Happy 2016! I’m really excited about my 2016 word and kicking off another year. But first, a look back at my 2015 word, strengthen.
In my at the beginning of 2015, I wrote: “This is the year to stop wasting time worrying and being scared and strengthen my resolve.” I think, for the most part, that did happen. I finished my school year well, completed my masters degree confidently and have started the current school year off with a very different attitude than the previous one. I chose to not let my anxieties keep me from doing things I wanted to. We bought a second car and I became more confident both in my driving skills and in going places alone. I worked on learning to take a compliment and respecting my achievements. I strengthened my writing skills by participating in National Novel Writing Month. I stood up for myself by taking advantage of opportunities I wanted and saying no to things that weren’t in my best long term interest, despite having the tendency to want to make everyone happy and fulfill any opportunity put in front of me. I made Relishments a stronger site by paying someone to create new graphics and further clarifying my vision. One area where I didn’t succeed as much as I’d hoped was physical fitness, but I did run four 5k races, so I can’t complain too much. I ended 2014 feeling weak and scared, but ended 2015 with strength and self-confidence.
As a result, this year I’m going for something else. I’m going to focus on connect as my word for 2016. In past years, I’d wrestled with what word I wanted to guide my upcoming year, but connect came to me out of the blue and I immediately knew it was perfect.
Connections seem a little more vague to me than some of my intentions in the past. This year’s goal is a less about me and more about other people. Previously, I’ve focused on getting things done and improving myself, but now I’m more interested in going outside of myself. My existence is not isolated from other people or things. I want to genuinely connect with others, not just double tap on people’s Instagram photos and call it a relationship. I want to be involved in the lives of others and have them be involved in mine. It’s impossible to say where a focus on connecting will take me, but I’m really excited about the concept.
in 2016, I want to connect…
- more often with my husband – we live and work together, but it’s easy to get distracted by technology and other obligations and not take the time to really work on our relationship.
- with friends, near and far – it seemed like every time I turned around at the end of 2015, someone was talking about the importance of community and being involved in each other’s lives. For a long time, I believed that such things weren’t for an introvert like me, but the more I participate in small gatherings, the more I realize how encouraging and invigorating they are. I want to connect with friends through letters, texts and email and dinner parties, game nights and coffee dates.
- once again with members of healthy living blogger community – I became an HLB Staffer at the end of 2014, but I feel less connected to that community than I did during the years before that. Being part of the blogging community is one of the best parts of writing Relishments, but I need to be a more active member.
- even more with the Berkshire food community – I made a few good connections with those active in both the advocacy and production of food culture in the Berkshires during 2015 and I’m looking to continue that. I believe that these connections will be good for me personally, as well as Relishments as a site.
- back to the process of cooking – Relishments was born out of my love for cooking, but I feel like I really haven’t been connecting with it lately. My menus are based on whatever comes to mind first and takes the least time to make. In 2016, I want to reconnect with my love of making food from scratch.
- with my family – 2015 saw the birth of my sister’s baby and while I’ve gotten to visit with my new nephew several times, I don’t want to miss out on his baby years. We spent Christmas with Brian’s family and I was reminded how unfortunate it is to only see most of them once a year. I want to connect more with extended family in 2016.
- to my faith – last year was one of my best in terms of dedicated, consistent time reading and studying the Bible, thanks to She Reads Truth, Women Living Well, and multiple church bible studies. A connection to God’s will for my life will be nothing but good for my 2016.
- to nature – I live in a beautiful place, but sometimes it seems so hard to get outside. In 2016, I want to do more hiking, walks around the neighborhood and less viewing of it all through a lens or screen.
- to the way my body works – turns out, I’m not getting any younger and sometimes my body makes me acutely aware of this fact. I’m excited about connecting to how my body works and what it needs, both in terms of fitness and nutrition.
- with myself – it’s amazing how much more creative, focused and thoughtful I can be when I stop trying to do a hundred things at once. I’m one of the many people who have taken up coloring as a hobby and I come up with so many ideas when I sit down with a book and colored pencils. In 2016, I want to take more opportunities to check in with myself, brainstorm and be quiet. This may even be the year I start journaling again. We’ll see.
On a related note, I loved this post: How to Do (Almost) Anything in 2016, from Yes and Yes