I was watching Louis C.K. the other night. My favorite thing about him as a comedian is that he has the ability to say things very clearly in a way that makes you listen. He said “Life is amazing. And it’s really short.” Maybe it was the late hour (9:30pm on a Thursday is now the equivalent of 4:30 am on a Saturday to me) or the beer I had after dinner, but that really struck me. He is totally right. Life is short, none of us know exactly how short until it’s too late to do anything about it, and it is really, really awesome. And I let way too much of it pass me by without appreciating it.
My lovely and talented friend Deb Stone introduced me to the idea of a word for the year. Instead of making a list of resolutions, you pick a word for the year and incorporate it into your life in any form it takes. I love this idea and think it is a better way of going into the year, with a word as your guide rather than a list of things I want to change about myself. Because, if I am being really honest, I don’t think I am changing too much. A resolution isn’t going to magically transform me into a person who always flosses before bed and who loves to do squat lunges. But a word is something I can get behind. A word has meaning, can be adaptive and open to interpretation across many aspects of my life. A word is its definition and all of its connotations combined. A word is as simple or complex as you need it to be.
My word for the year is Presence. I spend way too much of my life with my head somewhere else. I daydream, check out, worry, dwell instead of taking notice of the moment I am in. I don’t want to miss the life I was given. I will never have this time again, this specific time with my kids at these ages, having these experiences, and I know when I am an old lady sitting on my porch drinking green tea and yelling at the neighbors to get their cat out of my yard, that these are the times I will long for again. I think it is only fair that I honor this life by giving it my full attention. Somewhere along the way in adulthood, I have lost my sense of wonder. I think by being present I will find my way back to appreciating the world I have been blessed to live in.
I haven’t worked out all the details yet of how I am going to adopt my word, but that is the beauty of a word for the year, it is an evolving process. I have picked out a mantra to help bring me back to the here and now when I find my mind wondering down a tunnel of what if: “Be here now.” Because here is wonderful and now is all we have for sure. I hope you all have a fantastic year ahead of you.
What is your word for the year?