Happy New Year.
5....4....3....2....1! We all counted down the final remaining seconds of 2011 and took our first breath of 2012. New Year is a funny thing for me. Part of me finds it a forced celebration. I always find that there's some sort of social pressure to be "where it's at" and "with the right person" as the clock strikes 12 on the 31st. And then there's lots of hype around the end of the year, the start of the new one, fresh starts and changes. When I peel those two things back a bit and look under the surface, it seems to me that we're looking for inspiration or meaning and then direction. We're looking to put ourselves in a situation and with company (or not with company) which will bring us happiness and will inspire us. Inspire us to live our lives in a meaningful way.
And that, certainly, is what I'm interested in.
In my own bit of reflection and search for inspiration, I looked back on my New Year's Post from last year. Last year I wished for a "fresh mindfulness" and to "try to drag myself out of my own preoccupied head a bit more and, in doing so, be a bit more engaged with the people around me, love a bit better, forgive a bit more."
Well, the preoccupied head bit definitely was a theme during the year. Reflecting back on the year and just knowing what's in my head now helps me come up with a fairly comprehensive list of where I stumbled and fell, but I can also see how just being aware of this goal helped me call myself on getting too stuck back in my head. 2011 was a lot of things, but mostly it was what it was and I made of it what I could with the inspiration of a goal and the support of loved ones.
So this year, inspired by Fiona's example, I'm choosing a word for 2012 to give me a goal and direction for the year. I was all set and already writing this post for my word to be "kindness", in continuing with a theme that has been running in my life recently. Kindness to others, kindness to myself. But then, the crisp morning sun through the window brought me a different word: play.
My first response was "but that's not a very responsible word for 2012".
Precisely. For that reason and many others that will come to me this year as I reflect upon and try to put this word into action in my life, I think play is exactly the right word for me this year. You'll hear more about it as the year goes on, but for now I think that it's good to recognise that playing is something that I don't do very well and doesn't come naturally to me. I think it will have a lot to teach me.
Laugh. Enjoy. Relax. Balance.
Happy New Year, may it be a playful one.