The other day, I read a cool blog post about New Year’s resolutions. The author’s suggestion was to choose a word – just one single word – around which to build your hopes for the coming year.
Being a word girl, the idea resonated with me right away. In the past, New Year’s resolutions and I tended to have a bit of a love-hate relationship; we were “frenemies.” The structure-seeking, slightly-OCD-esque side of me liked the idea of making lists – long and detailed lists – of what I needed to improve upon to be, well, you know…perfect. Because that’s the idea, right?
Actually, I couldn’t have been more off track. Not only could I never fulfill (or even remember!) my long, nit-picky list of self-perceived, required corrections, but I felt like a total failure when I fell short.
We will fall short, you and I. This will not be a perfect year. I’m not trying to be negative here – quite the contrary. For I’ve come to realize that our own self perceptions of “perfect” and even “improvements” are merely mirages. They are not only unattainable, but they are often self deprecating and even quite boring. The challenge – and the adventure – comes out of going out on a limb and falling on your face; it comes from not always succeeding like we initially intended, but learning and growing – and in the process becoming more fulfilled, interesting individuals.
This year, my resolutions are about perspective; they are all about the big picture. Which is why I’ve selected the word “Enrich” as my theme for 2014.
I like “Enrich” for its positive connotations and for its flexibility. Upon first glance, it might imply an accumulation of wealth; you can just imagine it being used in the marketing tagline for a financial advisor service. Well, we all wish for prosperity for ourselves and for others – that’s a given. But to enrich your life is so very much more than stocks and bonds, or the balance in your bank account.
One of the first things that springs to my mind is relationships. How can I enrich them? To me, it means finding new ways to connect with my family. Trying new activities with my kids, reading the same books they do – just so we have something to talk about (speaking of which, I am waaaay behind Elissa on the Harry Potter series) or just taking the time to stretch my imagination to understand what they like to daydream about.
Then there are all those cool, interesting people I haven’t even met yet – virtually or otherwise. I want to enrich my writing through building new connections in the blogging community; one way I plan to do this is my giving more of my time to reading others’ work and offering feedback and comments. And what about that quiet, lonely person in my community that I’ve noticed seems so down? I bet she has a story…and she could probably really use a friend – even if it’s just giving an hour to share a cup of coffee.
Just like we can “enrich” our diets by vowing to include more nutrient-packed veggies, there are so many other applications that will make this year fuller, healthier and more interesting. What pieces of your life will you enrich in 2014?