What is a word of the year, you ask? Each year, I have my own special tradition of prayerfully and thoughtfully choosing a one-word theme for the upcoming year. It helps me kind of catch a "vision" of sorts as to what I want my goals to be, what I am hoping to achieve over the next year. This will be my fourth year, and I am eager and excited to see how it unfolds.
I really lucked out this year. The last couple years I have deliberated for months about which word to choose. But for some reason, this year, my word seemed to choose me. It just kind of popped into my head one day last month while I was busy with the kids. I grabbed a post-it note and wrote it down, and then set it in my M.O.M. cubby. Each week I did my weekly review, I saw it there and mulled it over some more in my head. By the time January first came around this year, I had my word and my goals all ready to go. And man alive it is a good one. I am SO darn excited about it!
My word of the year for 2011 is..........
I love it. Just thinking about it makes me feel such a sense of peace and calm. It's such a comforting word. Maybe that's why I like it so much....it came to me at the craziest time of my life and I was in need of some major comfort.
EMBRACE: 1. to take of receive gladly or eagerly; to accept willingly
2. to avail* oneself of: to embrace an opportunity
3. to include or contain
4. to join in an embrace; to take or clasp in the arms; hug
*avail: 1. to be of use or value to; profit; advantage
2. to be of use; have force or efficacy; serve; help
EMBRACE felt so fitting for me this year because I have spent the last six months or so (since Jonah was born....maybe longer) trying to figure out what could stay in my life and what I needed to eliminate. I have been hanging on by a thread at times and really working hard to keep my sanity, telling myself that it's "just a phase" (thank you, Linda Eyre) and that it would pass quicker than I realized in the thick of it. I really focused hard on keeping the "harmony" (if you don't know what I'm talking about, see here or here or even right here) in my life by truly soaking in and relishing every possible moment. And I'm really glad I did. Those special, quiet, even spiritual newborn moments are truly so fleeting. They pass by so quickly and they never come back. I am so glad I was organized, settled, and really content to just soak it all in. All of it has been special. Special to have yet another piece of heaven on earth, Jonah, who is now a permanent part of our growing family. Special to get to know him as an individual, his own tiny little person hand-picked for me straight from my Heavenly Father. Special to grow that much closer to my husband and as a family as we adjust and work together as a team. And something special I hadn't really experienced before to the degree I have this time is watching my two big brother boys delve right into their new role with joy and gusto. It has been such a precious, sweet thing to watch unfold before my eyes. Every mother's dream.
Jonah being born was only one of so many changes we have gone through the last few months, and we are still experiencing that to some degree (more changes in the works....big ones! I will share as soon as they are all figured out), but for the most part, now we are back to everyday busy instead of hyperdrive, and that right now to me is bliss.
There are so many opportunities we have been offered recently (in the past year). Many we have been able to jump right into and take off. Others that are just as important, have been slower starting, but I am excited to finally be at a point where my focus can really lie in those places, as well as right here in the thick of raising our family.
So this year, I am going to EMBRACE those things.
Things like Power of Moms. I have so many ideas that I really haven't had the time to move forward on. I am not a very practiced or good writer (which I am trying to work on now...can you tell?), and I am thinking I need to set myself some deadlines. When I don't have something that has to be done at a certain time (most of the time in the near future) than that thing is usually the first to go when the going starts to get a little rough. I am hoping that between working on my writing and setting up some deadlines that I can really take the task I have been given the opportunity to perform on that I can give my roles over at Power of Moms the full attention and potential they really deserve. And by golly am I excited about it.
I am going to EMBRACE my role here at home. I had a little lightbulb moment recently (well, actually a few) that made me realize that I have been feeling guilty of all things, about having the privilege and opportunity and responsibility to stay at home full-time and care for our children and our home. I have a few good guesses why this has been happening so much over the years, but I won't go into it now (but maybe that's something to write about in the future). I can only say that I am really working on tossing the guilt and EMBRACING my role (which I love so, so much) as a stay-at-home-mom (and wife).
I am going to EMBRACE the bad with the good. I am so excited about paying off our student loans. But I'm not so excited about watching ads and sales on anything from groceries to clothes to dates. I am SO NOT a coupon-clipper. I think there are so many more valuable things to do with my time. So that in and of itself is going to be a tough one to embrace.....we'll see how I do. Is it bad if I already kinda have my doubts?
I am going to EMBRACE more adventure in our lives. We have been working so hard to just stay in our home that we really haven't had the time, ability, or energy left a lot of the time, to just breathe. to just enjoy life and all that's in it. To really give ourselves permission to branch out and be the individuals we are (Wes and I) as people and not just parents. I always was so proud of my parents for pursuing other interests and hobbies in addition to parenting. I really learned a lot about "taking care of the person inside the mom" this year and it's changed my life and helped me find my old (but improved) self that I knew was still in there, somewhere. (Welcome back, old self. I really missed you.)
I am going to EMBRACE an earlier bedtime. That is one I really struggle with. I could be so much more productive if I would just surrender and go to bed. And my husband would sure as heck be happy about it also (he can't sleep without me....cute, except when one needs a LOT more sleep than the other). I have a feeling that I will be waking up VERY early if I really go to bed early consistently, but maybe that's not such a bad thing. We'll cross our fingers and see if noise machines can keep my early bird, Micah, in bed once he hears me up and about.
I could probably ramble on about goals and EMBRACING things in my own life till the cows come home. But for now, I will leave it at that few and challenge you to try having your own word of the year. You will be amazed at what you learn and experience. Good luck!
Now please excuse me while I EMBRACE my patient husband who is pleased as punch at the thought of me going to bed early to watch a movie with him. :)