I never was much for Resolutions. Didn’t like the nature of them, or the tendency for them to push the social agenda on us to continue having unrealistic goals to pursue someone else’s “ideal” for our bodies, our lives, our energy, our pursuits. Nope. Not a “resolution” kind of gal.
However, there was a time when having a “Word of the Year” or a “theme” made a LOT OF SENSE in my life. I’d stumbled into a passionate, heart-consuming pursuit of dancing and made DANCE the word of 2012. The third time I picked a word, 2014, I selected CREATE which also really resonated all the time, and one might say has become a permanent part of my life’s posture.
The rest of the words selected along the way? Maybe they made sense, maybe they were already part of my make-up, maybe they’ve just been superficial sign posts in life that didn’t always work the way I’d hoped they would. The other theme words along the way included Focus (2013), Mastery / Color (2015), Habits (2016), Goals (2017), Practice (2018), Strengths (2019), Intentional (2020), and Present (2021). I look at those words and none of them really made a huge impact the way DANCE or CREATE did in all those years.
But then again, the world around me has intruded in ways I never could have seen coming.
Today marks 661 days since I was sent home from work at the first start of the quarantine, March 11, 2020. There was a brief stint in July 2021 when we were mandated back into the office, but then Delta surged and we were sent home again by the end of the month. I’d already gone home after only two weeks and told my boss I wasn’t returning yet.
And in these past 661 days, my world has almost exclusively consisted of “one bedroom, one studio, one dining room, one living room, one kitchen, two bathrooms, and two adults.” My Sweetie has been the primary leave-the-house human: Getting groceries, running errands, exercising by taking walks in the evening. I spent the first 17 of 21 months doing almost no movement at all: Sleep, sit at the computer, sit on the couch, sit at my crafts, rinse, repeat.
After 17 months, I finally noticed the not-so-healthy trend (can you blame me? survival in quarantine also meant zero understanding of time!) and so I got a fitness tracker and started “taking walks” in the house, working towards improved health at a nice, incremental pace.
Then Santa season came upon us and my walk-through-the-house routine was paused as I did administrative support for our home-business. I can proudly tell you that I’m pleased with how “the Santa months” went. The paperwork was all caught up on 31-Dec, the candy canes are sorted and put away, the dry cleaning has been sent out, and the house is not a disaster. In fact, we managed to keep up with the house demands regularly. It was never a complete disaster.
But overall, what’s been going on in the decade since my first theme word? While Dance was a huge part of 2010-2020, when I went on hiatus it seems that I set down dance for longer than I meant to. I’m still not sure if/when I might bring it back. But that was a great decade, so I have no regrets. I came away from it with an amazing set of experiences, memories, and some stellar close friends. It might not be part of my current life, but it fed me well for a full decade.
I went from 42-years-old when I found that dance passion to facing 2022 New Year’s at age 53. Coming into my 50s has been a time to clarify what matters to me. Less expanding to add things to my world, more contracting and concentrating and focusing on the pursuits that matter most.
It also meant shaking up my understanding of the world. I cannot just ignore the injustices in the world. I cannot “just leave politics out of things,” because honestly how we treat other humans is embedded in all of our history and all of our present (and by extension, all of our future). There’s a lot I still need to learn about what’s embedded in the assumptions in society and how I can push back against injustice, how to advocate for the under-served around me.
I’m not sure if that helps me find my “word of the year” or my “theme” but I know that I’m looking at the connections I make with individuals. So I suppose I’m looking at how I interact, what assumptions I can dismantle and fix in my own world views, how I can actively try to improve the world.
And as I do so, I’ll be spinning yarn, weaving, memorizing weaving knowledge that’s been entrusted to me from my indigenous friends in Peru, and trying my best to make human connections that improve the world.
Last year I stared down the barrel of 2021 and thought all I could do is be PRESENT.
I suppose this year I know what I want to do is make CONNECTIONS with people, to let them know that they matter to me.
You matter. My life is better because you are in it. 💖