Fair warning to those who are resolving fervently at this time of year—you’ll find no sympathetic ear here.
It’s not that I don’t applaud your intentions. I do, usually. Losing weight, being nicer to your family, getting to the gym five days per week—they’re all worthy of polite applause.
It is, rather, that as I age I become more of a realist.
I’ve watched the same woman from my eldest’s elementary school days gain and lose the same 35 pounds for about a decade now.
I’ve watched another peach of a gal swear she is going to be deeper and more introspective—and yet, year after year, she remains a shallow woman who critiques others’ fashion choices and makes her husband miserable when she gets a diamond necklace rather than the diamond tennis bracelet she specifically requested. Oh yes, and is generally overserved at every backyard barbecue, when her loud rhetoric brings shallow to an entirely new low.
I’ll refrain from more examples to spare myself my friends asking if they were among those called out in my latest blog entry. Honesty works in a blog but can be hell on your social life.
Most of us can remain resolute for a while, but the problem that got us into our situation in the first place—the reason we overeat, drink too much or place entirely too much value on the trappings of life—tends not to get addressed. Hence, my disdain for resolutions and the initial fanfare that comes with many of them. They are like the boyfriend that comes on strong with flowers and sweet talk up front, but ends up scratching himself on the sofa within three months’ time, asking you to fetch him a beer. Resolutions, like Mr. Budweiser on the sofa, don’t last long.
Last year, I threw resolutions out the window and decided instead to choose a word or phrase that would guide the year that lay before me. One year ago, I put a candle by my bedside with “Smokin’ hot creator” emblazoned on it. I wrote more that year, published more, than ever before. (And yes, I now see the irony. I am more careful not to put anything involving creation at my bedside at forty-something. No sense tempting fate.)
This year, my word was open-hearted. Not coincidentally, I found love (albeit, a seven-month stint) and put myself back into the world with a guarded, but open, heart.
Next year, I will be radiant. Does that sound like a resolution? Bite your tongue—it’s not. It’s a vision I’m going to hold close. For my local friends, please do not judge my progress by how glowing I am when you see me late Sunday night trying to finish up the weekly grocery shopping. Or how joyful I look when I’m sitting in the pouring rain watching another lacrosse game from a mud puddle.
It’s a vision. That one word, “radiant,” is something to hitch my star to on good days and bad. It’s what I want for myself after five tough years where the unexpected twists and turns of life seemed to age me incredibly. I want my light back full force. I want to shine again. Want to feel the glow from within.
Based on my recent life experiences, I think my wisest self has chosen this word because I’ve learned something that is key to making it a reality. My radiance has to have nothing to do with my circumstances. That may sound crazy to those of you not well-tested in life, but to those who have been through the spin cycle, it should resonate. My radiance will need to come from within regardless of what my ex, my shallow nemesis or the world at large throws at me.
As I hold onto that vision of radiance, I will meditate toward it. Put myself in only healthy situations. Avoid ego battles and the screaming meanies of life as much as possible.
And my batting average for holding a vision tends be much higher than forcing myself into resolutions that feel like so much medicine.
I hope I have many fellow vision holders in all of you reading these words at this very second. I’d love to hear what your vision is and support you in it.
Unless you’d rather chat with a certain someone I know about the holiday gifts requested but not received and how miserable that makes you. In that case, have at it. Just know I’ll be moving out of earshot.
As my mother used to say, I’ve got bigger fish to fry this year.
51 Comments Add yours
Thank you for the shout-out! An oldie but a goodie😀
As I age, I become more of a realist, too. I found myself vigorously nodding in agreement with everything you have written here.
I love the practice of choosing a word for the year. Just before I began blogging, I chose a word, one I intend to keep before me always. My word is cherish…. This word, and everything it stands for, has deep significance and meaning to me, a guiding star of sorts…
I think your word, radiant, is perfect! Love the beautiful images it invokes.
May 2016 be radiant with bright possibilities and opportunities for you, a year of fine new horizons, a year of love, laughter, and peace. Happy New Year, my friend! ❤️ xoxo
I love that you have such a beautiful guiding star. Here’s to it shining so bright this year that it’s a beacon for continued joy!
I really loved this:Honesty works in a blog but can be hell on your social life.
So true. I like your idea of choosing a theme word. It reminded me of an article I read: http://thechalkboardmag.com/new-year-new-language-choosing-theme-word-2016
I hope that this year you are truly radiant! Let’s make 2016 amazing!
Hoping you chose a word that makes your heart sing:). Happy New Year! To light and love.
‘Focus’, another F word. Why didn’t I think of that. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you picked up on my trend in my previous response. Stay in tonight. Remember, it’s ‘amateur night’. Be safe and we’ll chat next year. Steve
I love your word! I’m thinking my word will be “enjoy.” I have a lot on my plate and I think I get too bogged down to actually enjoy life, my family and myself.
Here’s to enjoying with you! Especially at next get-together:).
What a lovely idea. Happy new year to your and your family. Let your radiance shine in 2016.
Thank you! Wishing you a lovely 2016:).
“Radiant” is wonderful. Last year I thought of “light” (which is similar) for myself in this post http://almostspring.com/2015/01/02/i-see-the-light-and-the-light-is-me/
I can honestly say that I kept the vision of that light both within me and as a beacon to follow and it truly helped me move forward. Wishing you the best of radiance for 2016.
I love that it helped move you forward:). Did you choose anything for this year?
Still pondering … I sometimes reflect for a while in the New Year until 01 February which is my birthday. I will let you know.
I have now chosen my word and it is ‘glow’ – half way between ‘light’ (my word for last year) and ‘radiant’ (your word for this year) so you are a year ahead of me:)
By the way, I note you have been freshly pressed. Which post was that?
A great word:). One that evokes such nice images for me. Congrats on making the choice–it’s not easy, is it? I was Freshly Pressed twice, once each of the last two years. My latest was last spring, Search and Rescue (https://candidkay.com/2015/03/25/search-and-rescue/). Thanks for the kudos:).
And it seems, one I missed! An excellent post and well deserved of the freshly pressed prestige.
I think I’m going to adopt two words this year (if that’s not greedy). They are linked, of course. Change. And Growth. I see them together, as I head into the world of serious study, for a doctorate. I’ve been planning this – and attempting to make this happen – for more than a year now, but have been stymied by one of those people who are sometimes put in our path. But it all seems to be working for the better this time…so I am all set now to join the ranks of students. Daunting, but exciting. Studying, writing, travelling…it’s all geared to change and growth! Great post…keep ’em coming!
Oh, I am so excited for you! And so very glad the one who has stymied you is no longer holding sway:). Love those words.
I think my word this year will be “confident’ Although I’m not sure. What do you think? Maybe it’s not the right word. As you can see, I’m off to a resounding start. LOL. I love your vision and I too dislike resolutions that can’t realistically stick.
I think a word comes to you after some moodling time:). Confident is great! Let me know if it sticks.
I’ve just learned to stand in my truth….and everything changed. Not overnight, but slowly and surely I learned that if I was open and honest and truly spoke from how I did actually feel within….I changed, people around me changed, the universe in all its beauty even changed towards me as well.
Yes, I still had to deal with my inner fears and stuff, but now I realised that in doing this I was finally doing what I had never done before….I was loving me by being that truth.
Before I was ducking and dodging life in any way that I could, stressing to the max to try to ‘keep up’ or ‘be wanted’.
Now, well…it all changed…just from that one decision…and all else is history. That was over 8 years ago and I’ve never had to make another ‘New Year’ decision. I have great faith in what it has shown me to be in this place within myself, I can see so much more clearly, it even covers the multitudes of ‘Resolutions’ that we always put out there….just from being truthful with yourself.
Great post, and I must say your writing style is brilliant…must be getting closer to that book (seriously)…maybe a New Years resolution (kidding) 😀
Regardless…Happy New Year Kay! May it hug you close and do everything for that wonderful heart in a beautiful way. Mark xo
Happy New Year! Here’s to no more ducking and dodging:).
You’ve challenged me with this one let me think about it and respond later. But I do agree on the fallacy of resolutions, at least for a whole year. By the way, Happy New Year and thanks for reading my stuff.
Thank you! And I’ll be waiting to hear your word:).
First things first, I see you as ‘radiant’ when I read some of your writings about family stuff, fun stuff and frivolous stuff. Yes, very radiant. I think some lucky guy will meet you next year but let go of the frowning stuff, but what do I know. My word for 2016 is ‘goals’. I’ve never been a big goal setter but next year (tomorrow), I’m going to write down several pertaining to fitness, relationships, efficiencies and personal improvement (like keeping my opinions to myself), and set some goal for my new found activity, writing. Yes, GOALS! Thanks for the idea and I sincerely wish you a Happy New Year! By the way, your profile picture shows a radiant person. There, I said it again.
From your lips to God’s ears!:) Thank you for those very kind words. And goals–ambitious! I love your focus. Wishing you the happiest of New Years:).
I swear we meet up on another level of consciousness to discuss life!
And if I hear, “was it me?” again I may scream!
I love radiant!! It’s fabulous! The one word works for me! I may use create! LOL I can’t create a life that way so I should be safe! LOL
You are absolutely, fabulously amazing!
Keep hope alive!
Create is a great word:). And then you have to read Liz Gilbert’s book on the topic.
Ohhh I love her work! And I decided to use Creativity/Create as my word for 2016! Thank you for the inspiration!
I love that this was the topic of our day 🙂 You are so right though on many things that I often think we meet up on some sleep level to share ideas!
I love being asked, “were you referring to me?!” ugh!
I also love Radiant! That is just fabulous! One word – I really think you’re onto something here! I may use “create” because I can no longer create a life in that way so I may be good! hahahaha
Thank you so much!
Keep hope alive!
What is it about the word ‘create?’ I chose it a couple years ago and also published several books. The next year was ‘happy’ and fell a bit flat. This past year was ‘hope.’ It was a rough year. “Radiant” is a great word. I haven’t chosen my word for this year, yet. I have about four in mind, with only a couple days to decide…
Oh, do let me know which one you choose! I love this exercise:).
It’s a lovely word, a beautiful invitation for the New Year.
“Radiant” I can see that in you Kay. Shining, bright, illuminated, brilliant, gleaming, glowing,luminous, luminescent, lustrous, incandescent, glittering, sparkling, coruscating, dazzling, flashing, shimmering; What else would one want to be! Happy New Year Kay and may all your dreams continue to grow.
What a beautiful bevy of words! A wealth of riches:). Thank you and wishes only for the bright an beautiful in 2016!
I really enjoyed reading this reflective post and the poignant words used. Have a radiant 2016.
I like your candor, Kay. Which you need to do from your blog name it implies honesty! 🙂 I hope to use one of your last year’s goals or words, “openness.” I have been looking for some time now, not chasing nor getting into online dating again. But I know the possibilities are there for a partner. I will be open to listening better to my oldest daughter who has had some really mean comments towards me, which
I haven’t ignored or deflected enough. After all, I need to try to set an example instead of reacting. I like your new word for 2016. Best wishes for a wonderful new year, radiant Kay! *¤☆¤* Smiles, Robin
Oh boy. How to be open without letting in all the ick. That’s no easy task. But you are so right. Being able to get out of reactive mode is a lofty goal–and I’ve spent years working on it. Worth every ounce of work:). Wishing you an open, happy 2016!
Kay, glad you can see the challenge in my chosen word. I re-read your post and although I will choose to stick with openness, I saw yours was actually, “open-hearted.” My oldest daughter, to explain a bit, is going through a hard break-up. The court has temporarily awarded her ex shared custody of her 6 year old. I have fought this by being a witness on her behalf. To me, her ex getting Sunday through Wed. is very disruptive for a first grader. Oh well, part of my openness will be to listen and keep my mouth shut other than to nod sympathetically. Thanks for listening to ME! 🙂 Happy new “radiant YOU. “
One of the toughest parts of being a parent–letting the mistakes happen, right? Wishing you strength.
Love it! I too, have been through the spin cycle so I love your word choice– radiant. I totally get it. I have narrowed my words to a short list of about three to help guide me. However, my primary word is luminous. Which is pretty much like radiant but with the implications of what I need to call in and muster. So together, we will be bright and glowing, and radiant and luminous, right? Wishing you a radiant year!!!!
Luminous was my other choice! Kismet:). But radiant just spoke to me. I love that we’re on similar paths this year. Here’s to everything bright and shining.