Laura Purdie Salas started me on this a few years ago–each year, she sets a theme for her year, rather than making a list of resolutions. I love this, possibly because I hate resolutions, but also because I think it makes a nice turning of the calendar page. Not what do I want to DO this year, but how do I want to be. And I think that picking a theme kind of gives a nod to the past year, maybe things I learned about myself or about life in general.

This year, I think that’s true. I have certainly spent more time meditating this past year than ever before and more time trying to be okay with the fact that I can’t control all the things I would like to control. Maybe even thinking that, actually, I wouldn’t like to control them–because controlling, even when you manage it, takes up so much energy and creates so much stress. So I could make this year about letting go. Or I could, as I’ve been thinking the past few days, make it about embracing and welcoming change.

Because here’s the thing about 2014: Lots of change coming. Assuming multiple creeks don’t rise, here’s what’s in the forecast for us.

  • The boy will choose and start attending some college.
  • The husband and I, starting in Autumn, will essentially be a twosome again. Well, okay, a twosome plus a cat and a bird. While I think we’ll be more than okay, and we’ve always enjoyed being a twosome before, there’s no question things will be…different than the last time.
  • I will get a new job somewhere and work full-time again.
  • I will try to avoid/balance the conflict that sometimes arises between the writing I want to do and the writing I want to have done.
  • I will start exercising a body that, while it seems to be less injured than it was a month ago, will no doubt take continued attention and gentleness.

This past week, I’ve been feeling pretty good about all these things, even the college part, because the boy seems to be ready to take this next step. So, yes, I could go with Embrace Change or Welcome Change. But even those themes feel a bit…controlling.

So I’m going with Staying Open. I mean, look at that list. Every single item on it could go so many different ways. Obviously, I’m hoping for happy ways and I certainly don’t want to think too much about negatives. But if I were even to start writing all the good things that could happen to the boy in terms of college, I’d be writing down a huge range of possibilities. And while I’m excited about all this change today, I’m sure there will be days when it feels like it’s happening too fast, or turning a corner I wouldn’t have chosen. I’m not sure whether I’m not ready to actively embrace all that, or whether it might actually be a mistake to turn away from feelings that don’t necessarily meet happy-dancing standards.

So this year, I’ll be trying to observe what happens and how I respond to it and how my responses fade and change. And choosing to allow all the events and feelings and try not to cling too strongly to them or push them away with too much anger. I don’t expect to get even close to perfection. But the theme, as I understand it from Laura’s posts, is about how we’d like to be, a way we’d like to live. And this seems like a year of changes to which I’d like to stay open.

Are you picking a theme for this year? I’d love to hear about it? Or, if you really love resolutions, pop those into the comments, too.