I stand on the brink of another year and once again contemplate all the ways I could improve myself. And I once again reflect on all the plans of the past year that were enthusiastically begun but fell by the wayside, or deliberately abandoned, or just never got past being thought about. And I could, as in years past, berate myself for the many ways I failed to follow through. But, I choose not to.
Instead, I will remember 2018 --my first year being "officially retired"-- as the year I lost my dad, some special friends, and neighbors. It was also a year that revealed while I may not control how life unfolds, I can choose how I perceive and respond. I had chosen perspective as my 2018 guiding word, and it was appropriate. Even in the midst of grief, my world view broadened, I made a major decision, and I welcomed a new BFF into my circle of special friends. I also developed a bond with my mom that probably wouldn't have happened otherwise; together we figured out how to navigate through her first months of widowhood, and in the process, we both grew to understand and appreciate each other as the women we are beyond just mother/daughter. I couldn't plan that.
My 2019 word choice announced itself recently during the brief moments between being asleep and fully awake: content. It's an interesting word because it fits into three parts of speech (which appeals to the grammar nerd in me) and has two unrelated meanings. Pronounced con-TENT, it relates to satisfaction; pronounced CON-tent, it relates to all the elements that combine to make something. I like both meanings, and I think both are relevant to personal goal-setting.
This year, I would like to add some skill sets to my CONtent - learn enough Spanish to communicate basics, learn elementary keyboard, (re)learn crocheting. I'd also like to loosen the grip of my lifelong nemesis Procrastination, and develop the habit of moderating my voice (which gets whiny) when I'm annoyed.
Decades of making resolutions - officially or not - has taught me likelihood of success declines dramatically after the first week of January, so this year I've invested in a paper planner. It has a vision board. Goals-setting pages. Focus tips. And, of course, monthly and weekly calendar pages. My go-to e-calendar doesn't give me all that, but the idea of another thing to keep up with is a bit daunting. I'll just blame my artistically-inclined sister if this idea fails me, as she gave me a book of colorful stickers which inspired the idea.
Happily, in most areas of my life, I am already conTENT, which may be an obstacle to successfully growing my personal CONtents. Perhaps a bit of DIScontent will be necessary. Hmmm...