Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Present for 2013

Collard greens in the garden, for luck and money.

I know I said I was going to set one goal, and one goal only, for 2013. That still stands. However, I've seen some folks choosing a word or an intention for the new year, and the more I think about it, the more I like it.  I love words, so why not choose one to help guide me through the next twelve months and set a tone for the year that lies ahead?

A friend posted this quote on Facebook a few days ago, and it prompted me to read the article. While I am not a fan of randomly bolding certain words and phrases, it still managed to resonate. 
The thing that matters most in our growth is not articulating hard goals we have for ourselves- I want to run a marathon– but articulating how we want our lives to feel, how we want to feel, really assessing who and how we want to be in the world.  Because when we know that, we can build a life that allows us that feeling and then every day feels like we are living in our true calling.
So how do I want my life to feel? Who and how to I want to be in the world? I tried out a few different words - compassionate, generous, ambitious, accomplished, fearless - but none of them felt quite right. I wanted a word that could be applied to everything I do and think and feel, something that didn't have ulterior motives. And then, while I was driving across a short bridge, over murky bay water and under gray skies, to care for a pair of sweet dogs that I'm watching this week, it came to me. The perfect word. 


I want to be present in everything I do. I want to be engaged with the world around me, to write deeply when I'm at my desk, to let go when I'm with my friends, to stop worrying about what comes next and enjoy things as they are, right now. To eat my meals at the table rather than in front of my laptop. To read a novel instead of my iPhone. To stop doing five things at once, which always results in a shitty job, and focus on doing one thing at a time, fully. Present. It's a good word, and I hope it will help me live a deeper and more fulfilling life this year. 

As for ringing in 2013, we spent the night at a friend's house, who was also celebrating his birthday. There was a strobe light, noisemakers, party hats, a refrigerator full of cheap champagne  a countdown, and a kiss (our eleventh - such a sweet record). Today I'm going to make black-eyed peas and collard greens for dinner, and I'm slowly working my way through 108 sun salutations, to mark the first of the year. 

We're off to a good start.