A couple years ago, I read about Christine Kane’s cool idea of picking one word for the year as a focus rather than a traditional New Year’s resolution.
For 2011, I picked “Blossom” because I wanted to blossom in my work and my presence in the world. For some reason, I rarely thought about the word after I picked it. Looking back, last year seemed more about boundaries than blossoming.
At the beginning of 2011, I was working at the Apple Store. I loved what I did there, but I learned something about myself. Being around people that much was draining. So I set a boundary by quitting the job. I became very conscious of how much people time worked well for me and made sure I had the alone time I needed, which was a lot at first.
After the Apple Store, I worked from home. This gave me my solitude. Except, when my husband had time off. Every seven years he gets an 8-week sabbatical. 2011 was that year. We spent the first half in Europe, which was a blast. The second half was spent mostly at home, the home I was used to having to myself all day.
I worked with my husband on having the space and time I needed while he was home. Then came out-of-town guests. I began coming up with ideas on how to get my solitude while having people in the house nearly constantly. I’m still figuring that one out.
I also created boundaries with my to-do list. In the past, I’d work on my to-do list until it was done or I ran out of time, sacrificing the things I really wanted to do and feeling like all my life was was one big to-do list. Now, I make sure that I spend no more than an hour, or two at the most, on to-do’s in a day. The rest is devoted to what I really want to do and what I think is really important.
Was I wrong in picking “Blossoming” as my word for 2011? No. It was what I wanted, but I wonder if the timing was off since I didn’t naturally revisit the word during the year.
Was it a good idea to review my year and look for a theme? Yes! Instead of being disappointed that I didn’t blossom the way I had hoped, it helped me appreciate what I actually did do.