Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Grounded: My One-Word Resolution for 2019



Another year has passed, and suddenly here we are in 2019. Time to start fresh with some new goals. Time to take the lessons learned from last year and apply them to this year. And time to reveal my new one-word resolution.

The words I chose for the last two years -- Balance and Wellness -- came to me quickly with little contemplation.  I somehow instinctively knew those words belonged to me for a year. But this year wasn’t as easy. My list of words to choose from was longer, and any one of them would be fitting for me. 

But after a month of test-running my list of 20 potential words, I figured out which one I wanted to bring with me into 2019.

That word is:





Grounded has a handful of definitions:
  • Mentally and emotionally stable
  • Sensible, realistic and unpretentious
  • Unable to move, as in a grounded ship
  • Punished, as in a child who is grounded after misbehaving
But then I noticed that every time I attended one of my beloved hot yoga classes, the instructor would say the word Grounded multiple times. Whether we’re in mountain pose, standing tall with our eyes closed and feeling our feet grounded on the floor or we’re in a seated position, noticing the long line of energy that begins where we are grounded on the floor and traveling up our spines to the top of our heads, I’ve come to think of Grounded as meaning something other than those standard definitions.

To me, Grounded means:
  • Mindful
  • Rooted
  • Supported
  • Calm
  • Focused
  • Aligned
  • Connected
  • Energetic
  • Present
  • And circling back to my favorite word in the dictionary...Balanced
Grounded also makes me think of one of my favorite guided meditations that I fall back on when I’m stressed or angry or nervous or worried or just generally ruminating over thoughts that do nothing but exacerbate whatever emotional I’m trying to soothe. To paraphrase, in this meditation, you envision tying this unwanted thought on a string that’s attached to a balloon. And from the ground, you watch the balloon float away with your thought.

Watch from the ground...Grounded.

I live inside my head a lot, and the image of watching my troubles float away while I stay firmly on the ground -- and capable of walking away -- is comforting. But I’d like to use it more. I’d like to improve my ability to let go of what’s unnecessary or out of my control and simplify my thoughts. I’d like to be able to plant my feet on the ground and be mindful of where I am at any given moment, mindful of what’s truly important in my life while ignoring the chatter.

So with my word in mind, I started off 2019 on January 1 by applying it as literally as I could. I went outside. I took off my socks and shoes. And I walked around my backyard, letting the earth kiss my bare feet. I stood in mountain pose, closed my eyes and imagined all the not-so-great parts of 2018 floating away with a bouquet of colorful balloons, while giving thanks to all the wonderful parts of 2018.

I’m excited to see where this word and this year will take me. Bring it on, 2019!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Roller Coaster 2018 Year in Review




"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." ~Hal Borland



'Tis the season for year in review posts. And now that we’re mere hours away from a new year, I thought I’d join in on my own personal walk down the 2018 memory lane.

So what did my 2018 look like?

My January was all about preparing for a hysterectomy that would put me out of commission for six weeks. When a freak blizzard canceled my original surgery, I spent the rest of the month regrouping, rearranging and re-prepping for the second attempt, which was successfully completed with no complications.

I spent February in a blur of pain meds, hormonal changes, juicy novels, Netflix binge-watching and the realization that my son, who turned 14, had surpassed me in height.

In March I returned to work, reminding myself the art of moderation.

My body told me in April it was ready to get moving and in shape again. I signed up for Orangetheory Fitness and hot yoga memberships, two very different practices that I would soon learn greatly complimented each other. My first essay about my hysterectomy was published.

In May I turned 42, I published my second piece about my hysterectomy and I finally started believing my body was finding its new normal. 

I had to wait until June to celebrate my birthday, but the parasailing adventure in the Outer Banks of North Carolina was worth the wait. My son graduated from middle school, my daughter graduated from elementary school.

July uprooted our lives with the news that we had to move unexpectedly. We found a new house in the kids’ school zone in less than a month. We spent the month packing.

Four days into August, we moved into our new house. Not two weeks later, my boyfriend and I were driving around Iceland on an unforgettable vacation. We wrapped up the month celebrating my daughter’s 11th birthday.

Life attempted to slow down in September. Daughter started middle school. Son started high school. We finished unpacking our new house.

October brought pink hair for me and the Halloween my son chose hanging out with his friends over trick-or-treating with his mommy.

In November, I spent time with my parents, celebrated an early Thanksgiving because the kids were with their father on the real one and got my first piece published on a travel site.

I ended the year with December Christmas craziness, my son’s first track meet, a vision board workshop, the anticipation of a kiss from my boyfriend at midnight on New Year’s and lots of new goals for the new year to come.


Happy New Year!!!



Thursday, November 29, 2018

What Will My 2019 One-Word Resolution Be?


"For last year's words belong to last year's language 
And next year's words await another voice." ~T.S. Eliot



Every year around this time, I start creating my own personal year-in-review mental slideshow. I know it’s a little early. It’s still November. I haven’t even put up my Christmas tree yet. But I feel like I need to start early and really take the time to figure out how I did in life the past 11 months so that once New Year’s Day hits, I have a clear plan in place as to how I want to approach the upcoming year.


I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. But I do believe in the power of a single word. And because I feel like my last two years were positively defined by two words, part of my early year-end reflection involves choosing my next one-word resolution.


My 2017 word was Balance. As a working mom who has a million things I want to pursue in my free time, I felt like I was living an unbalanced life. I spent the year finding balance in my body, mind and space. Every time I felt the stress of imbalance creeping in, that word flashed in my brain. In fact, I loved Balance as my one-word resolution so much I was tempted to use it again for 2018 (as I’m tempted to use it again for 2019!). 


But I knew I needed a new word, a fresh word for a fresh year. So my 2018 word was Wellness. As the year kicked off with a hysterectomy, I needed a word that would remind me why I chose to have the surgery, as well as a word to motivate me to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, throughout the year. That word was there as I dealt with the difficult recovery after surgery, as I struggled to get back into the shape I was accustomed to as an athlete, and as I listened to my body when I had pain I shouldn’t be having 9-months post-surgery and spoke up to my doctor. With Wellness on my mind, I can say that word helped me get to the here and now with a focal point I needed.


Now I need a 2019 word. And I want that word settled on and ready to work its magic when I open my eyes on January 1. Words randomly pop in my head all the time, but the following 20 have serious potential. Some are straightforward. Some have dual meanings. All of them can be applied to things I want to see in my life as we switch calendars.


So which of these will be my 2019 word?


1. Grounded


2. Breathe

3. Mindfulness


4. Priorities


5. Energy


6. Words


7. Calm


8. Flow


9. Meditation


10. Mountain


11. Momentum


12. Motivation


13. Listen


14. Create


15. Present


16. Steps


17. Float


18. Importance


19. Connect


20. Explore

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