I don’t do new Years Resolutions. They are so often designed to fail. One chooses a goal, does not define timelines, often has no plan or support of how to acheive that goal, and then is surprised when it fails. Many make plans to lose weight or quit smoking. Some, might join a gym, or purchase a cessation aid. But, studies show that, by February, most of these resolutions are abandoned.
For about a decade now, instead of choosing a resolution, I choose a word of the year. This becomes my theme of the year. Sometimes I decorate the word and place it where I can see it. At the end of the year, I then reflect on how that word has impacted my life, and what differences have happened in that year.
I didn’t have a word for 2020. I was in crisis after leaving a domestic abuse situation. I had just started renting my friend’s basement in a small town, but had no car, no job, and knew few people beyond my landlords. I was painfully lonely. And then COVID hit. I guess, “Survival” was my word of the year. I am now in a new city, in my own apartment, and re-establishing my business. Yeah, I survived 2020, but not much else.
Right now, I feel a lack of connection. Christmas was really hard for me. My family made it clear that I was not welcomed. My daughter had other plans. Due to COVID, I couldn’t really join friends. I spent the day in bed, contemplating whether or not I wanted to continue this solitary existence.
But, I’m working on getting out of that funk. I alternate between wanting a relationship, and choosing a monastic life- one of prayer and service. But, both of those situations still require connection. Whether connection to a romantic partner, connection to my community, connection to the gods, or connection to the land, it is this that I seek.
So, my word for 2021 is “Connection”.
Happy New Year.