Happy New Year! I’m welcoming myself back to real life this week with a loaded schedule of errands and miscellany. Over the last few days of the break, I fueled up on books and tea and Downton Abbey in order to forge ahead into 2015. This is the year I will turn forty and I have big plans. Big plans to get enough sleep and buy enough beauty products to combat whatever heinous act Time is performing across my face. Lest you think I am a shallow pool of vanity, I have a few other plans too.
Last year, I chose the word Intentional as my word for the year. It became my touchstone, my place to return to when I drifted from purposeful living into wandering. I’m a bit of a wanderer at heart, so this wasn’t an easy task. Living with intention is difficult to measure, but I tried to make decisions and say yes to opportunities I might otherwise reject. More than anything, I tried to pay attention, living with my eyes wide open to my life, my goals, my fears, my people, and my place with them. In some ways, I’ve had to lean into the fear, rather than away from it, and this has been informative in so many ways. I learned more about courage than I learned about fearlessness this past year.
After a year of focusing on intentional living, I didn’t come away with all sorts of specific, measurable action plans. I’m not really an action plan kind of girl. The furthest I get is a wonky to-do list which usually leaves out terribly important tasks like “Buy groceries for three hungry children” in favor of “Get manicure”. But, I closed out 2014 with a renewed purpose and a clearer vision of what I need to walk towards in order to be more fully alive, more fully myself.
For me, the path will always be crooked–always and forever a bit off the beaten path. I like to think I take the scenic route through life, but this often leads to a lot of detours. Detours can feel exhausting and hard, and at times I curl in on myself as a means of self-preservation. This year, as I move with purpose, even on the crooked paths, I want to resist the urge to turn inward, to self-protect, to curl and cower.
Rather, I want to embrace all that God has for me in the coming year. All the twists, the turns, and the imperfections. All of the highs, the lows, the changeable, and the unchanging. I want to embrace my people and my purpose, my place and my passions. I want to open my arms to it all, to walk from fear into the beating heart of courage.
I want to fling my whole self, my arms and legs and the limbs of my soul around this life, not the life I wish I had, not the life of could-haves and should-haves, but this life right here where my feet stand planted on this funny, crooked path in an embrace all their own. This year, I will embrace the questions, because they’re always worth asking, even when answers dance too far in the distance for me to grasp them.
This year, this life, this forty-year old version of me–Embrace.
Do you have one word, a phrase, or a resolution you’ve chosen to guide you through the new year? I’d love to know what it is and how it found you.