Every year I choose a word of the year (WotY) to guide me through, and I’ve realized there’s 2 indicators of success in keeping my WotY inspiring me well into the year: 1. Pick a good word- one that is broadly meaningful, not just to my current circumstances but to my bigger dreams and vision 2. Keep the WotY displayed prominently, so it remains part of my weekly ‘groove’ past February or Marc
Now that I’ve done my New Year’s planning, I also spent some time considering 2021’s WotY. This is a practice I’ve done for almost a decade, and for the first time I have to try something new- TWO WotYs. Yikes!
My first WotY is CONNECTION. I’m naturally an introvert, and for years and years I maxed out my ‘people time’ by teaching my pilates classes. They’re fun, rewarding, and a lovely group of people, but I didn’t have much bandwidth leftover for anything else.
Over the last few years I’ve been scaling back, and the pandemic prompted me to return to the studio this summer with a positively tiny class schedule. While this gave me plenty of time to minimize any potential spread at pilates (we’ve not had any, thank all the things), it also gave me time to REST, for the first time in my adult life. That’s not an exaggeration.
So now, as we step into both the great unknown of a pandemic winter and our new, ongoing normal, I’m ready and eager to explore connections. It’s a big word, with big implications, and I’m excited to see where it leads.
When I was thinking through the potential of a connection, I considered that it doesn’t have to be a two-way thing, or even an external thing. Years ago I read a blog post that taught me a new word and I haven’t been able to shake the memory of this, especially when I was thinking through my WotY.
It’s a French word, Flâner, and it means “to wander aimlessly, randomly, for the pleasure of watching.” I’m familiar with this idea, because as a child I could either wander or read. I lived far from anything, including people, and I spent a lot of time just looking at my little slice of the world. (I wrote about this in a blog post once.)
I want to re-learn this skill, in nature as well as among people. FLÂNER is my second WotY for 2021.
This pair of WotYs is setting me up for a BIG year. But 2021 is also a “big” year, culturally, for birthdays and I’m ready to leave what’s typically considered the first half of my life with this kind of energy- Connections and the ability to Flâner. These are the parts of me I’d like to nourish in my second half.
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