I’ve recently been reading a lot about the “word of the year” concept, and decided I’d like to try it. As I understand it, you pick a word that will function as a sort of guide for the year—an inspiration in all areas of your life. I read about Laure’s word, cultivate, and Merideth’s, focus. I visited Christine Kane’s blog and read some of the posts about words people chose for 2009 and how they were affected by them. Then I assembled a little group of words to choose from:
Which one did I choose? None of them. The word I chose dropped into my mind this morning as I was sectioning my grapefruit: Open. As the knife sliced into the tender fruit, I thought about something my husband would like me to help him with, and I realized that I had been resisting doing what he asked mainly because I didn’t want to take the time away from freelancing. And I’m freelancing why? Not because I’m passionately in love with it, but to earn some money to contribute to the family budget as well as support my expensive horse hobby (if you put the word “equine” in front of any object, add $50 to the price). I had a certain image of myself and what I do. I was closed to the possibility of trying something that didn’t fit my image of myself as a freelance writer and editor, even though to earn even a paltry amount of money I must spend many hours working on aspects of freelancing I don’t enjoy.
I let my mind wander to other areas of my life, like my health (would changing my exercise routine or tweaking my diet result in the weight loss I want?) and my leisure time (what if I quit watching TV at night and read instead?). I realized that I have certain set ways of doing things that I rarely deviate from, regardless of whether or not those ways are working for me.
I hope taking “open” as my word of the year will help me do less all-or-nothing thinking. I hope “open” will, well, open some doors that have been firmly closed, as I explore the nuances of the word. In 2010, I want to be open to suggestion, open to change—not just big, life-changing change, but little changes of routines, ways of thinking, etc. I don't want to focus just on change (or that would be my word of the year), but to being more open to how truly wonderful my life is. To be open to the world and what it offers, to new ideas and to what’s around me every day. To embrace life! My life has sometimes been like those firmly closed doors—nothing allowed in that wasn’t my idea of how things should be. Time to open those doors.