‘It’s odd that we start on 1st January and try to come up with our teachable moments. I can’t predict what life will teach me this year.’
“I thought your mornings are all nice and gentle?!” my husband texts me at 7.58am, in response to a text from me, declaring my intention to commit murder.
‘Morning’ was my one word for 2016.
I have been choosing a word for the past few years now. Instead of making a list of resolutions that you forget, or fail at, you choose just one word. The tagline for #OneWord365 is “Go where it takes you. Be who it makes you.”
I have always picked words to help me focus on an area that I’m struggling with a bit, words to help me live more intentionally, words that encourage some improvement in my attitude or my time-keeping, in my habits, in how I spend my days. Which is good.
I have a page in my bullet journal where I had been doodling contenders for 2017, all of them related, all worthy, none of them quite right.
Our mornings are not All Nice And Gentle. But they are better than they used to be.
Mornings had been defeating me, on several levels, and #OneWord365 helped me invest a bit more in the start of my days. I get up in time to have an hour to myself, more often than I used to. A morning playlist has changed the atmosphere of our school mornings, apart form the odd morning, when I want to commit murder. I also Read Aloud at breakfast. It’s nerdy, but it works.
The school door has sometimes been a difficult threshold for my eldest daughter (and I) so I have picked up Lisa-Jo Baker’s reminder to part in love, not relief as my school-run mantra. I needed it this morning.
As with previous words for the year, I will probably always pay a little more attention to my mornings now, picking up any tips and wisdom that I come across. The other day I heard someone say that the problem with the ‘morning voice’ (the one that pipes up at 3am when we get up to pee) is that it gets us when we’re not ready for it. So true. So helpful, somehow, to have someone draw attention to it.
This year, though, I have been doodling through January, circling around words that weren’t quite right. Having too many ideas, to be honest.
Then I listened to an episode of the Simple Show about goals and non-goals. Erin Loechner likes to celebrate, and centre herself, around her non-goals in January. She describes these as the things she has fought to love and accept about herself (like her introversion). When other people are setting goals and trying new things, she reminds herself about the things in her life that are now a given. When she finds herself looking over her shoulder and thinking she needs to try something that worked for someone else – if it doesn’t match the things she has fought hard to keep about herself – then she knows she doesn’t need to.
I said ‘YES’ to all of this in my kitchen and as I listened I found a word emerging for 2017:
This word is more of a grounding, than a guide.
It’s about holding on to important things that I am so quick to drop. It’s about being myself. (Isn’t it always?). It’s about listening to the still small voice instead of the fire and the wind. It’s about non-goals.
I’ll write more about it soon.
* I follow Tsh on Spotify and use her Schoolhouse playlist in the mornings. She writes about how she uses music in her house here.