The temperatures are soaring into the upper teens, the calendar pages have been flipped over, and a stack of brand new shiny resolutions wait like little puppies, hopeful against all common sense to be adopted.
If you’ve been keeping track of me, you know that I’m not a resolution kinda gal. There’s nothing about January that inspires me to change, unless it is to move south. Even the word, resolution, gives me the chills. It’s the kind of word that requires a three-piece suit and a 14-foot conference table. Sensible jewelry and stern hair. Chin up, shoulders back. Stiff upper lip and all that.
Resolutions seem to be stamped with an expiration date, which means you either did it - or you didn't. It’s a win / lose kind of thing. And once you've done it, well, what next? And if you didn't do it? Then what? Sit in a corner and beat yourself up?
Rather than resoluteness as an improvement plan, I’ve been using one word each year as a guide. While it sounds very simple, and indeed comes with few rules, one word can serve as a guide for deeper, more honest living.
In past years I've used words like allow, up, moxie (yeah, that was a bad choice. I allowed myself to give up that one). Engage was so engaging it lasted two years.
After trying on all kinds of verbs, adverbs and nouns over the past few weeks, the word open came to me this morning. I don’t even remember what context it came wrapped in. I caught a sweet little whisper in my ear. Open. That’s usually the way it works. Despite an intention to pick muscular, flashy, energetic words, my experience has been that the universe knows best where I need to go.
So, open it is.
What will that look like?
Perhaps, maybe, it'll look like this:
Open for business
Add to the list if you'd like. Better yet, pick your own word. Share if you'd like. Here's your opening for a brand new year.
I've been sharing the odds and ends of my art life for the last 8 years.