Word of the Year: SAVOR

Happy Hump Day, readers!

Nine days in and I'm feeling really good about this upcoming year and am excited to see what's in store.

Blogging can be so cathartic and sharing my reflections of the past year and intentions for the new year here is a really good exercise. One of my all time favorite quotes is "I cannot advise that we remain as we are." by Socrates. This idea of constant improvement really drives me, and reflection and intention are an important part of growth.

So before I dive into my word of 2019, savor, I want to take a moment to reflect on 2018, which was truly one of the best years of my life.

(This is a long post, so if you'd rather skip ahead, scroll down to the graphic and start there.)

My word last year was intentional, with a particular focus in the areas of family and career. I shared that I felt as if I was on a precipice, the end of a high dive, and I wanted to make sure my jumps into the next phase of my life were the right ones.

In terms of career, I knew I had landed in the right profession, but I hadn't yet found just the right fit. I spent a good bit of time job searching last year and was relentless in my search. I knew I needed to land somewhere that had lasting power, and even turned down a few really great job offers, so that I could ultimately say yes to my dream job. I've been in my role now for nearly 9 months and really feel I have "landed." I have room to grow, stretch, and challenge myself; a boss who encourages creativity and risk; and a reasonable workload.  Additionally, I have incredible flexibility, which was a huge deciding factor during my job search, and will be crucial once we have bambinos.

Which leads me to my next point: family. This time last year, we knew we weren't quite ready to start a family, and wanted to focus on being intentional in a few areas to prepare for babes in the not so distant future: finances, spontaneity, and health. Finding a job where I could see myself as a working mom was one box I knew I needed to check before thinking about adding a baby to the mix; and my new role also fortunately was a nice title and salary jump. As newlyweds last year, we also felt the need to "catch up" post-wedding and honeymoon, and also figure out what financial path to take as a married couple. This wasn't a huge curve ball, as we had been living together for a few years, but it's something we're still working at and tweaking to find the right balance. Next, we  knew we wanted to take some more time to be selfish and spontaneous. We planned a somewhat last minute trip to England last year when opportunity struck (our friends, Erin and Ryan, are living in London temporarily). We drove to the Eastern Shore on a whim to see a 4:00 am rocket launch! We said "No thanks!" (countless) times to our meal plan and opted for Mexican and margaritas instead. Finally, in terms of health, we wanted to build habits to make us as healthy as possible before parenthood. I'm excited to say I'm starting 2019 about 14 pounds lighter than I started 2018, but more importantly I'm more physically fit and have a good balance in my diet. Sleep is still a health area we need to improve on, but hey, maybe, we're just preparing ourselves for the sleep deprivation that will come with children.

Okay, now onto 2019. That "moment" to reflect on 2018 got a bit wordy. Hopefully you're still with me, because I am PUMPED to jump into my word for this year!

savor (v): to delight in; enjoy

It took me quite a while to find this word. It was on the tip of my tongue for a while.

I've shared on here before that I'm Type A, a planner, a doer. I don't necessarily think those are bad traits, but I do find myself sometimes focusing so much on what's next, that I'm not fully present and enjoying what's now. I've even noticed a trend where in the second half of a month, I'll often say "I can't wait for X MONTH to be over." Not because it's a hard month, or there's something I'm looking forward to the next month, simply because I feel like I want to just keep going. I also sometimes struggle (though I've gotten much better) to let go of things that are outside of my control, or to accept when things don't go according to my plan and timeline. When I was in therapy in college, my therapist once said to me something like "Allie, I know you can explain all your feelings, analyze them, tell me why you should or shouldn't feel a certain way; but I want you to focus instead on just being in the feeling." 

For all these reasons, I knew I wanted this year to be about, quite frankly, just being. I considered the words breathe and serenity, but they felt too zen. I considered faith or trust, but both of those have connotations that strayed from my meaning. I also thought about gratitude or contentment, but they weren't quite right either.

As I continued and continued to go back to the drawing board what kept coming to mind was our recent New Year's Eve. We stayed in and early in the night, I was sitting by the fire sipping bubbly, Millie was next to me, Bryce was nearby in the kitchen, and Van Morrison was playing on the radio. In that moment all I could feel was pure joy. Similarly, when I think back to our trip to England, one of, if not the most, favorite moments was at Stonehenge when we sat in the grass, paused, and took in the rolling green hills, blue skies, grazing sheep, and wonder of the monument. The moments where I'm most happy, content, joyful are the moments were I am truly stopping, breathing, and savoring the here and now. 

So as I think to and celebrate all I achieved in 2018, in 2019 I want to focus less on what's next and more on seizing the moment.  Achievements will come, of this I'm sure, but what's most important is savoring the experiences - big and small, happy and sad, easy and tough - along the way.

Happy New Year, friends!

Do you set goals, resolutions, a word for the year?

Have a great day!