A Word for 2020*

Each December I choose a new word for the coming year that I hope will reflect some of the things I’d like to achieve in the months ahead. I find it so much simpler to have one concept to focus on, rather than a big list of “goals” that I painstakingly write out…

…and forget about three weeks later.

My words in past years have been Brave, Strengthen and Do It. As I reflected on this past year a word kept coming to my mind over and over. At first it didn’t really make sense to me, but he more I thought about it as it continued to pop into my mind I knew it was the right fit.

2019 was a hard year for me. For us. For a lot of people, I think. It started with such hope and promise when we learned that we were pregnant, then it felt like everything came crashing down when we lost the baby… followed by the sudden death of a good friend just a few weeks later. I spent a good part of 2019 feeling like I was just trying to keep my head above water as I dealt with the physical complications from my miscarriage and the emotional complications from two big losses back to back.

It’s been a few months now, and I feel much more whole than I did last spring. It’s taken longer than I would have first expected, but my heart is healing.

I am healing. I’m not done yet, but I’m getting there.

My word for 2020 ties into this. Normally I have to choose a few words and think about how I could apply them. This time, this one word quietly entered my mind over and over again. It wasn’t one of the words that I was “trying on”, but it was there, quietly persistent until I finally clued in.

My word for 2020 is:

I know it’s probably a strange word to use–it’s definitely not one I would have chosen off a list. But after some thought, I know it’s right for me. This year, I want to start listening in all aspects of my life.

I want to really listen to my mind and body for what it needs. I’ve been pretty inactive and eating all my feelings since the spring, and I feel ready to move past that. Lately I have felt the push to eat healthy and move my body again… not because I feel like I have to, but because I want to. I want to be healthy and strong again… and rather than ignoring that feeling, I want to listen.

I want to really listen to the needs of my children. My husband. My family. My friends. I want to step back from the things I think they need or what I think is “best” for them, and really just… listen. Be present. Hear what they are saying… but also what they aren’t.

I want to be a better listener to the promptings I often have to reach out to someone or do something. I often have names of people pop into my head and think that I should message or call them… but I get busy or ignore it and then it’s forgotten. Those “out of the blue” messages I’ve received from people over the years have been a light in my life, and I want to lift others in the same way. I have received so much kindness and light this year, and I want to pay that forward.

I want to listen to the push I’ve felt to go back to the basics. Read more. Write more. Be on my phone less. Dive back into music and play piano regularly again. DO the things that I know make me happy, not just think about doing it.

I want to learn to listen to my own heart. I have struggled with confidence for most of my life and constantly worry how I’m being perceived by others. I spend so much time fearing judgement that I’ve stopped myself from doing or writing or sharing things because… what if it makes someone think differently of me? What if I don’t do it well?

On the other hand… what if I do?

I want to listen to and act on what I feel is important. For the first time in a long time, I feel inspired to write about something important to me. Something big and possibly controversial. I have absolutely no idea how to do it or where I’ll go with it, but I’m going to listen and just… do it. And that feeling is wildly exciting.

I am choosing to listen to the persistent promptings from the universe that THIS should be my focus for 2019. My life is messy and imperfect, but it’s my beautiful chaos and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. As my Dad always says, “Life is good.” It’s not always easy, but it’s so full of love.

So, 2019 wasn’t my favourite. And that’s okay. I feel like I’m being pointed in a new direction and I can see the sun on the horizon.

So, 2020, let’s do this. In the classic words of Dr. Frasier Crane:

“I’m Listening.”

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