I’ve been hesitant to hit ‘publish’ on this one. It’s very personal, and it makes me feel accountable – I actually have to start doing this stuff now. Here we go…
Inspired by Megs, who was inspired by Chris Brogan, I’m choosing three words to guide me toward awesomeness in 2015. Three words is such a nice goal – one big word is so much pressure, and more than three would be overwhelming. After some brainstorming and wordclouding and journaling, I’ve decided on my words and what they mean for this year. Turns out I have quite a bit more to say than I thought I would.
This was one of the first words I wrote down, and it first came to me when I thought about how I want to be more physically active (plus, it has been rattling around my head since I read Carry On, Warrior – have you read it? you should). But it embodies much more, and seems like a perfect word to describe my intentions for my body this year. ‘Warrior’ might seem excessive for someone who just wants to be in slightly better shape, but it really is so hard for me to prioritize physical health – I am going to have to fight hard against all my natural instincts to crawl onto the nearest soft surface and watch tv in a ball shape.
I’m going to drink more water (‘water’ was actually the very first word I wrote down while brainstorming). I’m going to move more. Eat good fuel for my body – fresh, crunchy, green fuel. Stretch. Sweat. Choose to make my body active in order to quiet my mind. Stand and walk more instead of sitting all day. Brush my teeth after every meal. Use my blender, clean-up be damned. I want to feel strong again, and be a good example for my daughter.
Here’s where the warrior part comes in. Every time my couch-seeking voice pipes up that I’m too tired, or 15 minutes of yoga just sounds like too much, or washing veggies is too much hassle so I’ll just have chips, or my tennis shoes are upstairs so just forget the whole thing (all thoughts I have had, you guys), I will channel my inner warrior and she will not have any. of. that. bullshit. She will be my drill sergeant and my trainer and my life coach. She’s the one who pushed a 9.5 pound human out of a tiny hole, after all. So some downward dog and a few almonds while watching Parks & Rec shouldn’t be too much to ask, should it?
This one has two meanings, which maybe is cheating but they complement each other so well that I’m going with it.
The first has to do with my physical space. My home, my office, my car – I have a tendency to create something of a nest in every space I inhabit. Clutter spreads in my spaces like Hexxus in Fern Gully – feeding on itself until every surface is covered in stuff. Back in my single days, my bed was pretty much a storage area with a Jenn-sized sleeping space in the middle. Clutter feels like my natural state, and it’s tied very closely to my anxiety. There’s a fascinating psychology to clutter that I won’t get into here – suffice it to say it’s both comforting and maddening to have all the stuff just out all the time. That’s why it’s such a hard habit to break.
But I know I want to break it, because when I took an hour last week to clean just one bathroom, taking everything off the countertop except what I use often and relegating everything else to drawers, it felt SO GOOD. And it has stayed that way so far (pausing here to high five myself). My mornings already feel less crazy because I don’t have to look at a cluttered mess of a countertop to find the few things I actually need, and I don’t have to worry that Evie will pull something horrible off the counter.
So this year, bit by bit, I want to create and cultivate clean, clutter-free, simple, healthy space. Simplify and minimize. Make tidying up a habit, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. Purge and donate the stuff that I’m holding onto for no good reason other than it’s my stuff. Be ruthless with clutter. FOLD THE DAMN LAUNDRY WHEN IT COMES OUT OF THE DRYER. I may need to borrow my warrior voice for this one.
The second meaning to this word has to do with creating and holding emotional space. I’m still getting my head around this concept but it has been a huge help to me over the past year.
Holding space means letting myself feel the way I feel without judgment; identifying my feelings, acknowledging them, and either letting them go or using them for good. Somehow this feels closely tied to maintaining a clear physical space, so in my head this all fits together in one big zen package. I think this is the connection between the two – when my house is clean, I feel more relaxed, calm, and able to make good decisions. Holding space is sort of a way to clear my emotional clutter, too. If this is all sounding a little crunchy, don’t worry, I’m as freaked out as you are by what’s coming out of my fingers.
This one is short and sweet, but I will need to nail Warrior and Space first in order to tackle it. I want to get off my ass and make things every once in a while. I want to shoot, write, sew, journal, crochet, paint, decorate, cook. I want to make my family a nice dinner, make Evie that sensory activity I saw on Pinterest.
My inner warrior will have to kick-start my motivation. And I will need space in which to create. I can’t even fathom making Evie a tub of cloud dough when I know that first I need to clean the entire living room; same with cooking when my kitchen is a mess. Keeping my space clean and clutter-free will give me the freedom to jump in and do and make without having to think too much about it.
That said, I don’t want Make to be a chore, or just another thing on my list. It’s just something I can turn to when I find myself with a rare bit of free time. I’m not going to feel guilty if I don’t do something creative every day, or even every week (although I would like to go back to journaling at least weekly).
So there you have it – my three words for 2015. I will try and check in here periodically about my progress.