I think it is pretty perfect that my annual word of the year post is being shared in March rather than January. With 2020 being…what it was and now 2021 trending in a similar fashion (I personally have gotten my fill of historical and record breaking events for one lifetime) I am giving myself all the time and grace possible as we start this new year.
I know I am not alone in loving the start to a fresh new year. I love the planners, the goal setting, the intentions and words. I love the sense of newness and a page being turned. A fresh start for everyone and a taste of redemption on the horizon. This year though I had the hardest time sitting down and hashing out my goals. In the past I have always had them ready to go on Jan. 1. Each goal written down and plotted out among my PowerSheets planner knowing that whatever the world would bring, I would at least have a positive mindset to start the year off right.
Then 2020 came and wrecked me. It wrecked all of us. None of us truly could have known what was to come. The absolute terror that filled the world as a new and strange disease took over our communities. None of us knew what to do. How could we best protect our families? How could we best protect ourselves? How do we still live life while also protecting others? How can a person simply open up their goal planning pages and think about the year ahead when the previous year was just so… unraveling?
If there is anything good that came out of 2020 it was the need to slow down and so I applied that to my goal setting and word picking this year. I really relished in the Christmas season, thoroughly enjoyed our holiday trip down to New Orleans and came back from that break really feeling like I closed out the year well – instead of coming back and feeling rushed to accomplish every little thing immediately.
There is something to be said for having goals ready to go on the first day of a new year but there is also something to be said for letting the new year begin on it’s own and seeing what those first few days hold. The rhythm and flow that develop among the first moments.
Well I did just that, I took my time setting my goals this year and by mid January I was all sorted out. I actually made it one of my goals in January to goal set – which was a nice and slow way to start the year. As I was working through my reflective work – seeing all that I was actually able to accomplish last year and what I had to let go I was able to see just how rocked I was by the lack of expectation, lack of routine, lack of schedule. Not knowing what I could expect in the next several months let alone the next week really shook me to my core and made future planning hard. But what made it even harder was how eye opening it was to my obvious lack of faith through such a hard year and just how settled I have become in my need for expectation and routine.
It wasn’t just my faith as in my religious experiences but also faith in people. So many awful things came to light in the past year that made me lose faith in my fellow human. I just have had such a hard time seeing the light in it all.
Which obviously leads me to my word this year: Faith.
Faith: 1) complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 2) strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
I now know that I know not. I cannot expect much of anything from the coming months because ultimately I have to keep reminding myself I am not in control of the bigger picture here. I am in control of very little in life and reminding myself of that helps me to know how much beauty there is to be seen in the chaos. I want to seek out the good in the world this year – both big and little moments and truly see and better myself for the good of others. I want to regain faith in people. I want to regain faith in a spiritual sense. I want to take the lessons of slowing down and pausing that I have learned this past year and apply them going forward. Walking with faith and hope towards a future I might not know but will be beautiful anyway.