Category Archives: reverb11

{reverb11} feeling the need to keep going

I have this wonderful friend named, Devon.  She is a conference buddy, but way more than that too!  I meet her and her partner, Michelle, years ago at a Computers and Writing conference in Detroit, and we have been friends ever since.  We always have the best time together.

my conference buddies

In lots of ways, I have always looked up to Devon.  She has achieved a career that is really what I think I want to do.  She is so sincere in the way she approaches people, and you never have to wonder where you stand with her.  She is straight-forward and caring, and she has the best southern accent!  And, daily I am in awe of how much she loves Michelle.

Well, Devon has participated in a challenge for a couple of years, that she explains here much better than I could, called Reverb, which is really a process that encourages you to look back over the last year before entering the next one.  Although it isn’t officially moving forward, a bunch of bloggers, including Devon, are working together to keep it alive for those interested in participating.  And, since I just finished up my personal {30-in-30} challenge, I thought I would informally post along with the group about all that has happened over the last year.

The Prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

I have mentioned several times that I choose a word for each year instead of a resolution.  It’s a practice I picked up from a bunch of different people, and 2012 will be my fifth year choosing a word.

I talked about my word for 2011 here.  In that post, I revist my 2010 word, “proceed,” and explained why that word was so desperately important for that year, a rough chunk of days.  But, 2011′s word was “whole.”  My hope was that I would use the last 12 months to look at the whole of my life.  IMG_0919

My goal in that choice was to try to consider where my priorities were.  To try to achieve some balance in my life.  And, while I am not completely balanced (I am not sure anyone ever really is), I really think that considering the whole was a great reminder for me.  It was a great reminder when I was deciding what new projects to take on and which ones to let go.  It was a great reminder for the way I need to look at my physical well-being, and it aligned with some philosophies about grieving my family holds dear.

Losing my brother last year, colored the whole last year for me in lots of ways.  Whenever you lose someone, you need to work through the process of grieving, but when that person takes their own life, it is really hard to move forward.  Essentially, you are angry at the person you are trying to grieve.  And, I have been angry.  Angry that he didn’t share with me what was going on with him.  Angry that he didn’t trust someone, anyone, to share his burden.  Angry that he gave up on living.  But, through the last year, I have tried hard to accept his choice and look at the whole picture of things.  To remember the whole of his life and not just dwell on the final bad decision he made.

So, that’s what “whole” has been about for me.  And, again, that little word has been a wonderful guidepost throughout my last year.  It was reaffirmed again that choosing one word is a more effective way for me to focus my energy and practice success than just deciding a list of things that seem somewhat impossible or unlikely to accomplish.

Which, brings me to next year’s word.  The last two years’ words have been more about the thinking aspects of my life.  Contemplating the way I wanted to live and the type of person I want to be.  So, I would like next year’s word to be more action-oriented.

In the upcoming year, I will work to cultivate those changes that I have been thinking about.  I will work to cultivate my relationships, those both new and dear to me.  I will improve my life by labor, care, or study.  And, I will foster the growth of those things I want in my life.  I think it will be the perfect word for me.