This is the time of year when everyone gets all gung ho about their “Word of the Year” and what they are going to do with it.
There is great anticipation of good things to come, and how lives and life styles are going to change if we just put this magic word into practice for 12 months of concentrated effort.
It’s as if one word can create miracles, and all of the puzzle pieces in the chaos of our day to day activity will fall into place if we just heed that one word of the year.
I have spent a lot of time over the past month in deep study of myself, including friends, family and online relationships with others through this thing we call social media.
My past year was all Hurry Hurry Hurry, get it done, deadlines loom, there is no time to slow down, there is no time for more than a short concise answer.
2015 was a year of many changes and challenges, many of which have taken me to my knees.
The closing of Kansas City Star as I knew it, the re-branding of Kansas City Star as an imprint of C&T publishing – getting to learn new dance steps as I struggled with book mamuscipts and new writing formats and new people I was reporting to, and deadlines – oh, the deadlines.
2015 was a year I was more than ready to put to bed and say good-bye to.
But I want more from 2016 than I found in 2015. I want some changes, both for my personal growth, and for the growth of my business.
And as much as I would like to say “I’m glad that’s over now I can move on!” I realize that I have to look deep within myself to find a way to make 2016 a gentler, more nurturing, more meaningful year.
I need to SOFTEN. I have chosen the word SOFTEN as my focus for this year.
Many of you might find that odd, but a goal can’t be accomplished unless it is put into action, unless it is worked on, worked at, failed at, and tried over and over and over again until changes take hold.
I love the Thesaurus!
Many of these things embody what I am looking for in my life for 2016.
I want to SOFTEN my HEART toward others, and also myself.
I long to SOFTEN my EXPECTATIONS. That includes expectations of others, but mostly of myself. I no longer feel like I can do it all.
I need to SOFTEN my RESPONSES. In my haste, hurry and stress I may have been hearing but not listening. There is a difference. I need to be sure I connect and choose my words with more kindness instead of short, and straight to the point.
I WILL SOFTEN my JUDGEMENT of myself. I am way too harsh there.
I will master the SOFTENING of my REACTIONS. Many things have hit straight through the heart, and fallen south to the pit of my stomach where they take up residency. I carry these around like boulders thinking they will go away, but they don't.
The pursuit of justice and being right really doesn’t matter. I might believe I am right, but it is not my job to prove it to everyone who feels otherwise. After all, THEY think that THEY are right, too. There will always be two sides to every story.
I want to SOFTEN the hard edges of everything around me. I long for my world to be a kinder, gentler place.
I run away to the cabin to escape the harsh reality of life, but I realize what I want is to create that same "I'm at the cabin and my soul is at peace" feeling within my every day life, even when on the road.
I need a SOFT and safe place to land where I can express myself through my craft, fill my soul and my heart and share it with others.
I know I will fail, and fail mightily, and likely often, but this is my word for 2016.