When the alarm blared in your ear this morning, were you tempted to rip the plug from the wall and throw the clock (ipod charging and all) to the far side of the room? Or maybe, you are one of those chronic “snoozers” and you snoozed so long that you showed up late on your first day back at work (pillow creases still grooved into your forehead)?
It’s Day 3 of 2012 and already the 2-day hangovers have dissipated, the Christmas lights are disappearing from the houses on my friend’s street, and everyone is slipping back into the busyness of life.
How’s it going with those New Year’s Resolutions of yours? Is 2012 the year you will end your long term relationship with Suzy Saddlebags & Paula Paunch? The 12 months where you will drink green tea every single day or finally admit to yourself that using a glass of Shiraz to suppress your anxiety about your job, your boyfriend, or your budget is not a great strategy (ahh, when will I ever learn…)?
I’ve always sucked at keeping New Year’s Resolutions, so I gave up making them years ago. I don’t know about you, but as soon as someone tells me I HAVE to do ____________, I lose interest (even if the person bossing me around is me).
But last year, a little article by Martha Beck shifted my perspective on resolutions and quite literally changed my life. Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? But, if you have been around for awhile, you know how choosing my three words for 2011: healthy, loved, and inspired led me down the garden path (or whatever path it was) to a brand new life. If you read my Hell Yes post, you know how thinking about what would INSPIRE me led to a volunteer trip in Africa and put the wheels in motion for my upcoming (equal parts terrifying and exciting) Adventure of Hope.
With the start of a New Year, I have thought a lot about what bright and shiny word I want to choose for 2012. You see, late last year, I thought my word might be FREEDOM. But, here’s the thing…you should be careful what you wish for. I have never felt more FREE in my life. With no home, job, boyfriend, or family of my own, I have absolutely zero attachments. Are there perks that come with this freedom? Absolutely. But, do I want to live with this kind of zero-attachments-freedom forever? Absolutely not.
So instead, I’ve decided that in 2012, I want to cultivate CONNECTION. I know – pass the patchouli and let’s all sing “Kumbaya”. But, in all seriousness…one week from today, I will search in the bottom of my new rolling duffle bag (who knew trying to wear a travel backpack post mastectomy and reconstruction would be such a painful idea) for my Big Girl Panties and then board a flight to Hong Kong, en route to Vietnam. Then, you and I will spend the next six months traveling around the world, volunteering on almost every continent.
So, how does my big word for 2012 fit in? Well, I believe that this trip is about more than “just” international volunteering and more than “just” cancer survivorship; it’s about CONNECTION. It’s about moments like when I was there to bathe and care for a scared little boy in the Townships of Cape Town and he was there to remind me of how far I’d come since my double mastectomy. It’s about having the opportunity to share stories about these global connections with you. Stories about the resilience of the human spirit and about families who come from the most meagre of circumstances but still have hope for a better tomorrow. And just maybe, this trip is a reminder for me (and hopefully for you) that the past does not define us. Whether our story used to be cancer, a failed relationship, or a lost job, it’s never too late to write a new one.
I’m still working on my other two words, but hell, it’s only January 3rd and I have fundraising goals to hit (38% and climbing thanks to your support – Woohoo!), a spreadsheet to keep updating as you help me get back “in the black”, and a few great prizes to give away (Thank You Marmot) to anyone who contributes between now and midnight PST on January 9th. Besides, my first 12-hour flight next week should give me plenty of time to decide on the next two words.
For now – I’m passing the floor over to you. What will your word for 2012 be?Pin It