Happy New Year!
To me, those words always carry such hope and optimism – out with the old, in with the new; a time to develop and cultivate new (healthy) habits, make better decisions, and live a better life. We’ve all had experience with resolutions, and while I’m not a big fan of formal ones, it is tempting to make at least a mental list of the things that I want to do better, and the things I want to accomplish personally and professionally in the New Year.
During 2011 I had the good fortune to get to know – through her writing – Philippa, who blogs as FeistyBlueGecko on matters of breast cancer and life. During one of the weekly tweetchats, she mentioned that she does not make resolutions for the New Year, but she chooses 3 words, and uses those words to guide and inspire her. How difficult but amazing to distill things down to 3 words! And how incredible to have just 3 words running around in your head to guide your every move during the year. 3 words – easy to remember, easy to call upon when needed. So it got me thinking – what would my words be, and why?
My 3 words for 2012 are Resilience, Rejuvenation, and Serenity. I borrowed resilience from Philippa, but it works for me as well, and there’s no reason we can’t all share.
Resilience: a – the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress; b – an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
I can handle anything. Personally or professionally, emotionally or physically– I’ve been through some major tests and have come through them all. Not necessarily with flying colors, but I’ve always been able to make it through to the other side. I need to keep reminding myself of that, and remember to learn from past hardships. That’s how we improve and grow. Not just thinking “oh no, how much more can I take”, but rather “I’ve been through so much and made it through, and I know I can do it again”. Over the years I have improved my innate tools or have acquired new ones that enable me to bounce back from adversity, stronger than before. This is different than hard-headed stubbornness – hopefully the wisdom of age has sunk in and allowed me to realize when I just need to walk away from a situation, rather than try to plow through it. But however I decide to handle a difficult situation, I know I will be fine in the end.
Rejuvenation: a – to make young or youthful again, give new vigor to; b – to restore to an original or new state
I am taking only part of definition “b” above – to restore to a new state – it is my word after all, and I can use what definition suits me…. I had initially thought of restoration, but to me, that means going back to the original. I am not who or what I was one year, 5 years, or 10 years ago. Time and circumstances make it impossible to go back. And I don’t necessarily want to go back. Rather, rejuvenation – re-injecting life and vitality to get to a new state – that’s what I’m aiming for. How will this happen? By reinforcing my commitment to self-care and health. By eliminating or avoiding people and situations that sap my energy and strength. By concentrating on what I love to do and putting myself in situations where I can focus on just that.
Serenity: The quality or state of being serene
Serene: a – clear and free of storms or unpleasant change; b – shining bright and steady; c – marked by or suggestive of utter calm and unruffled repose or quietude
If one is truly happy and at peace with who they are, with what they are doing, and with who they are surrounded by, serenity follows. There is no way that we can control the chaos in our lives, but our response to the chaos and uncertainty can be controlled. Keep the internalization to a minimum, keep the mind and body quiet and still. It does not mean that I will not worry (and even obsess) over problems, situations, and issues, but I will try to maintain a proper perspective, and to be a calming influence on all that I encounter.
Those are my 3 words. I really liked Philippa’s 3rd word, “wonder”, but for me, it falls under serenity as well as rejuvenation – reminding myself that nature and other miracles exist everywhere, and taking the time to savor them and smile will lead to rejuvenation and serenity.
I do reserve the right to come up with more words, switch words, or develop another plan completely, but for now, this seems to be a good way to start 2012. Happy New Year, everyone!
All definitions from Merriam-Webster.