I prefer setting intentions for the New Year, not resolutions. “Resolution” sound too rigid, too laden with perfectionism to be attainable to anyone. Success for me comes with putting forth an intention, a determination to act in a certain way. An intention gives me space to try again tomorrow when I inevitably fail. I’ve come up with three intentions for 2015. They are: Love, Write, Play.
Love. This is the most important. My husband told me around the first of the year that his priority for 2015 was our family’s happiness. This really hit home for me. The truth of busyness in cultivating a new business is convenient and true but that’s not good enough. Love for me also means not yelling. I’ve talked before about being triggered to yell by Elisabeth hurting or harassing Baci but he’s no longer with us. I’ve started reading Yell Less, Love More by Sheila McCraith creator of the Orange Rhino Challenge. Yelling isn’t my default but I do yell occasionally and I want that to stop. “Love” embodies mindfully nurturing my relationship with my husband and daughter without excuses.
Write. When I’m writing, I create better work / home boundaries and more realistic goals for myself…both essential to ending overwhelm. When I’m writing, I have less time for social media. I’m reflective and slower while getting more work done, working in pulse mode as Brigid Schulte learned and later adopted in writing her own book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time. I unsubscribe from what isn’t useful or beautiful not just in my home, but in my life. When I’m writing, I remember to let go of what isn’t serving me. I listen to my gut instinct more and respond quicker, wasting less time, because I’m less reactive to events around me. Writing always makes me better. When I’m writing, I’m a better coach and counselor because I’m there too. I wouldn’t ever ask Soraya Chemaly, Bernadette Jiwa or Stephen King where they get their ideas. I have so many, they are note-booked. What I don’t have is time blocked in my schedule on a daily basis to put them on paper. That changes this year.
Play. I haven’t yet gathered my thoughts for a review of Overwhelmed but I’m carrying a few of Shulte’s best lessons with me. One of them is Play. I thought that I did play. I go for coffee with girlfriends and sit down on the floor to construct towers of blocks with my daughter. But neither of those are play. A lot of our play as adults seems to center around eating. Did this start in college when our “socials” were intermixed with baking cookies or a run to Ben and Jerry’s? Eating, even with friends, is not play. Neither is engaging in an activity your child wants you to participate in with them. That’s life’s invisible work. Play is remembering what you love and doing it again…or discovering it for the first time. It’s about creating opportunities for your body, brain to think and move in different ways, whether that’s street hockey or painting with a group along the Eno. Soccer, scavenger hunts and capture the flag are on my agenda for 2015 as I bring in Play.
An intention also means “the healing process of a wound”. With my 2015 intentions, maybe I am healing the wound of past years and beliefs. I like the idea of it. Rebirth, not failure, is implied. A wound isn’t absolute, like chronic pain or a death sentence, it’s elastic and adaptable, ready for change. That’s exactly where I am. Right now anyway.