A Word for Next Year
Ihave been doing a ton of reflection this year. Almost more than anyone else I have ever known. Maybe it is because we are on the verge of a new decade. Or maybe I am just a little wiser this year and I know I strive in knowing where I am to get to where I want to be.
Whatever it is, it has me thinking a lot about what next year will be like for me and my family.
Every year in December I start to reflect. I reflect on the past year and complete a personal inventory. I also find themes for my year and try to boil them down to a single word. This helps me better understand what happened in the last year and brings closure to it.
Now, the word I create for the next year rarely turns out to be the word that I get from reflecting when that year is over. But, it has helped me to remember what I desire to do throughout the year.
And this year, as we kick off a new year and a new decade, I have found something that seems to be ringing loudly in my ears. A word and an idea that I think will change the way I do things.
In the Moment. With the Ones I Love. Doing the Things I Love.
This year, I find myself thinking a lot about living in the moment with my family and doing the things I love with my life. My life plan and goals revolve around these ideas and themes going into 2020, and I am very motivated to see this through.
What does it look like to live in the moment with the ones I love, doing the things I love to do?
In the Moment
When I think about being in the moment, I think a lot about slowing down and doing less. In our world today, this sounds like the dumbest thing to be doing. We often desire to do things as fast as we can so we can fit more into our lives.
But when we do this, it simply takes away from the joy we can find in our everyday lives.
An example of this is when I work from home with my day job. I work tirelessly to stay caught up and get my work done. And sometimes it just doesn’t happen. When this is the case, I begin to work faster in order to get things done.
When I start falling into a culture trap, I forget why I want to work from home: to be with my family more.
And then, I miss out on the opportunities to write love letters to my daughters. Or serve my wife. Or enjoy the beauty that surrounds our home. I just get wrapped up in trying to get everything done so I might be able to enjoy the things I could in the little moments of life.
Being in the moment is about slowing down and doing less so you can enjoy what is happening around you.
For our loved ones, being present is key.
As a husband, my wife wants my undivided attention. It brings security and comfort. It also tells her I love her and respect her. And when I can do this, our connection grows more deeply and our marriage is strengthened.
As a father, my children want my attention and focus. They desire to know that I love them. They need acknowledgment, commitment, and affirmation from me. When I provide these things, it builds them up and prepares them for life.
As a son and brother, my attention is to build our family ties. To encourage each other, lift each other up, and propel each other into the duties we have in life. It builds on a legacy for our family and this only happens when we are present.
Friends, colleagues, and acquaintances we need to be present to be respectful and to establish mutually beneficial relationships. If we can not be in the here and now with each other, how will we be able to build into each other lives?
Being present for our loved ones is a commitment that will build into our relationships far into the future.
The Things We Love
There are a lot of things I do not love. I don’t love driving in traffic. And I don’t enjoy having to rush from one appointment to the next. We can probably name more things we don’t love in the world today than the things we love.
But we need to be present to enjoy the things we love.
What do you love? Do you love your morning cup of coffee? Or watching musicals and theater? What about walking slowly through a park or on a trail in the woods?
This year I want to be more present doing the things I love. Things like writing and reading. Or working with my hands on our house or our land. I want to take in the clear air and feel my muscles work as I do things.
In order to do the things we love, the things we really love, we need to be present. When we are present in these activities we get to experience them more deeply and experience the joy they bring to our lives.
Being present when we do things we love brings joy to our lives.
Will You Be Present This Year?
What about you? Who are your loved ones that you want to be more present with? What are the things you love to do? How could you be more at the moment with them?
Take some time today to consider being in the moment with your loved ones and the things you love to do. Think about what that might look like for you this year. And then do something today to actually make it happen. I will bet that you will have a better day today than you thought.