I’m a “New Year” kinda gal. Ever since I could remember and understand New Year’s Resolutions, I loved to set them. I distinctly remember sitting on my bedroom floor in middle school, spiral bound journal in hand – it was either late December or early January – setting a laundry list of goals I was absolutely going to crush that year. It was 400% going to be MY year. Although I’ve gotten smarter and much more intentional about my goal-setting over the years, in my heart I remain a New Year’s kinda gal.
I love the idea of a fresh, clean slate on life. Self improvement, learning, growing and changing are my jam! It comes from the part of me that is the eternal optimist and also, in part, the Catholic girl who studied saints and consequently struggled with perfectionism for decades to come.
The past couple years I’ve started choosing a word of the year as well. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, basically you choose a word that will propel you forward in the coming year. The idea is to choose a word that inspires you and gives you strength and hope for the year ahead.
2019 has been filled with an abundance of good memories but as with anyone’s year, I had trying times as well. One of the more trying times of the year was the loss of my very dear Uncle Dave. In November, he lost his battle with terminal cancer, just barely under a year after he was diagnosed.
As I reflected on my Uncle’s life and the legacy that he left behind him, somehow he left me a few lessons posthumously.
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how to made them feel.”
Dave’s legacy was the way he made people feel. He made people feel seen, heard, respected, and important. His smile was infectious largely because of it.
As I looked at pictures that spanned a too-short lifetime with my cousins, my sister, and husband by my side, we laughed and reminisced. It occurred to me that I could no longer live small. I want to have the kind of impact on the world that my Uncle had.
Too many times in my life, I have questioned if my care was placed correctly. I’ve wondered if I was weird for caring or bringing a casserole or checking in. My voice has stayed quiet when I wanted to express my concerns, my appreciation, my admiration. I have lived in fear of the opinions of others even when my intent was the best at its very core.
That’s why my word of the year in 2020 is radical.
: very different from the usual or traditional, EXTREME;
:of or relating to the origin, FUNDAMENTAL;
:favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions
In the coming year I want to:
LOVE the Lord and others radically, without fear of judgement or rejection;
Love MYSELF radically, without demeaning or wavering;
FORGIVE radically, keeping in mind the intent and not just the outcome;
Push myself radically towards my goals;
TEACH radically, in a way that makes my heart sing;
SPEAK radically with words of encouragement, appreciation, and admiration;
Be radically HONEST with myself and others, even when I am made to feel small or harsh;
Set healthy boundaries for myself and my family radically, in a way I never have before;
Practice radical self care;
Be radically myself without making myself quieter, smaller, or assimilating to the group;
Live radically in a state of constant change and betterment.