It’s funny how many different posts on social media I am tagged in nowadays when it comes to the last week of December and the first week of January. In 2012, I decided that I had a “theme word” for the year rather than a New Year’s Resolution. I’d found a community of dancers and a dance style that truly resonated with me, in June 2010, and I dove in head-first, specifically with the intention to learn and then teach this style. 2012 was deep in the full pursuit of this challenge, and so the theme word DANCE made tons of sense. I was still doing other pursuits, spinning and weaving, volunteering and organizing, traveling even! but as a theme word, that’s where it all started.
Some years, when I chose a theme word, I really pursued it most of the year. Some years, I barely even remembered the theme word as the year got under way. But the process of stopping to think about things has been a process I’ve enjoyed now each year.
Last year, none of us had any idea what was in store for us. I selected the theme word INTENTIONAL as a means to say what I would pursue would be what I *intended* to pursue, not just based out of habit or declining obligations. Of course, as of today, I’m still under work-from-home pandemic quarantine. Today is day number 296 for me, since I was sent home from work. This week, our CEO announced that the two US offices (in CA and in NY) are back under mandatory work-from-home through the end of February (all previous optional come-in-to-the-office has been rescinded). I don’t miss the commute, but it wasn’t originally my intention to remain mostly locked indoors.
Which brings me all to this year. What theme word resonates with me today?
I feel a little bit like a Dickens ghost, the Ghost of Being Present. In the Muppet version of the story, the Ghost of Christmas Present cannot even remember having introduced himself to Michael Caine’s Scrooge, he’s so embedded in the present. There are days when I *only* know what day it is because I keep a large calendar widget on display in my laptop desktop. I have to look up what day it is, what hour it is, heck what month it is, sometimes.
But also, thinking about going forward, I refuse to make long-term plans right now. Until there is mass vaccination throughout our town, county, state, country — there’s no point in making plans to travel and gather. I cannot risk getting infected and being either asymptomatic and spreading the disease or being symptomatic and risking hospitalization or death. Our hospitals are nearly out of oxygen. There’s 8-18 hour waits, outdoors or in your car, until you can be seen (that, or drive two hours to a different hospital two counties away). So I can only live in the present when making plans for “what do I want to do next?”
But living in the Present is also just a healthy approach, too. I want to be present and in the moment with my Sweetie, the only other human I see every day. I want to be thoughtful about my interactions online, over text, or over video. I want to be aware of my surroundings, right now, and be involved in what can be done here, now, in this moment.
Because that’s all I have.
I live right here in this moment, in the PRESENT, and why not take advantage of this opportunity?
The Words-of-the-Years List
- 2021: PRESENT – http://blog.cayswann.com/word-of-the-year-2021/
- 2020: INTENTIONAL – http://blog.cayswann.com/word-of-the-year-2020/
- 2019: STRENGTHS – http://blog.cayswann.com/word-of-the-year-2019/
- 2018: PRACTICE – http://blog.cayswann.com/ready-for-2018-word-practice/
- 2017: GOALS – achieved by finding both TIME and SPACE
- 2016: HABITS – http://blog.cayswann.com/word-of-the-year-for-2016-habits/
- 2015: MASTERY (and COLOR) + “Finish the Unfinished Objects” – http://blog.cayswann.com/word-for-2015/
- 2014: CREATE – http://blog.cayswann.com/welcome-to-2014-the-year-of-create/ and http://blog.cayswann.com/step-two-magic-happens/ and http://blog.cayswann.com/welcoming-the-new-year/
- 2013: FOCUS
- 2012: DANCE