Every year, I feel excited about a fresh start with a new year. Some years I've set a lot of goals and resolutions. Sometimes I've been pretty good about keeping my resolutions and really moving towards my goals. But for many years now, I've done a quite a bit of thinking about resolutions and things I'd like to change but haven't really set very concrete resolutions or followed through. I've tried the "one word" resolutions my sister Shawni does and while I really like the simplicity of that, I think I've chosen the wrong words and/or haven't pondered on and acted on that one word very much so it hasn't been very meaningful for me.
One year I chose "Peace" and it didn't turn out to be a very peaceful year - it was actually a year full of anxiety and stress and I didn't seem to be able to create peace in my heart and mind very well. By the end of that year, I realized that I couldn't get to peace without first learning to relax.
So "Relax" was my word for the next year. But as the year went on, I didn't relax. I realized I was really terrible at relaxing. I'm way too fixated on getting things done and being sure I meet my goals to be very good at relaxing. I couldn't relax because I was always worried about something or working on something or thinking about something I might need to worry about or work on. So I didn't relax very much.
By the end of that year, I realized that before I could relax, I need to let go of a lot of things. So last year my word was sort of two words - "Let Go." And I did let go of a whole lot of things last year - I let go of a lot of expectations of myself, my kids, and my husband. I often let go of my focus on maximizing and trying so hard to make things perfect. I cut myself and everyone around me a lot more slack than before. Sometimes I got to pat myself on the back as I really let go in situations where I would usually have been very worried, opinionated, and insistant.
But I still have a long ways to go when it comes to letting go. There are always so many things to care about! And I have a hard time not being tenatious with my caring. I have ideas about so many things - I can't seem to control that. And once I have an idea about something and it seems like a really good exciting idea, I have a hard time not getting attached to that idea. It's really hard for me to sort out what to let go of and then actually go through the process of letting go. Then it's hard to really relinquish that idea or hope and not pick it up again and get attached and excited and hopeful about it all over again.
I've realized that one of the biggest things that we need to learn in this life is when to hold on and when to let go, what to hope for and what to accept will never happen, what to insist on and what to back off about, what to cherish and what to cast out.
I've also toyed with having different mantras from time to time. I have several that have helped me quite a bit (when I remember them):
- There's always enough.
- Life is long,
- It's supposed to be hard and that's OK
- It always works out in the end.
- I'm so blessed.
- Everything is working out the way it should.
- Let go and let God.
- I don't need to be in charge of this.
- Will this matter in 10 years? Tomorrow? In 10 minutes?
I'm not sure what my word will be for 2019 but I'll figure it out. I'd also like to have a mantra(s) and resolutions that fleshes out my word. I'll let you know when I figure out what it should be!