Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Word for 2013

I sit here relaxing on the couch with Lisa, after a long and enjoyable day with my little girl, another day filled with the laughter and joy that always seem to mark my ‘Lizzie days.’  This one felt extra-special, for some reason… perhaps because it was a bonus day, an extra one that was a direct result of me having the extended Christmas holidays that come with being a teacher.  I am a teacher… those words still sound a little weird, about as weird as the thought that I’m no longer a Starbucks employee.  It’s awesome, amazing, still a little scary at times, and still a little weird… not that I’d change it, of course, but I’m not entirely used to it yet… 13 years is a long time.
After putting Lizzie to bed, I was puttering around on the computer, and saw my mom’s open question about people’s word for 2013.  Words of inspiration, of purpose, have never really been my thing, although I can certainly see the value in them.   I’m not sure why I decided it was time to join in on the conversation, although reading my Aunt Sherri’s blog about her word for 2013 (peace) certainly played a part in my decision.
The list of words people put down as theirs for 2013 were amazing and inspiring:  compassion, kindness, courage, respect, adventure… all great words, and yet not words that struck a chord with me personally.  At first the prospect seemed daunting… so many words, so many possibilities.  And then a word came to mind, one that in a way seemed perfect, but also one that I thought I should look up, to see exactly what it meant.  Of course, when I looked it up, it was absolutely the perfect word for this year, for this point in my life.
I’ve had a rough couple of years, in some ways… struggles with work, with school, with time, with life in general have at some points seemed overwhelming.  I was buried by a lot of things, and getting through one day at a time was often a struggle.  “Survive” seemed to be the word of the year, again and again… but those days are behind me now.  The end of 2012 has seen a number of changes in my life, and 2013 will see many more, but these are all positive changes, changes of growth and opportunity.  My days of surviving are behind me.
With that thought in my head, I looked up the word “thrive.”  It seemed fitting, seemed like a good word for where I am right now, but I wanted to be sure.  It had a number of meanings, and each one seemed better than the last.  “Make steady progress”  “Be at the high point of one’s career or historical importance” “Grow vigorously.” 
In so many ways I feel like I’m on the verge of all those things, but especially the last.  I am going to grow vigorously in 2013… do more of the things that I love to do, get back to the things in my life that bring me joy.    I was an avid skier for a while, but for some reason that I can’t remember now, I got away from it… I’ve said for years that I wanted to get back into it, but it’s not the cheapest activity in the world, especially when you’re a full-time student with no ski equipment.  Season after season passed, and each year I said I hope next year is my year.  Well, this year will be that year… I went up for the first time since the 90s last week, and loved it… I’m going again on Friday, will buy my first season’s pass later this year, and if all goes well will be taking Lisa and Lizzie up with me by the end of the year. 
It’s a small thing, in the big picture, but it seems huge right now, because it’s so representative of where I was, and where I am.  I wanted to ski for years, but felt like I couldn’t, felt like it was an impossible dream, something that I would maybe get to down the road, when things were different.  Well, they are different now, and I couldn’t be happier about it.  To hell with what happened before.  I am exactly where I want to be.  It’s my year to thrive.

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