My 2013 Word

January 1st, 2013

Last January, I chose OPEN as  my word for 2012. I wanted to be receptive to new experiences, new ideas, new possibilities. After I wrote it down, I never thought about it again, but looking back I can see some major changes in my life that reflect that word. Could it have unconsciously influenced my actions and drawn serendipitous events and surprising new people to me?  I’m usually skeptical about such new-agey notions, but not in this case.  I wish I could choose that word again because of the differences it made in my life, but new year, new word. In 2013,my word is NOW. I hope it will remind me to stop skipping ahead to obsess on what could happen or what should happen in the future. To notice my surroundings, like these stunning winter-bare trees in front of the White House or the delicate silver tracery of rivers and creeks that I could see from the airplane on my way home, the light making them shimmer like streams of mercury on the earth. To take each day on its on terms instead of wishing for more. To walk slower and look around instead of always fast-walking to wherever. To worry less about what I ought to do about my future and to let my intuition guide me more. To pay attention to the person I’m talking to instead of letting my mind wander like an untrained puppy. To stop postponing going after what I want because it might not be practical or realistic. To take a break from the relentless self-criticism that runs through my brain like a 24-hour CNN crawl. To remember that NOW is all I have, all any of us have, even though we’re constantly planning for the future, worrying about a 15-year mortgage versus a 30-year, putting off the trip of a lifetime because we think we have all the time in the world, staying in a bad job because it will give us a secure retirement, assuming we can say “I’m sorry” or “I love you” later. Of course, I will forget all this (probably before the first day of the year is over!) and get caught up in trying to control tomorrow before it gets here. I’ll do this over and over again. But maybe my word will flash on and off like a neon sign in my subconscious more frequently, too, luring me back into today, this hour, this minute, this second, this NOW.


3 Responses to “My 2013 Word”

  1. Ah, Nikki, when this popped up in my reader just now, I was listening to the Shaker hymn, “Simple Gifts.”

    While that title has always seemed so appropriate, I’d rather see it as a very complex thing…just as your simple word, NOW is. So few letters. It can be drawn out, but not uttered as multiple syllables. Short. To the point. Simple. And in that, complex.

    Happy New Year and thank you for all that you do to awaken us all.

  2. “Now” is a good word. But so is “Acceptance.” Sometimes I resent the pervasive American culture of self-improvement and efficiency and goal setting and wish we could all just look at ourselves and our strengths and imperfections and say “good enough.” All the energy wasted in self-flagellation and forceful attempts to reinvent ourselves…what would it be like if we just let ourselves be, made occasional small changes in habits and life style and let our lives just evolve. Would that be a crime? We make the changes we truly want to make–it’s true! When we find ourselves constantly struggling with the same tired resolutions, it’s because we’re really not onboard with making that change. Maybe it’s time to Accept we are never going to be this Ideal we’ve created in our heads and that that is fine. Be ourselves and relax.

  3. Uma says:

    I love your word, and I think yearly words are incredibly helpful in shaping a path forward.

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