Friday, January 02, 2009

Word for 2009: Path

I've been following Christine Kane and her suggestions for choosing a word or theme for the year rather than making resolutions. It makes a lot of sense to me. I'm pretty good at sticking to resolutions. This is the first year I've not had to resolve to lose weight or exercise. Done. Check. (And, yes, that would be bragging.)

Besides, resolutions feel kind of scattered. Lots of little individual tasks, without an overlying theme. And that's been a problem.

As I've reflected on the past and planned for this year, I've realized that I've spent a lot of time drifting. Oh, I've been busy, don't get me wrong. I'm the Queen of Busy: always running, always hectic, always overwhelmed. But where has all that busy gotten me?

The image I get thinking about the past few years is that of a rowboat without oars being pushed along by the current, not controling its direction.

Hm...time to harness all that action. So, I thought about words like Action, Direction, Choice, Goals. All good words.

Action felt like what I was already doing: being busy but not necessarily focused.

Direction implied focus but not necessarily movement. (Knowing that you need to go north is great but you won't get there unless you move in that direction.)

Choice is one of my favorites. Everything is a choice. Even not deciding is a choice.

Goals seemed too much about the end result, not the journey.

I wasn't concerned about the dictionary definitions for the words but rather their connotations for me. After all, I'm the one who has to live with it for a year, or longer.

Then there's Path. Path rolls up all the elements I want. For me, path means choosing a direction and going forward. A path is about both the journey AND the destination. It has natural organic connotations. It's usually scenic. It's not a highway, might be unmarked, likely unpaved, could be highly traveled, or could be of my own making.

Paths also aren't hectic. It's ok to stroll along a path, take a break, or even sometimes wander off. But then you come back and keep going. You can't just quit mid-way along a path, now can you?

I live in an area with lots of parks and woods and spend time on the paths all year 'round. I'm fond of paths and feel connected to them. The idea of defining my path this year and heading out along it really appeals to me.

Being a visual person, I'm collecting images of paths and keeping them with me as reminders to stay on my path.

Keep in touch throughout the year and see what signposts I've reached along my path.

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