If ever any year confirmed for me that my word of the year philosophy is better than making resolutions, it was this one. I didn’t even stick to my word of the year, either the original one I intended to use or the one it turned out to be around my birthday (February). In fact, my year ended up being about a different word/theme entirely. So here’s what I wanted to happen, what I tried to make happen, and what actually happened.
From my posts late last year, this year was supposed to be the year of me. I was complaining about how all of 2011 seemed to be about other people and I wanted to focus on myself. I wanted this year to be about improving myself in every way and feeling like everything wasn’t about someone or something else. Well, this was a major fail, in my opinion.
By the time my birthday rolled around, at which point I still hadn’t put forth my word of the year, I decided that the word of the year should be decision. There were some areas of my life I needed to make some decisions on and get settled in my mind about. I wanted to have some resolution on where my relationship was going, on what I was doing in my job, whether or not to go back to school, where to live next year, etc. I wanted to make the hard decisions about my finances that needed to be made so that I could be better positioned going into 2013. This wasn’t as big of a fail as the year of me, but this didn’t turn out to be the word of the year, either.
As I’ve looked over the past 12 months, the thing that is abundantly clear to me is that this year has been about one thing for me: focus. Focus has been the focus of this year (see what I did there? :D). I’ve focused on one writing project instead of a million. I focused on finding out the details of my financial situation and coming up with a plan to address it. I focused on what going back to school would mean to my position at my job, and moved forward with submitting an application to a program that is well respected in the subject area I’ll be studying. When my mother sent me money, rather than spending it haphazardly, I focused on getting things I needed and paying bills. I established a routine of walking in the mornings. I focused.
It’s amazing what focus can do. I am ending this year with only one “one-time” debt left. I have paid off my car. I have kicked the payday advance cycle. I have a most of It Takes One to Know One written and revised. I’ve nearly finished pre-marital counseling. I was accepted into the college I wanted to go to and am registering for a class or two. I have made many of the decisions that I wanted to make this year, and I even managed to pay more attention to my hair!
Yet, in all that I have focused on, I still didn’t do much with me. Yesterday, as I sat getting my first deluxe french pedicure and gel french manicure, as well as lip, chin, and eyebrow waxing, it startled me that I couldn’t remember the last manicure, pedicure or waxing I had gotten. When I tested out a clarisonic at the mall last week, I couldn’t believe how long it had been since I’d worn a face mask or really deep cleaned my skin. As I went through tops and bottoms for the first time in ages at the store, I realized I no longer had any idea what flattered my body shape or what colors looked best on me. I hadn’t bought anything from Bath & Body Works in at least two years. Other than going for walks and doing a basic wash, press, and curl, I hadn’t done any exterior work on me all year. Not. Good.
Thanks to my focus this year, I am in a much better financial position for 2013 than I ever would have imagined was possible. I will actually be able to afford having my hair done, getting a pedicure, or buying new clothes/shoes when I need to. I can see if getting a facial a couple times a year may help maintain glowing skin. I can get a clarisonic and great skincare products. I can get a membership to the new cycling/yoga studio when it opens. I can do things for me without robbing Peter to pay Paul. When I’m not worrying about being able to put gas in my car or making pay stretch to the next week, I can work on developing a stronger prayer and devotional life. I can study for class. I can breathe.
So maybe 2012’s word should be positioning. With all of the hard work I’ve put in this year, I’ve positioned myself to be able to actually accomplish some goals next year that I’ve been striving to reach for a long time. I’m ready to find an editor and get published. I’m ready to see what the best Erica looks like. I’m ready to grow from a job to a stable career. I’m ready for potential to and preparation to meet opportunity. I’m in a position where I can meet an opportunity head on. I couldn’t say that last year.
With all of these exciting developments, what is the word for next year? What are the goals? And what happened with the real decision 2012? That’s for the next post.
Your two cents: How did 2012 turn out for you? Did it go as you imagined it would go?
- Capitalism and Socialism Wed as Words of the Year (newsfeed.time.com)
- A Non-Word is Word Of the Year? (diamondpublicationz.wordpress.com)
- ‘Fiscal cliff’ for Word of the Year! (economy.money.cnn.com)
- GIF beats YOLO to become Oxford 2012 Word of the Year (macleans.ca)