Word of the Year(s)

Each new year brings new goals and new resolutions. Promises made to yourself of this year being the year you stick to a weight loss plan or pay off all your debt. Determination to read a new book each and every month, to wake up before the sun (or with the sun - depending on the time of year) and sip coffee while spending time in silence.

I've made so many resolutions and never kept them. It's easy to start a new year out with promise, but it's harder to stick to those promises. In 2015, I stopped making resolutions, and I started assigning a word to the year.

My word for 2015 was
We were deep into foster care, and we were living in uncertainty. Uncertainty and I have never really gotten along, and I wanted to run. I chose to stay. To me, abide meant to sit and wait. Abide called me to breath deeply and to be patient. Abide reminded me to stay as present as I could and to enjoy what our life looked like then.

So I did just that. I sat. I studied. I played with littles. I welcomed their biological mother into our home. I attended court dates and meetings. I offered help. When August 2015 came, I started to look for a new job. I had once thought that abide meant I needed to stay where I was - in my house and in my job and in that life - for the whole year. But what abide meant (for me) was that I needed to go where I was led and not hold tightly to what I thought my life needed to be.

It all happened so quickly - interviewing for a job and visiting Oregon. Then accepting the job and moving, all while saying goodbye to the littles.

My word for 2016 was
In the beginning of the year, I was raw and split wide open from the loss of the littles and also the gain of a new life in Oregon. I left friends and relationships in Oklahoma uncertain of what friendship and life would be like in Oregon. I said yes to offers of dinner at strangers turned into friends houses.

I cried so many tears. I sweated so much. I realized that I couldn't just power through any sort of loss. I relearned the power that food has over me, and I opened my hands and my heart. I fought through the desire to have everything picture perfect at all times. I focused on what I could - the changes I could make and the changes I could not. I stepped out into love - offering my support to friends who were adopting. 

I became the friend I had during some of the lonely times of fostering and the friend I had always wanted to have. I put away my blog and stuck to Instagram. I stopped tweeting and started living. I listened to countless books on tape and considered my life story (so far) and how I wanted the next year to look.

I said yes to trips with friends and trips alone. I said yes to cooking. I said yes to so many things, and I realized how much life better is when you say yes instead of no.

2016 led me to deeper relationships and community. Vulnerability saw me through marriage difficulties and provided me friends who are family. Vulnerability welcomed me into a place of being more known by others and of knowing myself more.

My word for 2017 is
There is so much of the world to see. There is so much life to be lived. I won't be able to experience it all or see it all in one year, but I want to start the process of learning about the world, it's places and it's people. I want to be open to the lessons that are out thre.

Discovering is not just about finding new places; discovery happens when you revisit places you've known before and forgotten. Discovery happens when you happen upon places you know well but with an openness of learning something else.

Discovery happens in the kitchen as I learn new recipes. It happens as I drink more water and feel the change in how I see and feel and move. Discovery happens in the gym as I run a faster mile or further on the elliptical than I have before. Discovery happens when I increase my weights and watch as new muscles take shape.

Discovery happens as I grow closer with friends and family. Discovery happens as my husband and I create more memories and come up with new goals for this year and years to come. Discovery happens as I learn more about myself and who I want to be.

I'm not sure where discovery will lead me in 2017, but I am excited to find out.


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