Post 1 – A Day Late

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.

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  1. #1 by arcticwren on December 2, 2010 - 5:50 pm

    I hope that your 2011 is also defined by joy. I look forward to peeking in on you as you choose to share.

  2. #3 by Nightbringer on December 4, 2010 - 5:33 pm

    I know what you mean, and I’m so glad I could be there with you for the trip, it was the highlight of my year. For me the word of 2010 was “Faith”.

    Goodness No I did not have a religious experience or anything like that. But my beliefs and philosophies were shaken and tested, and shown that I can get through anything with the support of friends I love (even if I have not seen them in almost 18 years). Family is important to me, but NOT my birth family, years of emotional abuse and returning the abuse to each other has given me reason and justification for why my birth family is generally happy with staying the hell away from each other. The family that is most important to me are the close friendships I have. My faith is that they and I have the power to do anything we put our minds to. This sort of commentary is usually reserved for children or teenagers headign into college, but I think it still holds true, even for those of us in our mid to late 30’s too.

    Next year? 2011… I haven’t a clue. I try not to make presumptions. I think I still have alot of change coming up in the future (and most likely the Good kind of change , even though it will be painful transitioning through it). so instead of Change, maybe “endurance”? But I feel like my whole life has been some sort of endurance test with no finish line in sight, my goal is contentment. I’m keeping my eyes open to the future and I’ll take my opportunities when I see them, and I have faith that you will be there.

  3. #4 by My Reflection Pool on December 5, 2010 - 12:42 pm

    All of us getting together gave me a lot of faith too – faith in those friendships, faith that we will always be there for each other, and that we can muddle through anything. I lost you for too long, my friend. I won’t let that happen again.

    Not that I am all that much into tattoos but the two I’ve considered have been “Strength” and “Endurance” – one on the inside of each wrist. I am terrified of needles so those becoming a reality is highly unlikely but sometimes I can look at my own flesh and squint a little and swear I see them there anyway.

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