My ‘One Word’ for 2013

During a 5-hour drive home yesterday from visiting family in Washington, my husband kept posing questions about my plans for the future. I’m not sure if it was just a way to fill the time, or if thoughts of the New Year and resolutions were on his mind, but each time, I brushed his questions aside with an “I have no idea.”

Him: “So, are you wanting to go to any blogging conferences this year?”

Me: “I have no idea.”

Him: “So, have you ever thought about going back to school for your Master’s?”

Me: “I have no idea.”

It went this way for a while before I finally admitted:

I have no five year plan. I have no one year plan. I have no goals, ambitions, plans, nothing.

This was not an epiphany. I’ve realized for several months that my life feels like I’m on hold.

We’ve been through so many life changes in the last 18 months – my husband working away from home, us moving our family across country (again), our oldest leaving for college. The battle cry has been: MAINTAIN. Not: PURSUE.

It reminds me of a beautiful talk given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf called “Of Things That Matter Most.” He said:

One of the things we learn from studying the growth of trees is that during seasons when conditions are ideal, trees grow at a normal rate. However, during seasons when growing conditions are not ideal, trees slow down their growth and devote their energy to the basic elements necessary for survival.

Yes, all of my energy has been focused inward, on our family, so that we can survive these many changes. My focus has not necessarily been on growing, and in my mind, goals and ambitions and plans are all part of growing.

Truthfully, I have had feelings of restlessness, boredom, lack of purpose, and even bitterness at how my life has downshifted to a slow crawl in the last year and a half. But I can also testify that the change has been necessary, has blessed our family, and I would do it all over again.

It’s hard to say what 2013 will bring, and it’s hard to say if our family is in a place where I can begin looking at my own personal development and growth again. Either way, I am doing something I’ve never done before: I’m choosing “one word” for the New Year. My word for 2013 is LOOK.

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Because what we see in life largely depends on where we LOOK, and I want to make sure I’m looking for the good.

Because sometimes when we feel caught in a certain feeling or situation, we need to LOOK at things in a new way.

I include the Spanish imperative for “look” – MIRA – because it’s often used in a way that begs for understanding, or a meeting of the minds.

I want to make sure that no matter what my future holds, or what plans or goals I (do – or don’t – ) make, that my chin is up, my eyes are clear, and I am making the conscious decision to LOOK around and not miss my life.

Tell me: do you have “one word” for 2013?