Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2008 Year End Review; pt1: Personal

clock on the squareThis is the first installment of my year end review. I decided to start with my personal goals including my words for the year and part of my be:do:have lists.

For background on the terms I am using you can follow the links to the original posts. You will see several links to posts by Christine Kane who introduced the concept of “choosing a word of the year as a way of setting an intention for the year” and also her post about resolutions and the concept of framing one’s process for the year and the future in terms of first what or who am I going to be, then what am I going to do, and finally what do I want to have.

I decided to start from the personal because it’s about the interior life and everything else I accomplish flows out of how I am functioning on the inside. Let it suffice to say that one thing I learned from this year and everything that has happened in my little world is that I was not functioning nearly as well on the inside as I had presumed I was. But I would be getting ahead of myself.

For 2008 I chose two words to focus on for the year. Most people pick one, however the word I could not get away from was wealth and I worried so much about sliding to the dark side of materialism I decided to choose a second word for balance. That second word was release – as in “let it go.”

Wealth for me was not about becoming independently wealthy or the caricature of the filthy rich. I did not have a healthy relationship with money and the result was that I had none. Before the year would be half done I would find out that I had even less than that, but I’m getting ahead of myself again. I needed to get a realistic view of “having enough” and being allowed to have money I earned because I’m a worthwhile person.

Release was originally intended to address two issues. One was to let go of the negative and toxic messages that were helping to foster my lack of esteem and self-worth. The second issue was the toxic messages that reinforced that I didn’t deserve decent pay or to have any money even though I earned it.

Things started out pretty well. I kept myself on a self-awareness review to check my progress. All of this is while parts of my relational life are sliding sideways at light-speed. And then on January 16 Christine started posting her “Upheaval” series. While I connected to much of her ideas parts of me were having trouble seeing the sideways slide as the prelude to a coming train wreck. Was I in denial about the situation? Possibly but a bigger factor was that I had sustained so many shocks in the preceding 60 days I was essentially walking around in a coma until about the first of June.

Other than it could seem that my two words joined forces to create a new reality of their making I really did gain a lot from my words of the year experiment and focusing on “being” ahead of everything else competing for my attention. I can’t imagine how I would have navigated the path that unfolded for me without the contour that wealth and release instigated.

While I learned some individual lessons from each word the most profound lessons came from the words interacting with each other. A big message came through the realization that I had no hope of wealth or having enough in the present or the future until all the past debt was jettisoned. Carrying around all that weight and worry was like trying to set sail with a dropped anchor. That may not sound profound of itself but the circumstances that have developed through which that will happen are not typical to say the least and the details will have to be omitted for the present.

Let it suffice to say that life today looks nothing like what was envisioned a year ago. The one thing that has survived the year is my intent to be happy as opposed to being miserable. I have had periods of sadness, and grief, and confusion, and anger, and fear bordering on dread. Still at some point almost every day I have found a moment to be present and content, even happy, that I am alive, that I can work on my writing, take a walk, fix myself something tasty to eat, spend time with my granddaughter, call one of my kids, or watch the birds outside my window. Those things make one wealthy, too.

So what will 2009 bring and what will be my word or words for the year? Since I am neither a prophet nor a clairvoyant I can’t project specific details about 2009 except that I anticipate being happy and present. As for choosing a word or words for the year I am still waiting for the word(s) to call me just as last year’s did. I do know I will need a powerful word to match the changes in my circumstances that will be coming during the year, but time will tell.

2008 Year End Review Series:

Part 1: Personal
Part 2: Writing and Blogging
Part 3: Work


chelle said...

Sounds like a difficult yet empowering year.

Margaret Cloud said...

This is a deep and profound post, we never know what will come of delving into our inner sanctum, the chore of our being, this is scary. Our lives change sometime like the wind and makes us go in a different direction altogether. We never know what is in store for us as the year goes on. Hope your Christmas is a good one.

Melissa Donovan said...

I agree with what chelle said - it sounds difficult but empowering. Actually I remember you doing your year-end review last year (wow - have we known each other a whole year already?) and there has been a definite shift in your writing. Lately there's a certain confidence coming through and it's very engaging. Here's to being present and content!