December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)
It’s rather appropriate that the word I’m selecting for 2010 is TIME and this post is a day late. Time forever escapes me, and this is proof.
2010 has been the year of the dissertation. It’s seen the end of my data collection, the crafting of several chapters, and the launching off point for whatever the rest of my life will look like. It’s time to move on, again.
I played several tricks on myself this year to get motivated to write, not the least of which was having one of my chapters already accepted for publication and a deadline to finish another for a travel grant I did not receive (but the feedback and the deadline to complete the chapter were more valuable than the money the grant would provide.) I am apparently motivated by deadlines and self imposed ones don’t seem to count enough, I guess. The external pressure was important.
But there’s been another theme around time this year, mostly in reflecting on my past. Over the summer I got together with several friends from high school, many that I had not seen since graduation. This wasn’t a formal reunion by any stretch; instead, these were just a few select friends who wanted to spend some time together. We had a blast reliving our those days and sharing stories from the last almost 20 years. It was a great time, an event that I’m hoping we’ll make a tradition.
Unfortunately, one of the things that brought us together was learning that one of our friends had taken his own life years before. I put together a slide show of pics from then and now, all of us together almost 20 years ago, and our lives now. Pressed for time (I was writing one of those pesky chapters right before the reunion) I didn’t have a chance to put it to music. In hindsight, I’m glad about that since I’m certain it would have made me cry. It always makes me sad that it takes me losing something to realize how important life is, how little time we’re given together, and how we let stupid things get in the way so often. I am working to change that outlook, slowly.
In looking out at 2011, I am hoping the word for the year is “joy.” It’s time to let myself be happy, something I’ve struggled with as long as I can remember, holding on to my sorrow like a life jacket. It’s time to let go of the past, look to what’s coming, and smile. Celebration – that’s another good word for 2011.