Each year at the winter solstice, my loved ones and I set intentions with a word or phrase that we hope will sum up our coming year.
Am I allowed to change my word of the year, even if that word was stability? I say yes!
A month in, I’m coming to realize that what this year has to offer me isn’t stability but rather practice. It’s my year to chop wood and carry water, something I’ve never been skilled at.
I’m doing a lot of simple hard things now that will take most of my attention and energy for the year. I’m attending to my physical fitness. I’m sorting out my finances. I’m learning Spanish. I’m settling into a new job, and getting ready to work full-time for the first time in almost a decade.
My days are kind of matchy-matchy lately, and I expect that to continue. Get up, go to work, go to class, dinner, kids, knitting. Sprinkle heavily with visiting friends and volunteering for BARCC and you’ve got the sum of what I’m up to.
There’s little that’s flashy going on. No moments of glory or applause for the work I’m doing, or even any tangible results yet. I can’t speak Spanish, I’m still in debt, I’m in possibly the worst physical shape of my life. The things I spend my time on are largely things I’m bad at and don’t especially enjoy. I don’t like studying Spanish, I just want to know the language. I don’t like working out, I just want to be stronger and happier.
I’m not used to putting in labor on things I’m not innately good at. I’m very big on playing to my strengths, which is a great strategy but not a whole one. Sometimes I also need to be willing to dive into something I’m not good at and use what tools I have to get better.
So I’m practicing practice. I’m working on study skills and personal accounting and sleep hygiene. It’s not very interesting to talk about. A lot of it isn’t even very interesting to do. But it’s important and deeply satisfying and hard hard hard.