It's December 1st and the first day of Reverb 10, in which you get a daily writing prompt for the month of December to, "reflect on this year and manifest what's next".
Today's prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you're choosing that word. Now, imagine it's one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
I read the daily prompt early this morning and began thinking about the word I would chose. I wanted it to be a great word, one that said everything about my year. The first word that popped into my head was "change". Really? That's the best you can do? But all day long, every time I had a few minutes to think about ONE WORD, I always came back to "change."
So why struggle so much with it then? Change is change. Everything changes...all the time. There is nothing I dislike more than people being resistant to every little change that is suggested. As an agency director for most of my career, I have a lot of experience seeing the look you get when you mess with someone's way of doing things. In anticipation of a need to downsize a few years ago, I read the book, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. I found it very useful in understanding how people react to changes in their lives. I don't want to give it more credit than it deserves but that book really forced me to think about how I personally handle change.
I'm a planner. I like to know what's next. I would be described as someone who not only crosses bridges before I come to them but I continue on to the next town and then turn around and come back again. I just call it planning for all contingencies. I have learned that I need to be prepared with my Plan A, but also a Plan B, a Plan B-1 all the way to a Plan Z. Being ready to roll with the changes makes for a much easier time. My reluctance to choose "change" as my ONE WORD is that change is inevitable so why couldn't it describe every single year of my life?
In my own defense, this year was a bit out of the ordinary
- My only child graduated from high school and left our small town to attend college in the City of Philadelphia and we became empty-nesters (almost).
- My husband was laid off for the first time in almost 30 years,
- My mother finally faced that she had medical issues that needed to be handled and our roles reversed (she lives with us - hence the clarification on the empty nest)
These key events resulted in a change in my existing relationship roles and a big change in how I coped with those role changes. I anticipated things would be different but the end results still took me by surprise. I think we've all come out alright...different, but alright. So no more apologies for the choice of such a trite word. I think it is deserved.
As for next year at this time, the word choice was easy. I choose "contentment." If I'm willing to appreciate and accept change in my life and see it as opportunity, I think it should be fairly easy to work towards contentment. There are some big things I'd like to work on and some very little things that irritate me but I'm not at all worried about someone moving my cheese. I 'm going to use the opportunity to embrace the change that is required to move toward contentment.