “walk”, because apparently, “Amanda, you never just chill.”
Not the easiest piece of criticism to accept lightly, but… I like it.
So, let’s pace this year
You know that feeling, when you’re at a subway station waiting for your ride home (or to get to your next station rather, because let’s face it you’re using the TTC and you ain’t getting home anytime soon). You look up and there’s signs everywhere – some suggesting you drop out of school and go travel. Others branding their universities like, “This is your time.” And, others along the lines of…
It’s like marketers know… in the subway, underneath the ground, is where everybody contemplates life. And, it’s where everything feels so fast-paced. So, they want to use the opportunity to make you think about your life; where it’s going, why it is the way it is, and don’t even get me started about the inclination to question what is happening in the life of every stranger passing by.
So, my vow is to pace myself this year and to avoid being swept up in the fear of missing out, or in the paths I’m “supposed” to be pursuing to be happy. Because ultimately I believe there’s a God who knows what is best for me and I have faith He will come through in His perfect timing. There really is no need for me to leap – I can take comfort in His plans for me. And, learning to say “no” will be my leap this time around.
I’m not a fan of feeling like I have to do a million things to be in control of my life, anymore. Pacing myself will help me in the long run too, when I have a family of my own and when I need to know the limits of my kids, or my husband. That way I don’t assume everybody has the same capacities. And, the reason I chose pace instead of a words like calm or peace, is because the word gives me the right to move according to where I am in life. If I feel the need to accelerate at a point in time, I won’t feel guilty. But most importantly, if I feel the need to listen to my body, I won’t feel guilty then too.
Leaping sure taught me a lot about myself and my priorities, but I’m hoping I learn more through pacing myself. And, maybe that way I won’t be sick in bed for New Years next time around…
I encourage y’all to attach to your year one word you can live by, and maybe seek advice from the people who love you most. They know what you need more than you do, sometimes.