v. (used with object)
to subject to a process of vaporization and subsequent condensation, as for purification or concentration.
To extract the volatile components of…
To concentrate, purify, or obtain by…
To remove by…
To extract the essential elements of; refine…
To let fall in drops…
I suppose it’s a habit. Without much thought, as the year ended my mind began to wander and sort and sift through words. I suppose I could make it a goal, or an intention. But it’s more of a come-to-Jesus as I stand at the front porch staring down the horizon of the upcoming year. So that is what you will be. Okay. I breath it in and let it swirl around and begin the process of acceptance.
My life does not revolve around the calendar year, and still a single word emerges for the third time. The collection of these 365 days is so much bigger than a word, and it’s as simple as it too.
I think that is it. I think that is 2017. I can see it in big ways and in small. I can see it in my work and my parenting and my partnering and my practice. I can see it in my closet and our budget. As if the universe has said, “enough.” Enough accumulating. Now pare down. Now find the essence.
At first the prospect was scary. And already I am becoming accustomed. I am training myself to ask what is necessary. With money, with time, with thoughts.
I think scarcity will be my nemesis.
I need to practice gratitude, to breathe it in fully. And I am hopeful I will be filled with a quiet, bare beauty.
Last year I chose a word, or, more accurately, a word engulfed me. Vulnerable. I walked into an invitation to be more involved where I previously avoided commitment lest I be disappointed. I decided to pursue a nagging curiosity about teaching yoga. We dove feet first into an adoption application. I continued along the precarious precipice of small business life. Then other things took advantage of the opening for vulnerability. And I made it to the end of the year. I survived. And I feel silly using such a grand word when others are handling things of such a larger magnitude, but last year felt big to me. It was terrifying and exhausting and oh so worth it. Thank goodness.
Then another word started tiptoeing around my thoughts towards the end of the year. Patience. I was so sure this was my mantra for 2016. Then an Instagram post from Emily McDowell and an email from a dear friend with this word: intentional. It was as if someone else articulated my thoughts, their words resonated so deeply with me. I want to walk through 2016 with purpose. I want to partner intentionally, mother intentionally, work intentionally, practice and teach yoga intentionally, write intentionally, photograph intentionally. All these things I have been doing, I want to keep doing intentionally. I want to perk up my ears when other women have those discussions about work life balance because I am learning balance does not magically appear simply because you are balancing your time between two things. And this is where the year of vulnerability comes into play. Because when I do these things and do not “just see what happens” but move forward towards an intentional end, I leave myself open to big stinking, not particularly attractive failure. And when I get there, because I think failure in some shape or form is kind of inevitable, I hope I can congratulate on all the planning that got me there.
Last Saturday Ben suggested we finally try out the Hike and Bike trail on the segment of Buffalo Bayou that borders our neighborhood. Leila and I were wildly underdressed for the strong winds, and she slipped in some mud early on the walk. It seemed like a bust between the two of us wining about our discomforts, but we pressed onward and were rewarded with one of the most beautiful days we’ll probably have all year.