Right before New Year’s, I was pondering words and phrases like “TAKE RISKS” or “STUDY” or even “DECLUTTER,” but these weren’t quite right for my own theme for 2020. As my friends do, several jumped into the discussion to make suggestions or share their word of the year. A few observed that my thoughts sounded like “simplify” or “align” or “nourish,” all of which are very worthy themes indeed.
But since Wednesday, I just keep coming back around to the same word:
The more I settle into the new normal for my age and interests and abilities right now, I am being more carefully INTENTIONAL about how I spend my time and energy. For example, sometimes habit kept me teaching. And while I adore my students and I really loved sharing dance knowledge, it was getting obvious I needed a new training and treatment regimen. I’ve had knee troubles and lately low back pain, and it just didn’t get any better by ignoring it. (Duh.) So I’ve put my dance teaching on hold, a very intentional hiatus, for the express purpose of training my body back into a more healthy state.
My time spent in particular hobbies has changed drastically. Some of my choices have been intentional changes to remove myself from environments that have some problematic community trends. There are times when it’s no longer my calling to fix everything that’s broken in some spaces. And that’s okay. I have no regrets for the years I spent in some activities, and I have grand friendships from the experience. But I don’t have to attend every event to still show love and affection for friends I value. Instead, I can choose intentional interactions with these friends.
My own artistic pursuits are somewhat broader and somewhat more narrow than ever before. And that’s okay. I’m perfectly happy being very intentional about what arts I spend time on now. And this also means that I’m looking for ways to gift some supplies to others who will be more likely to use them in the pursuits I’m no longer chasing. It’s a time to send the treasures to other homes, where they’ll be used immediately.
The past several years, my immediate family at home and I have been watching specific TV shows together in order to grapple with the state of the world and our nation. As we dig into these discussions, I’ve found there are some topics around which I want to intentionally engage with the world. Likewise, I have to choose the audiences with whom I will engage. I’ve intentionally walked away from some interactions because I’ve lost hope that some minds will change. And that’s okay. Not every fight is my fight. But the fights that I want to be intentional about? Those I refuse to be silent out of laziness or silenced out of fear or other pressures.
And there’s just the time spent with family. Rather than allow time to just disappear, I want to embrace intentional time with those I love and that I am closest to.
Intentional. These are the things I *mean* to do. Yes.
The Words-of-the-Years List
- 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