Two years ago, I was inspired by a number of other bloggers to start the New Year with a three word mantra rather than traditional resolutions. I have actually continued to set resolutions and goals, but have found the idea of a mantra to be compelling and doable. My 2013 words were agility, openness and creativity and I really connected with them for the majority of 2013. I was open to the new responsibilities given to me at work, really put an effort into purging and organizing things to give me more agility, and demonstrated my creativity in things like this blog and problem solving. My mantra worked up until December, actually. That was when my school’s principal died suddenly of cancer on December 2, 2013 and the power structure at school was sent into disarray. I could tell immediately that the situation was going to be bad when we returned after winter break. It ended up being really, really bad. On the home front, our dog Zoey was starting to show very subtle signs that her health might be in trouble in December–and we all know where that headed by late January. When Terry and I were traveling back to New Orleans after Christmas last year, I wrote my post on Ice that captured some of the trepidation I felt going into the New Year–which turned out to be very justified since 2014 was a very challenging year for Terry and I.
With my sense of 2014 heading into rough waters, it was hard to commit to my three words. But I did: frugal, cultivator and nimble. I was frugal and very purposeful with my resources this year. Both Terry and I had to make some hard choices with money and our time in regards to our dog Zoey after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in early February. I spent 2 nights away from Zoey from January to December…2. That’s a lot of my time and energy going into her care. The fact that I didn’t work for the second half of the year means that we really had to be careful with money! I was a cultivator in setting up and organizing our new apartment, in taking care of the logistics of us beginning a new chapter in Chicago and setting up a new medical team for myself. I also cultivated my relationship with our family. It was truly hard to be nimble this year, however. I feel that the 2014 version of nimbleness was me as a circus elephant trying to walk across a tightrope. I got across that tightrope, yep, I did. I managed to finish up the 2013-14 school year without dropping any of the extra work I had acquired as acting IB coordinator (or neglecting my classroom responsibilities). I coordinated our move back to Chicago and settling into our new apartment. I made sure that we were there for our family–including my sister Barb after she was diagnosed with breast cancer–and we took damn good care of our Zoey. But my being nimble in 2014 sure wasn’t the impish, fairy like version I had envisioned with adding it to my 2014 mantra! And in retrospect, I’m ok with that.
And now, without anymore fanfare, on to my 2015 words:
I left 2014 feeling a sense of accomplishment in making it through a rather stormy year. The Move back to Chicago is complete and I had time to care for Zoey, Terry and myself. The apartment is in good shape and arranged with a great deal of thought. I’m entering 2015 intrigued and curious as to what we will find. I want to nurture and grow the relationships already established in my life, my varied interests and my projects, like this blog. I want to reconnect with old friends, places from my past and former hobbies. I also want to consciously seek out new experiences, people and direction.
Here’s to a year of adventures and EMWA, small and large.