Word of the Year: A 2018 Space Odyssey

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I’ve never been much of a “New Years Resolution” gal. Partly because most of major life happenings and shifts into big changes have happened in the late summer-early autumn months, so turning the page into the next year was merely a nuance of writing a new number at the end of the date. More importantly, it was the grand epiphany that one never needs to wait for a date or new anything to seek what’s in one’s heart and strive for self-improvement that made resolutions specifically on January 1st all the more silly.

And yet, I found myself needing something to launch me into the new year (other than shopping for a beloved new yearly planner, which yes, I do spend an absurd amount of time researching before buying). I’ve noticed over the last several years, each passing of the 365 days has been marked by some repeated big lesson or feeling or ah-HA! moment. In December it always – somehow – managed to come to a sweeping crescendo, and I took the bottom line into the great unknown as a tool and/or guide into the bold new year.

I began my “Word of the Year” tradition three years ago as at that time it became a trendy alternative to the resolution train; I loved it because it made so much sense. Instead of coming up with a boat-load of rules and restrictions, a simple “word” guides feelings and actions in a more objective kind of approach. When faced with a decision, one can ask: Does it align with my word: __X__? Yes or no? Weirdly enough, these words always came to me in big ways and I never had to overly research or think about it (which is great because I used up all my extraneous brain power on planner purchasing).

In 2015, it was Simplify: Cut the fat, get focused, learn the meaning of “No,” and quit doing a million things at once distracting yourself from what you’re REALLY supposed to be doing (and what REALLY makes you happy).

In 2016, it was Joy: Seek purity of heart and a lightness around hobbies and goals and pursuits, staying connected to the big picture and the “why” of it all.

In 2017, it was Responsibility: Stay committed to my vision & goals and the people who are supporting me to get there. I only have so many “yes’s” to give, so choose wisely – and give fully into each of those yes’s with gratitude.

In 2018, it will be:

*drumroll*

Space.

Yes. Space.

Yes, I definitely gave the Universe a “whaaaaa?” face when it hit, too. I even ignored it; and when it wouldn’t leave me alone, tried to fashion it in a more sexy word: intention, focus, time-management, etc. But it persisted, and it insisted: Space.

And then I totally cracked up because it was all too perfect, speaking simultaneously to my overtly Type A self and inner emerging woo-woo girl (not to be confused with “woo girls,” you HIMYM fans).

I mean, how am I really supposed to invest in my business, my relationship with my husband, my little Lowcountry community, my friends near and far, and my family, AND enjoy all of it when I don’t hold space to do so? And how do I hold space without taking out all my favorite multi-colored Sharpies and sticky tabs and planning well ahead so I don’t give away space I’ve committed to the above mentioned priorities? I MEAN it’s like my inner Monica Gheller* and Dharma* (of Dharma & Greg) totally collided and my new planner has NO IDEA what’s coming! {insert heart-eyes emoji}

*PS. Sorry to you youngin’s who may not get the early 2000s references but GET ON IT because you’re missing out.

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So, why “Space”? The vast, infinite void often scared me because it looked like “nothing.” If my calendar wasn’t full of To Do’s and appointments and deadlines, I didn’t feel like I was being productive or, that dirtiest of dirty words, “successful.” Sure, I would schedule in a day “off” but even then it was a time to do the things I didn’t think were priorities because they didn’t directly make me a profit or inch my status up the social ladder. I sacrificed sleep and spending time with family and friends to cram in workouts and laundry and got into a BAD habit of saying I could “squeeze” in another quick project or favor into the time & space I had originally carved to start putting my personal projects and goals into action. “Space” on my calendar became my greatest fear: 1) it made me feel unimportant, and 2) it meant I actually had to face these bizarre callings in my heart and my gut, raging like sugar-induced toddlers begging for attention and to be set free. There are a lot of ideas I see and feel – by GOSH, I can feel them, y’all! – yet they still were marked by a host of unknown variables, so I filled the space, instead, with plenty of easy ‘known’ ways to make money and feel busy.

The weird part is, I don’t regret those choices and experiences. I’ve learned the lesson well enough to where I can no longer ignore it, and I know the Universe/Big Guy/Higher Power of Your Choosing was setting everything up for the next big leap. The “Space” is an opportunity to dive deep, going beyond the surface level and seeing the wonders hidden in the tiny moments of the unknown, having faith they will be filled with progress and potentially other opportunities I haven’t even considered yet. It’s staying true to the responsibilities I do have in front of me, holding that space to better give them what they need. It’s finding the joy in the journey and letting go of things that may no longer have that inherent joy anymore, and being okay to say good-bye and surrender the “FOMO” for something greater. It’s strategizing more actionable ways to simplify, knowing when to say HELL YES! and politely smile and shake my head “No.”

It’s a new adventure, both grounded in knowing the time has come to push things into the next level and having everything you need to do so – and waiting to see what new worlds await me in that vast, expansive, unexplored atmosphere.

And just for kicks, maybe it’s a chance to invest in a pair of moon boots and see if NASA would accept a 30-something into their summer camp programs.

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photo shot by Whitney of W Photography

Sky’s the limit, as they say.

To infinity and beyond, my friends.

Hugs & High Fives,
C

 

PS. For those who were wondering, the planner I bought is from MochiThings and simply called “The Large Monthly Planner.” It’s simple, it’s understated, it’s HUGE, which I like, and has lots of room for planning and notes.

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