My Word of the Year for 2010 was just that: "release": to let go, to relax, to be set free. Only 3 months into the year, I began to realize it was taking effect; I was beginning to respond differently to life events that hitherto would have turned me into a raving lunatic. Since then, here's what's been happening:
- I've found new ways to cope with daily stresses - releasing anti-depressant use and alocohol and food consumption -- in favour of writing in my journal, taking a long walk, taking a nap, prayer, getting lost in a good book;
- I've become more forward-looking -- releasing myself from my past life, the monthly trips to Calgary, the sense I was letting people down if I didn't go. I'm no longer chapter leader for my Applique Society group, the Wild Rose Stitchers. I've decided to stay in touch with friends and family by e-mail, Facebook and Canada Post, and hope they come out here for a change. If not...well...I've released fussing over that too.
- I've stream-lined my methods of communication -- releasing myself from the "Basic Essentials" satellite package I had, in favour of "Digital Lite' (emphasis mine). Television is becoming less and less essential. I still don't 'tweet' and I don't own a cell phone or "Personal Digital Assistant". :-) I'm sticking with my blog, my art website, my Facebook pages, and my SAQA Wiki Space. Oh yeah -- and e-mail, hand-written letters and (sometimes) my land-line phone.
- I've become more comfortable with my middle-aged middle -- releasing myself from the expectations of culture and media in favour of liking myself enough to stay fit and healthy with more sleep, more activity, and whole, real food.
- I've stopped watching the news and reading newspapers, which only served to rile me up -- releasing myself from the cultural expectation that I need to know what's going on everywhere and all the time (even if I can do nothing about it).
I am actively pursuing peace -- not the massively-overwhelming concept of world peace, no. Just the peace that begins with me. The peace the Lord said He left with his followers at His Ascension (John 14:27). The peace that I believe is within me, by the Spirit, and which, till this year, I've neglected to release, labouring under the misconception that it was somehow Out There.
And what about 2011?
I believe that the word that has chosen me for the coming year is 'ENOUGH', as in 'I have enough (time, money, talent, imagination)' or as in 'I am enough: I am blessed, I am loved, I matter -- which means that the life I live and the work I create within that life also matters*.
And so...on this Christmas Eve...I pray His peace for you too.