I admit, I like manufactured milestones. I like taking the turning of a new year to take some time to stop and look.
Last year I started on a low note. I knew I could only move ahead so far. It wasn’t a great year, but it was a year of progress.
There were plenty of steps forward, a decent amount of steps back, but overall I came out ahead.
To me, the biggest sign of change is that last year I felt so adrift and unsure of everything that I couldn’t think about moving forward. It’s hard to do when you don’t know which direction to go. This year I’ve got direction, goals, and even plans.
I still don’t feel great about where I am. I still feel like there’s so much ahead of me that it can feel difficult to know where to start. But I feel pretty sure I’m past the worst of it, which was something I couldn’t say last year.
I’m on the way up.
And that’s the word of the year I’ve chosen for 2015.
I know the exercise of finding a word of the year can seem a little silly or trite. But doing it requires you to spend some time thinking about where you’re going and what it means.
Up occurred to me while I was brainstorming and I kept finding myself thinking about phrases more than individual words. Things like: Brighten up, Move up, Look up. They were about motion and optimism. And I didn’t want to limit myself to just one of those things. Up lets me embrace a lot of them at once.
Optimism is something I need. The honest truth is my circumstances aren’t great. And I’m an honest truth kind of person. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the awful-ness of reality. I want to focus on where I’m going and not get stuck where I am. I want to remember the progress and the movement.
My goals, I’ll admit, are mostly financial right now. I want to make enough money that I can work just one job.
As a mother, I want to figure out what kind of parent I want to be. These days I fly by the seat of my pants, I react rather than act. I want to find the right balance between giving them independence and being involved in what they’re doing. I worry that I think too much about what I was like as a kid and what I wanted, but it’s hard to tap into those little brains to know what I can do that suits them best and lets them flourish.
As a writer I want to get back to the projects that matter to me. These days my writing is a lot more about freelance gigs, which is great to keep me above water financially but not great for me to work on my craft.
Oh, and I want to keep taking great pictures of the kids. 2014 was a pretty great year for that.
I’ve had my camera for 2 years, I never expected I would be able to do things like this. Progress, guys, it’s happening.