I don’t know about you but it feels like it’s been 2014 for weeks already. Maybe we can blame the media for all the “What’s in Store” coverage that’s been coming at us since early December. Or maybe it’s my schedule of appointments, work travel, and kid stuff that has had me fixated on January since October. Or perhaps it’s just us types who are impatient and can’t wait for much of anything to arrive. It doesn’t really matter, as 2014 will be here – on time – in just a little over 36 hours whether we are ready for it or not.
But come to think of it, it’s rather tough to be ready for the unexpected. In fact, the only thing we CAN count on is that most of our moments, events, and developments of 2014 won’t be predicted, forecasted, or otherwise planned for by anyone. The premise is a frightening one if you spend longer than a few minutes pondering it. In the physical world, few of us would venture into unknown territory without promises of safety, comfort and happiness ahead. Yet, year after year, we throw down a few drinks, make a few empty resolutions, and hurl ourselves forward into the next year without much fear or trepidation. At least that is what I have done for the last few decades — mostly because it beats the alternative of fretting and hand wringing.
So I say, bring it.
2014 could be the best year of my life. Or the worst. Or somewhere in between, along my personal spectrum, which would be interesting to plot out soon, before I forget where all the years should properly go. My guess is that most would be clumped towards the “good” end, with only a few below the halfway mark. I have been lucky. Blessed, for sure. But certain about my future? Never.
Think about it. How many of your major happenings in the past year were predicted ahead of time. For me, the answer is very few. At this time last year I would have never fathomed that in 2013 I would feel the need to find a new job. Even events that I planned well and worked hard for – like Chase’s Bar Mitzvah or my Association’s Annual Meeting – came with no guarantees. It’s the same each year. Surprise ending every time. As I look out over 2014, I see a few milestones and markers up ahead, but I have no sense as to what the journey will entail, who will enter and leave my path, and what else will appear along the way. It sounds hokey- but what a mystery life is!
For people like me who squirm at the thought of ambiguity, letting things fall where they may is a chore. I have striven to “let go” in years past but with little success. My efforts to release the elements I can’t control only result in the tightening of my grip on the things that I can. (And some of those
people things really don’t want to be controlled by the likes of me.) Thus, it is around life’s indeterminate path that I choose my word for 2014.
I love everything about this word, but my reasons for choosing it center around a few different interpretations:
Of little weight; not heavy
Oh, how I want the coming year to be light! I want to laugh and be silly, free from heavy burdens. And to the extent I can feel and share lightness with others, the better off we will all be. For those days when the unexpected weight of the world seems to fall on my shoulders or someone else’s, let me have the peace of mind to lighten the load.
An illuminating agent or source, as the sun, a lamp, or a beacon.
I hope I cross paths with those people, places and things that can help me learn and thrive in the coming year. Opportunities for illumination and enlightenment feel few and far between these days. I need to seek out my personal suns and turn my face deliberately towards their warmth.
Whenever we build fires in our fire pit, I always volunteer to collect the kindling – those tiny sticks that hold the flame from which a greater fire will burn. I hope to be that kindling – and plan to seek out tiny sparks of inspiration in the coming year so my life – and the lives of those around me — burn bright in 2014.
I wish you all the happiest of new years. May 2014 be filled with peace, light and love. And please, if you feel inclined, share your word for 2014 below. xxoo