Monday, December 28, 2015

My Word for 2016

Before deciding on my word for 2016 I spent some time with my 2015 word - threshold. For the first few months of the year, it was everything one would want a defining word to be. It motivated me to paint my front door and sweep away the cobwebs. I contemplated the threshold between earthly things and spiritual places. I looked for thin places. Like opening a brand new book, with the pages crisp and clean, I eagerly anticipated that first step you take when crossing into a new place, endeavor, adventure.

Then, as it has a way of doing, life intervened and thresholds became less fascinating. One step was pretty much like every other step.  Halfway through the year, I stepped down on un-solid ground and broke my ankle in three places. Talk about new thresholds - a ride in an ambulance, pain like I've never known before, surgery, letting go of control, becoming a care receiver instead of a caregiver, learning to walk again. Needless to say, I pretty much had to hit the pause button on my life. My intentions for using the extra time I had been given to write fell short. So did training and taking walks with the new puppy. Moving to a smaller place was out of the question. Hell, I could barely move from room to room.

A month or so before the holiday stress started piling up, or maybe because it started piling up,  was drawn to the word sanctuary. Or it was drawn to me. Seems like everything I read had some mention of sanctuary, or spending time in a quiet meditative place. I also noticed a particular and unexpected calm come over me on the days Sweetie went shopping, Johnson was busy outside and the dogs slept.  I enjoyed the time alone. The hum of the air conditioner was the only sound. Some days it was warm enough to have the windows open and I could hear a few birds singing. The quiet felt good.

I began leaning towards "sanctuary" as my word. Although quiet can lead to a spiritual experience, I didn't really feel like I was looking for a religious kind of sanctuary. The thesaurus pointed out synonyms like refuge, harbor, hideaway, avoidance, burrow, retreat, shelter. All close, but not quite what I was looking for.

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness, 
and just be happy." 
Guillaume Apollinaire

When I read this quote on Terry Hershey's Sabbath Moment, this morning, I knew I'd found my word - pause. It's the pause I'm looking for. Sanctuary, yes. Retreat, yes. Hideaway and even avoidance, yes. But more than any of those, I think I'm craving a brief amount of time in my life to be still. Usually when I'm in a quiet state, I tend to sleep. I want to be awake during my pause. I don't want to turn it into a "have to" or "should." I don't want the time to have an agenda.  I just want to pause for a moment or two every day and notice. Perhaps it's a different way of practicing mindfulness. Maybe just a way to stop running all the time. A way to stop and smell the roses. A short time for reflection. I'm not a photographer, but what if I took a photo of the things I noticed? Or here's a novel idea, write about them!

As a reminder, I ordered myself a pocket talisman from Liz Lamoreux

What is your New Year's tradition? Stay up late? Do you make resolutions? Choose a word?
Whatever it is, I pray you will be happy and healthy and find a little time every day for quiet reflection,
Merry ME


Debbie said...

So good to read your blog! You've been missed.

For me, I think my word will be purpose. My life purpose continues to change and me with it.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

AkasaWolfSong said...

I'm so happy I chose to stop in over here and read all of you and Jaack's
latest posts. A much longer pause in my day but one well worth doing.

I love your new word for the's very reflective.

Aw hell, I just love you both.

Here's wishing for you many moments for you pause and absorb.