Monday, January 12, 2009

Thoughts on the New Year: Clarity

The beginning of a new year. Time to step back and assess. Examine the events and accomplishments of the prior year. Anticipate the coming year and all that it has to offer. For some people, this means resolutions or goals. I have a hard enough time with a daily or weekly to-do list, so resolutions and goals are not exactly my thing. Last year, I tried Ali Edward's "One Little Word" approach. You can read more about it here, where she reintroduced the idea for 2009. My attempt at using one word as a focal point for the year was not very successful - I couldn't tell you what word I even picked, so I think it's safe to say that it didn't really resonate with me.

This year, I decided to give it a go again. I am a bit more optimistic that I will be able to carry the word with me for more of the year, mainly because I see it as being partner to the word SIMPLIFY, which has been entwining itself in my life for the better part of 2008.

My word for 2009 is CLARITY. We're not talking about clarity in the sense of using illegal drugs and suddenly knowing why the sky is blue and the grass green. The CLARITY that I am envisioning is more of a state of being. My CLARITY is similar to the fog breaking up or the haze lifting. My CLARITY is a clearing of the mind and a refreshing of the spirit. I want to be able to look back on 2009, take a deep breath and smile with my head high and shoulders back - knowing that I had accomplished something, or at least have a much clearer picture of the situation.

There are a few areas of my life where I want to experience this CLARITY:

  • My Employment: With my company being acquired in a move reminiscent of a whale swallowing a guppy, I'd like to have some CLARITY regarding the status of my job. I have a "Plan B", and I am working on that so I am not caught unprepared should something go wrong, but I am beginning to feel overwhelmed by the stress of not knowing which way things will go. If you know me at all, you know that I do not deal well with uncertainty - I NEED a plan, and I need to know what is going to happen next.

  • Our Finances: While we are by no means "hard up", we can certainly be doing a lot better. We've been fortunate enough to pay down a significant amount of debt in 2008, and I'd like to continue that progress in 2009. To use the awful "G" word, I have a Goal of being credit card debt free by the end of the year. We've been too "loosey goosey" with our finances, and we need to focus if we are going to accomplish our Big Picture Goals for our future. I would like to close out 2009 by feeling unburdened by some of our debt and financial insecurities. I want to have a greater sense of CLARITY regarding where we stand financially, so that we can begin to actively and aggressively pursue those Big Picture Goals.
  • Our Stuff: We have an overabundance of STUFF, and we need to do something about it. Between what was mine, what was Shawn's, what has become ours since we got married, and all the stuff we inherited (literally!), we have a lot of STUFF - two houses worth! We need to get serious about clearing it out - to simplify our lives, remove the clutter and excess in our house, and prepare for the day that Plan B might come fully into play. I have some ideas in mind to help with this particular area, and am looking forward to putting them into motion. I want to feel CLARITY at the end of 2009, when I can look around and feel less claustrophobic and confined by the STUFF.

  • My Health: No worries - there are no serious health concerns here, just the continued struggle to live a healthier lifestyle. If we want to get serious about having a family, I need to get serious about losing weight. It's as simple as that, and yet anyone who has tried to lose weight knows that it is not all a simple task. I'd like to close out 2009 with some success in this area, and a greater sense of CLARITY about when we can begin working on our family.

There are other areas where I am seeking CLARITY, but not all of them are rightly shared here. Just know that for each of them, a positive outcome would be to close out 2009 feeling happier, refreshed and much more at peace.

Have any of you chosen this "one little word" approach to the new year? I'm curious to know what your words are, and what plans you may have for carrying them through the year.

7 comments:

Marlene said...

No "word" here....but I like yours.

I totally empathize with your feeling of uncertainty where it comes to your job situation. At my last job in Canada, a similar situation occurred. The hospital was "taking over" the Cancer Center where I worked...and everyone was filled with a sense of dread. We didn't know if we'd lose our jobs to "hospital workers" or if our jobs would be eliminated. In the end, it was better for everyone. (I got a raise in pay and an extra week's vacation!)

Just thought I'd share that, so you can still HOPE. Hope is very powerful.

Yeah, I think that will be my word for 2009. Thanks for the clarity! ;)

Marlene said...

Oops....I wasn't very clear. HOPE is my new word! :)

Joy of Frugal Living said...

I haven't tried this word idea, but yours sounds like a good one.

If you want to chat about the PCOS stuff anytime, just let me know. I feel like I learned SO much this summer and fall that I wish I had known earlier on. I was able to decrease my risk for the pregnancy, and all is going well. Also have some thoughts on the weight loss aspect. Anyway, good luck, I know it can be hard. :)

Jennifer

rosie said...

Great word, Laurel :) Sounds like a good one for you this year. I picked open-and I love it. It's already having an impact for me. thanks for writing about your word

Melb. said...

I am still working on my word for 2009. I'll let you know. I do want you to know that I am going to help you with your CLARITY on your STUFF. I will be bringing those bags I was talking about. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

re: our conversation today

Rollie said...

hey Laurel,
Love your word for you! I had SIMPLFY last year and I can look back and know that I did acheive what I wanted to do. I love that feeling. This year I went lighter with things and picked ENJOY, I have had a rough 18 months and forgot how to ENJOY things. So this year it is about ENJOYing , enjoying the SIMPLE things about life, ENJOYing the people that are in my life, ENJOYing and celebrating everything.

Anonymous said...

I finally figured out my word. It's TRUST.

Trust other people a little more; strangers and friends. Trust my husband to do what I ask, and try not to micro-manage every little thing. Trust that things will get done, even if it's not exactly to MY specifications, some positive change has been made. This is really difficult for me, because I usually go by the motto that nobody can do things as well as I can do them.

And finally to trust that the Universe has a plan, and that I don't have to worry about the little things. I have to trust in myself to let go a little bit. too. A tight grasp can't receive.