On Contentment.23 February 2011
Making goals is a part of who I am. Lists. Time lines. Planners. Schedules. Planning out every aspect of my life in detail. That is me. I am a perfectionist. A self-nitpicker. Someone who is never quite settled with who I am or what I am doing. I want bigger, better and more success. "Grow" was a natural word-of-the-year for me to pick. It wasn't hard to choose. "Grow" was in my comfort zone.
I recently came across an old goal journal of mine from age 8. In it, I wrote down goals for myself and then consequences for not accomplishing them. (Completely hilarious, I might add.) They said things like "Dust your room every day. If you don't, you must clean, dust and vacuum Sarah's room for a week." There were around 50 little goals and punishments in that binder. Oh, what an odd child I was. (And, I highly doubt I accomplished any of them.)
In many ways, I haven't outgrown that. I am constantly setting new goals for myself. My day begins and ends with a new, insanely long to-do list. And although I don't write the consequences for not accomplishing them in a journal like my 8-year-old self, I still punish myself when I don't get them all checked off. I start thinking that I'm not creative enough, that I'm failing as a mother, that I'm not successful, that my housekeeping skills are lacking, that I'm not a good sister, friend, or neighbor. I often can't accomplish the lofty goals I set for myself, and am left feeling discouraged at the end of the day.
And so, I'm throwing out my goal to "Grow." Ripping up my resolutions. I've picked a new word. One that is much more challenging for a person like myself. One that will truly stretch me.
My new word-of-the-year is "Content."
This word isn't a ticket to give up on being a good mother, friend, or employee. On the contrary. It is to make me more present and alive in the moment. To relish the here and now. To appreciate where I am in life and find joy in the journey. I don't want to overlook the sweet, small things happening today while wishing for the future.
I have a feeling this is going to be a very, very good year.