it’s 2011 and I’m glad you’re here

The other day my friend Lynn posed the question to her facebook people:  “what one word describes your 2010?”  My experience in expressive arts tells me that the only way to answer such a question is to answer it quickly.  If you respond quickly and think about it later, you can open the door to some unexpected personal insight. 

I answered with “New.”

I think it was a good word.  In 2010 I changed strategies in a number of realms.  Early in the year I re-vamped my blog and moved it to a platform that I think better reflects the spirit behind the writing.  In turn, I started photographing more and began to pull together some shots that have further captured the theme I’m going for.  I spent a good part of last winter documenting my ideas of “beauty” and the sources of it around me in my daily travels.  I was rewarded, again, to find how one step leads to another – and these steps led me straight out of a funk – personal as well as creative. 

Later in the year it occurred to me to stop looking for “home” and just to live in a fun spot and let home come to me.  I get all over my writing students for resorting to clichés, but it’s a lesson I seem to learn over and over again: get out of the past and the future and get living in the moment.  THAT’s when the change happens – not when I'm thinking about it, mourning it, planning it, hoping for it, wishing for it. 

Still later in the year, pretty recently, I decided to revamp me.  I vowed I would try more, trust more, BE more and stay devoted to reflecting the authentic me.  I carried that focus on authenticity around with me as I shopped, in the books I chose, friends I found, and in the ways I approached my jobs and free time endeavours.  I knew that the most important part of this personal revamp was to drop some walls – particularly because it also included the return to the pursuit of romantic love.  I explored the opening of some chakras and worked at smiling at strangers more often and (sorry another cliché) being the change I want to see.  Again with the small steps leading me in directions I never imagined.

So the end of the year arrived, and some wonderful surprises have presented themselves.  For different reasons, I’m not writing about them yet.  But I can say that I have more than one reason to step forward into 2011 anticipating much more NEW.  And I’m filled with optimism and hope that some kind of ball is rolling and that you’ll join me in its path.

It’s day one of a new year.  I don't know what the word will be for 2011 – but it doesn't matter.  I'm sticking in the now and rolling with the rhythms.  I do know that I'm really glad you're here to discover it all along with me. 

14 Comments

  1. Reply
    Selma January 1, 2011

    I think my word for 2010 was survival, both mentally and physically. The whole year was like attending a boot camp I didn’t know I’d been invited to. But I made it and I feel glad about it. However, I don’t particularly want to go through boot camp again so this year I’m hoping the word is a simple one with a nice ring to it – chill!

  2. Reply
    deb @ talk at the table January 1, 2011

    This all sounds so very wonderful, and I encourage and support anything you are journeying towards. You sound like an authentic and intentional person, so I’m sure you are not living a cliche but living the why of how they have come to be. So many people only wish.. not many do.
    I have been feeling increasingly content and grounded and on the cusp of new and fully alive more and more every day. It’s good.

  3. Reply
    Marilyn January 1, 2011

    As I read your post about naming 2010 one word sprang to mind – revelation. I went away and did some housework (still necessary even in this sparkling new year!) and I thought why revelation and have decided that it couldn’t be more accurate.
    I have been living in the moment for the last few months and this has helped me enormously, I have learnt so much about myself. Photography has played a huge part in this as I am seeing things differently now.
    Also I have learnt so much about others, other countries and about myself through my blog which has been a real revelation. I thought that it would be somewhere to put my photos, I hadn’t thought beyond that but have found it to be so much more.
    Thank you for this post, it has given me much to think about, it is a real gift to me.
    May your year be filled with gifts of all kinds and be a wonderful one for you and your family and friends.

  4. Reply
    Boonie January 2, 2011

    This is a fascinating post and has some real quality comments too – a very positive way to start the year.
    I wish you an excellent 2011, Boonie

  5. Reply
    Susannah January 2, 2011

    I love this post Jennifer. It sounds as though by staying in the now, being authentic in who you are and challenging and dropping some old stuff and opening up to the new, you are in the process of attracting some accurate and positive reflections into your life
    … brilliant! 🙂
    It is strange, I tried to think of a word to describe my last year and couldn’t think of one. 🙁 I asked my partner and he answered instantly, it is a good exercise I think.
    Happy new year Jennifer, may this year bring you much Joy!

  6. Reply
    reluctant blogger January 2, 2011

    I think mine would have been “mellow”. I had a nice plateau year with nothing dramatic going on. I fancy something a bit more sparkling in 2011. So that is what I am setting out to do – have a bit more fun, experiment a bit more, be a little more daring in all sorts but not reckless. I veer very easily towards reckless.
    You do sound positive re 2011. Can’t wait to hear all about your new things. Happy New Year, Jen!

  7. Reply
    Jennifer January 2, 2011

    Sending all my good vibes for a Chill year for you my friend. xoxo

  8. Reply
    Jennifer January 2, 2011

    Thank you Deb – it sure doesn’t feel like a cliche. Really glad you have got the content and grounded – couldn’t ask for more for my friends. xoxo

  9. Reply
    Jennifer January 2, 2011

    Marilyn, your response couldn’t have given me more pleasure. I’m honoured, truly. And so glad to have met you – your blog is so beautiful because of who you are – the spirit behind your photographs and writings. I look forward to knowing you more in 2011. xoxo

  10. Reply
    Jennifer January 2, 2011

    Thank you very much Boonie. You and Mrs. S and your wonderful blog are among the terrific additions to my world in 2010. Looking forward to another year of them!

  11. Reply
    Jennifer January 2, 2011

    It’s amazing how ‘easy’ it is to attract elements into one’s life isn’t it? I knew this years ago – yet it still suprises me when I let it happen.
    Re the word – me thinks you were thinking too much! Distilling any idea down to one word can be a very good exercise – I hope you give it another whirl.
    Happy new year back Susannah. Looking forward to another year of your beautiful writings. xoxo

  12. Reply
    Jennifer January 2, 2011

    Ooh – sparkling! What a terrific word to set as a theme for a new year! How could it not happen? (For the record – I can veer to reckless too.)
    Looking forward to our respective sparkling years unfolding my friend. Happy new year back. xoxo

  13. Reply
    Jeff griffiths January 2, 2011

    “New” perfect Jennifer…what a great idea, and to do it without pondering. My word is “Blog” I began mine in September and have never had a better challenge and response in my eight and half years of writing. And more important are the Blogs I now follow, yours in particular, “inspiring” would be the word for it. Thanks and Happy New Year!!!!

  14. Reply
    Jennifer January 3, 2011

    Jeff I think your word is perfect. I, for one, am so glad you started yours. Remember me when it gets big. :0) And I’m honoured that you’re acknowledging mine so.
    Happy New Year back – looking forward to another year of your wonderful prose.

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