This is my word for 2014 and as I write this on the last day of December 2013, I am already beginning to doubt my choice. It is making me nervous... I suppose that is a good sign.
For the past couple of weeks I have been making my running list of possible words for 2014. Some of them had the same tone as linger but didn't feel quite right. In the past I have chosen a word to guide my year and knew to be patient. My word would come to me. And it did.
I was sitting in church on Christmas Eve taking in the glow of the candles and the listening to the last few notes of Silent Night being played on the organ when it came to me. The word just popped in my head. I knew that was it. Now looking back as my anxiety rises in anticipation of what living out this word might mean....of course I would choose that word in that moment! Those are the moments we yearn for. The moments of peace and quiet in which we want to linger and fill our lives: those Silent Night, candlelit, Christmas Eve moments. But how do you have those moments in the busy days the rest of the year?!
That is exactly the point. (Aha!)
I am good at slowing down and taking time to be quiet and thoughtful. I treasure the moments when I linger in peace and quiet, whether it is reading, working in my garden, taking walks or turning off all technology. But what I have noticed about myself in the last three months is that I am either in peaceful mode or full-on charge ahead mode. I do not have a good middle ground. It came to me about six weeks ago in a moment of
embarrassment and shame when I realized I was apologizing for my behavior too much. Don't get me wrong. I needed to apologize. That was when it hit me that something was wrong. I needed to change. And that message of change came to me on Christmas Eve.
So now I will make a practice of lingering in the moments that make me uncomfortable or sad or frustrated or completely stressed - not rushing through them. My most comfortable way of operating is processing, thinking through a problem and then moving forward. I am pretty good at doing that in a timely fashion...so I do. But how many people and relationships am I leaving in my wake?
So...[deep breath] in 2014 I am going to linger. It makes me nervous about what is ahead. I need to keep in mind that all the words I have chosen in the past have unexpectedly blossomed in all areas of my life. They have taken me places and encouraged me to grow in ways I never imagined. I trust the same is ahead for me this year!
(As I get ready to publish this and go public with my word choice, my body is covered in hives from a reaction to medicine. I am miserable with pain and itching. And yet…I have made the commitment to linger in what life brings. My first challenge…)