Another part of this process that has become a custom is setting our "Word" for the new year. One Word That Will Change Your Life is the book we trade around the office, seeking inspiration. Even though I've read it a couple of times already, I find it helps focus me on what I really want for the upcoming year. This year I picked it up and my Word came to me after about 10 minutes of flipping through the pages.
It is "Courage."
Some of my Words in the past have been directly related to my job. When I received my GREEN designation I chose "Sustainability," vowing to improve my business practices and educate my clients on green choices. Others, like "Support," were intended to remind me of my commitment of service to others in both my professional and personal choices. The Words helped me re-center when I got so busy (or so NOT busy) that I lost sight of my purpose.
I resisted "Courage" when it first popped into my awareness. We've joked in the office about how, in hindsight, our Words really did shape our year and not always in the way we would've liked. Did I want to tempt the universe to test my fortitude? Still, I had to acknowledge that there were events coming up that were going to require me to pull up my big girl panties and get on with it. Some of them I have initiated and believe they will be beneficial, and yet there is a lot of anxiety associated with them. For example, members of my family and I are going to try to purchase our first investment property. While I am excited about this new project it's hard to forget about the risk involved, even though it's a venture within my area of expertise.
Other things are passing-of-time inevitabilities. My youngest daughter is finishing high school in the spring and her interest lies in international studies of some sort. My oldest daughter is talking about an internship on the east coast but also has aspirations to travel. Dennis and I will be empty nesters, and I'll be lucky if one of the kids stays in the country. While I am excited to see them experience the world, it will be quite an adjustment to only see them once or twice a year. People have reminded me that I will have great places to visit them, but I'm not ready to trade a 15-minute drive for a 15-hour flight just yet.
Heraclitus said that the only thing constant is change. Sometimes change is fun and sometimes it sucks, and sometimes you don't know which one it will be until you are knee-deep in it. In 2018, I will strive to remember that I have control over my response to the changes in my life, and that being afraid is an opportunity to be brave.
Heraclitus also believed in the everlasting Word, that in some sense we are all one and can recognize a unity of experience. My wish for you in the New Year is that you feel that unity as life brings you change, that you realize all that you have come through already through strength and determination, and that you never forget your extraordinary capacity for courage.
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