Another year came to a close (as noted by WordPress’s reminder to re-up my domain mapping service). I was traveling and sick. Am still sick, actually, but am sick of being sick.
Looking back over 2009, I think I was…on hold.
While in a holding pattern, I’ve managed to prepare for the years to come without too much effort. Starting grad school was a great way to move forward apace. It’s an investment in Later, really…a brain exercise that forces me to think about things that are and will be important to me, philosophically, even while inertia tightens its grip on my physical self. Like Jane Fonda for comatose patients. And I get a resume bullet when I’m done.
(Not that grad school is easy. It’s just compatible with my default brain patterns and lifestyle. I like school.)
I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything by being on hold this year. After a tumultuous 2008, I was aware of my need for stability and, at times, silence. I’ve spent a lot of time being quiet, and a fair amount of time sleeping. I found that bigger initiatives — ballet, gardening, various attempts to work out regularly — didn’t really take hold.
And that was okay. I was on pause.
I’ve said before that I don’t make resolutions, and this year will be no different. Recently, though, I was reading about Christine Kane’s word for the year in lieu of resolutions, and I like the idea (via the comments in unclutterer.com).
(Hey, look! My friend Elizabeth is picking a word, too!)
The one word that describes what I want for and from 2010 is Whole.
So, if 2009’s word, in retrospect, was Pause, 2008 fell somewhere between Drama and Trauma…I guess I need a word for “all hell breaking loose,” something at once deeper and more mournful and more celebratory than Chaos.
Anyway, I’ve allowed myself to get a bit fragmented, and it’s time to pull it together and work toward being Whole. That doesn’t mean going on a diet or saving more money or learning tae kwan do. It doesn’t mean checking things off a list. It means putting my self back together and preparing for a grown-up life I avoided for a year. I had enough grown-up stuff to do in 2008 — I needed a break, and I took it.
Now, though, it’s time to look ahead and get ready for the life I want to live.
I don’t have any rules about what the life looks like. And, if I’m honest with myself, I’m already more whole than I have been in years. I’m safe and secure in my life and my relationships, in my family and in my finances. I’ve been saving, I live well, I laugh often and love deeply.
But there are some loose ends I need to tie up, some accounts that need reconciling, if you will, before I’m really ready to move forward.
I mean that one literally — I have a retirement account from a previous job that I’ve been allowing to collect dust, and I need to figure out the best use of it. Whether it stays with the company holding it now or gets moved to another, it was my first attempt at planning for retirement before I knew anything about investing, and it needs attention.
Working toward Whole may not be any different than regular resolutions…except for the perspective. It focuses on how I want to be and feel rather than on what I want to accomplish.
The end result may be the same. If I listen to my body and do things that make me feel Whole, I may eat better and move more (yoga starts Saturday!), which could cause weight loss. By evaluating my finances and rearranging them to support a Whole life now and in the future, I may save some money. But I won’t be working toward an arbitrary number or one dictated by the FDA, the AMA, or the IRS.
I’ll be finding my own balance.
I hope you’ll stick around for the ride. Writing is part of what makes me Whole, and I know I’ve let that slip a bit.
And if you’re into capital-R Resolutions, go check out the 100 Skills [a very smart lady thinks] Everyone Should Master. Pick two. Go.
Coming up this week, I’ll also be sharing two recipes that you need to add to your repertoire: Applecake and Pennsylvania Dutch Tea Dinner Rolls. Neither are healthy recipes or 30-minute meals, but both are worth every second you spend on them.