Valley Village, CA: Last year's word of intention was wisdom. Ironically enough, I was planning on my word being courage, but my friend, A, said "you don't need courage, you have that. You should pick wisdom instead." So, I went with wisdom because, frankly, I didn't have enough courage to stick to my guns. Or in this case, my word.
As luck (or serendipity) would have it, she was right. I did have courage -- more than I actually thought I did -- and worked on changing the things I could. Turns out I also had serenity to accept things I couldn't change. (Well, baby-serenity. I don't like accepting things I can't change, to be clear.) The wisdom part, however, was much trickier. In every situation, you're given a choice: change it or accept that you can't change it. But which one is right? Sometimes, the answer makes itself known fairly quickly and other times, you spend an entire year banging your head against a wall with the best intentions of trying to make it better... only to realize, you simply can't.
Despite my best efforts not quite working as I had hoped, having the word of intention set helped me at least stay focused on the path. Though this year, I decided that once I chose the word, I would keep it to myself until I reveled it officially... on my blog. That way, I wouldn't be talked into a different word. (Or wuss out into choosing something else.)
I spent a lot of time working on and completing projects in 2012: The Great Church Search, the 365 Project, the Daring Greatly Blog-Along... and frankly, I'm pooped. So for 2013, I tried to think of a word that would encapsulate something that I could stand behind, but maybe not be so ambitious about.
In other words, a noun instead of a verb.
After much contemplation, I came up with the perfect noun... which could also double as a verb, once I got over my action-phobia:
Description-wise (thanks to my friends at Merriam-Webster), LIGHT is:
something that makes vision possible
something that enlightens or informs
a noteworthy person in a particular place or field
a set of principles, standards, or opinions
Quotes I've read about LIGHT include:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
“There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.”
― Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968
“Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Make some light.”
― Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
"Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
"Let there be light"
― God, Genesis 1:3 / The beginning of time
Different ways I can use LIGHT are:
travel light (which means I probably should lose one checked bag)
go towards the light (my name IS Carol(yn) Anne, afterall)
lighten up (life isn't THAT serious, is it?)
get lighter (which I plan to do with my new LA Fitness membership)
light a fire (come on, baby)
light up a room (as in, any of these women from Urban Dictionary)
be a light (by simply - being)
Choosing light (the noun, not the verb) cuts me some slack on the doing and allows me to simply live my life to the fullest, hoping that will be enough. However, I also know it won't be long before I start the doing again, in which case, I can look to it as a verb.
Last year, I met a girl at a coffee shop who told me about a non-profit she created. The story (of the organization, as well as how we met) was so powerful to me and I thought this would be the perfect way to create a more permanent reminder of my 2013 word of intention.
The plan is to have this little light of mine shine in 2013. But for the days when it feels like it's too much, it can simply hang around my neck.