Last year, I tried OneWord for 2015 and selected the word “balance.”
That word called to me last December because I was beginning to feel out of control. So much of my life revolved around the demands of other [little] people and I felt unbalanced and disconnected. I didn’t feel whole in the sense that all the parts of me didn’t feel in concert.
So January began with a marked intention toward balance. I was pinning articles and artwork related to my word, I ordered a notebook-style planner on Amazon (the kind that got me through college), and I got really serious about attending yoga sessions at our local Y—for the first couple months, it was 1-2 times/week.
In mid-January, we attended winter family camp together (a highlight of our entire year), and I was inspired by the weekend speaker to begin blogging more carefully about the kids. I recorded the cute things they said, sure, but I also made sure I included the pieces of their personality that were God-given, the fruits of the Spirit we already saw in them, the spiritual gifts that had already begun developing in them. As they continue to grow up, I know we’ll be able to look back and see the seeds of who God made them to be starting to sprout even now.
The only concrete resolution I made was to blog at least once per month. Real talk: I forgot about my word after about April, and didn’t remember it until November. And I did not blog every month.
I worked really hard out of the gate to restore balance to my own life. But we forged new rhythms as a family and I discovered I couldn’t schedule the kind of balance I was seeking. The spaces on my calendar were representative of what I could do; the balance I longed for had to do with making peace with this stage of my life.
I reflected on the “failure” of my OneWord this December with Jon and realized out loud that I do feel more balanced, and it had so little to do with what I did to be balanced.
- My kids entered new stages, began communicating verbally, became friends with one another, and started sleeping in their own beds in the same room (victory!).
- My team at work launched a brand-new website that makes my job more streamlined and fun, and introduced exciting new challenges.
- Jon and I spent a week in Paris and London—just the two of us—that gave us so much life and breath and joy. Which is not say those things had been missing from our marriage, but when you spend quality time with your best friend, you come away with a greater sense of how much you love them—as we like to say, how glad you are that they’re in your corner.
- I began teaching a Sunday morning adult class, started making the announcements at The Table every now and then, and participated in morning worship a few times with dramatic readings. Jon has helped me recognize that public speaking is something God wired me for, and having these outlets has given me a sense of gratitude and fulfillment.
I’ve learned that I’m not really the OneWord type. I don’t think I’ll make resolutions this year (I’ve never been the type to keep those, either). This will be another big year for our family, with another baby coming this summer, and we know life ebbs and flows—some stages are hard and some aren’t.
2016, bring it on. It’s just another stage, after all.