Grocery shop. Shirts to dry cleaners. Make vet appointment. Write speech. Pay life insurance premium. My to-do list grows.
Oh, and yes—plan the life for which I’m paying that insurance premium.
A belated Happy New Year to you all! Many of you know I normally choose a word for the year (it chooses me). I used to love to do this but now it’s become a “thing” and you know how I feel about “things.” Ugh. But the Universe would not brook any naysaying from me because it sent me not just one—but two—words just before I fell asleep a couple of weeks ago. You don’t think up your words, you see. You let me them come to you.
The Universe and I are still conversing on my objections to these words. I was hoping for “kismet” or “magic” or “prosperity.” But I got plain ‘ole “nourish and cultivate.” Hmph. That sounds like a “chop wood, carry water” type of year. But I think it’s all about self-care, moving toward the new, and cultivating the people, ideas and experiences that make the journey worth taking. If you have a word for 2021, put it in the comments. I’d love to see what inspired you all.
My sons have had to put up with my word each year during their childhood, so this funny video about choosing a word was much appreciated in my house. It’s bad enough to have a mother who is all about words from the Universe but when you combine that with the fact that she is an Enneagram Type 7—the Enthusiast—this video is even funnier.
In typical Enthusiast fashion, I’m tackling 2021 and the next phase of life. I am not a big believer in life coaches (apologies to you life coaches out there). I think it’s a cottage industry where many people far less wise than you and I are charging high hourly fees to just be positive and encourage us to do what common sense would dictate we do anyway. But there’s one man that I’ve watched and read for several years now—and he always stops me in my tracks. Soooooo honest and wise, particularly for his years (he is younger than I am, by quite a bit I think). I’m beginning to work with him this month and am actually excited (hello, Enthusiast) while also cautious (Midwestern cynic rears her head).
We chatted last week and when he asked what prompted me to reach out, I gave him the brief version of what many of you who have been with me on this journey already know. Life as I knew it blew up roughly a decade ago. I put my head down and plowed ahead, working too many hours to try to keep the vestiges of a life for my sons and me. Now, as my youngest gets closer to college age, I’ve lifted my head to look around me.
That shouldn’t be anxiety producing, right? But a dear friend (the same big bear of a man who worries about my romantic life) asked me a question over wine a couple of months ago: “Kristine, what’s your Oz?” And it stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t answer it.
If you’re familiar with the Wizard of Oz, Oz is the Emerald City, a magical place where dreams come true. My friend was asking me—sans kids and all of the stresses and responsibilities I’ve had, what life would make me smile every morning? What would my day look like? What would I see out of my window? Who would be with me?
I don’t know. I hate saying that, folks. But I really don’t know. I do know that I look at pieces of my existing life and I say, “Not this.” And I think it’s ok to start there. It’s a tiny footpath to Oz up a steep mountain, but I’m confident the path will widen and the incline will begin to soften as I go.
My friend can be a harsh critic but he was gentle and kind when he saw my blank face. He reminded me of the things he and others love about me. He reminded me, as did my new coach, that I have another lifetime within my lifetime still ahead. And that it’s worth making sure it fulfills me and brings me joy.
That’s what all this word hokey-pokey stuff is really about, friends. A guiding light, a North star, a reminder to us when we get bogged down in bills and less than enlightened coworkers and my-God-another-workout-didn’t-I-just-do-this-yesterday.
Wishing you a beacon of light in 2021, in the form of a whisper from the Universe.
Ssshhh. You have to get quiet before you can hear it.
Here we go.