The New Year is coming up fast, and while I want to savor the Christmas holiday with my family, my mind is also thinking ahead to 2017. Have you heard about choosing a word for the year to guide you and help you focus for the year? I chose a word for the summer but I’ve never chosen a word for a whole year, until this year.
A Revelation at Dinner
I didn’t set out to choose a word for the year, it just came to me. We were sitting at the dinner table eating and talking. My sons were joking and speaking in silly voices and I was laughing with them. It wasn’t a polite “I’m half listening” laugh, nor was it a polite “I have no idea what you’re referring to” laugh. I genuinely thought my son’s impressions were funny and reacted with joy.
Here’s the thing – he looked surprised and confused.
It hit me that my children don’t see their mom joyful or lighthearted. It is such a rare thing that they react with surprise and wonder what’s happening when I do. It saddened me.
As the more detail oriented parent of the family I’m often thinking of the many things that need to get done for the day or the week. I’m working on being mindful and present, but frequently I am preoccupied.
Choosing a Word for the Year…or it Choosing Me
So I had this revelation at the dinner table, and then later in the week, I was watching YouTube videos of Marie Kondo helping people use the KonMari Method in their homes. It hit me that my word or words for the year should be “spark joy.”
In 2017 I want to make decisions through the lens of joy.
In 2017 I want to do things that spark joy in me.
In 2017 I want to spark joy in other people around me.
What Sparks Joy?
When I decluttered our clothes the first time with the KonMari Method I struggled to know what clothes sparked joy. I hadn’t carefully crafted my wardrobe based on items I loved – they were mostly clothes that had been handed down to me or things that I had owned for years. I knew what sparked annoyance (clothes that were too tight around the waist or too clingy) and what sparked regret (boots with heels that were too high so I never wore them) but joy? My joy meter was definitely rusty.
When I look at how I approach things in life, I’m realizing that my joy meter is rusty outside of the closet as well. I am a terribly practical person – and that’s not going to change. However, that shouldn’t stop me from allowing myself to experience moments of pure joy with the people I love. It also shouldn’t stop me from seeking lasting joy in what I do, and how I do it in 2017.
I’ve decluttered several different ways in the past year and I know that the more you do it, the easier it becomes. I expect by the end of 2017 to become an expert in what “sparks joy” in me.
Have you thought about choosing a word for 2017? I’d love to know what it is in the comments!
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