Every December, I take some time for myself to review the current year and decide upon what it is that I wish to achieve for the year ahead. In the process, I determine a word that will embody those achievements, a touchstone of sorts to help move me forward.
Now for the last two years, what with Covid and all, the intentions around the word I chose did not fit my reality. For 2020 the word I chose was commit, and while my intention was strong and I had created the actions needed in order to fulfil my desired commitments, Covid wipe out any opportunities I had set up. This year I chose re-commit as my word of the year. My hope was that by at least summer, Covid would be in our rear view mirror and life would once again move forward. For a time it felt like that was possible and my optimism returned, temporarily, only to see a third wave of Covid rise up.
Now in reality, Covid was just an excuse. I could have easily worked around the challenges but life also got in the way and my year experienced other personal challenges that took me away from a lot of the commitments I set for myself.
Now a yearly review is a good thing to do in December. Firstly it gives you a chance to close the emotional door on the losses, disappointments, even the failures. I lost three family members this year (non-Covid) and while I am not shutting off my sadness, I can spend some time in reflection, then choose to move forward with only beautiful memories of each person and not the experience of shock and sorrow that their passing brought me. I am very pragmatic in my perspective of death, it is part of life and no one will escape it. I choose to grieve the loss then move forward and get on with life. That’s just me though, and I’m by no means demeaning other’s experiences of loss and grief. We all grieve differently, I respect that.
The second reason to review ones year is to identify, and then acknowledge your areas of growth for the past year. The outcome of this exercise was actually surprising to me. Let me go back to last January to explain.
For at least two decades, my friend Nancy dude and I have created Life Maps (I now call them Mystic Message Boards). These are similar to vision boards and I have written about them here. Over the years, as our daughters have grown into adults, they have also joined the annual event as well, so it’s a wonderful afternoon of creativity, connection and tradition. Oh, and good food and wine as well.
This year, my message board was about colour and creativity. What is unusual about that is I used to be very hands on creatively. I sewed, crafted and quilted and produced many fine things but it all stopped in my forties and I rarely went into my craft space after that until this May. I found myself wanting to create, and so I dug out my paints and began to express myself for no other reason than to enjoy the process. It wasn’t until months later that I realised that my Mystic Message Board foretold this creative re-birth and just like that, my creative need was once again alive.
Well that’s all very nice you might say, but what has that got to do with the Crone’s 2022 word of the year? The answer to that is in the emotions that surfaced from creating once again. You see even though I have not physically produced pieces of art or craft for many years, I have used my creativity in others ways, like writing this blog for one. What I realised is that creativity is a muscle. It’s like riding a bike, and while you may be a little rusty at first and the ride might not be a smooth one, you never forget how to do it.
So I thought about what I wanted to embody in the year ahead and I knew that creativity was waving a big flag. I thought about words like creative and creativity as my word of the year but they just seemed so predictable. I went to an online thesaurus and words like imagination, ingenuity, resourceful, talent, vision, originality came up, but nothing inspired me.
The one thing I know as a confident Crone is that creativity is in every human and is as unique to the individual as one’s fingerprint. I thought about all my skills and talents. I thought about the fragility of life, having lost 3 loved ones this year, I wanted a word that embraced who I have become as a person and not some fluffy representation. I wanted a word that has teeth, that would stakes it’s claim to the year ahead. A marker pointing the way forward. I have years of creative experience, but I’m more than that. I have communication skills. I help folks find their own clarity. I have wisdom. In fact, what I am, is qualified to be me dammit!
Having my creativity come back in full force was the missing piece of the puzzle that is me. All the experiences I’ve had, all the skills I have learned, all the wisdom that I have absorbed has qualified me to fully embrace who I am – a empathic, intuitive, creative, personable, helpful, obstinate, perfectionist, and sometimes, slightly badass, me.
Here is why qualified works for me as my 2022 word.
As I said above, I am qualified to be me, but it’s more than that. The last couple of years have thrown a few curve balls, to say the least, in most of our plans. Our world has experienced immense chaos and our societal structures are crumbling both physically and morally. Each person has a choice to make as we move through these changing times. We can sit back and bitch and moan, or we can do our little part and make, at least in our little corner of the world, a nicer place. I choose doing something and in that choice, I know I am qualified with enough skills to help, even if it is just one person at a time.
Doubt is a natural response when we choose to act outside of our comfort zone. Our ego throws up emotions like apprehension , reluctance and even fear to protect the status quo. The ego hates change. The word qualified reminds me that I have skills, I’m not helpless.
But at it’s most basic of meanings for me, the word qualified reminds me that as a citizen of the world, and as a human being, the very fact that I have been given this one life means that I am qualified to be here and as an extension, to contribute. So are you.
The Crone’s word of the year is qualified. We all have some skill or talent, or way of being, that qualifies us as being able to contribute to the evolution of mankind. There is not one of us who isn’t. I’ve talked to a lot of folks this past year who have felt dis-empowered by the event of the last few years. I am choosing this word to certify in myself that I always have the power to create something better. So perhaps it’s time for you to realize that you are uniquely qualified as well.
Getting my creative spark back this year has re-enforced my confidence in some long dormant skills. Ones that I hope to showcase on this site in the next year with a new section called the Crone’s Studio, so stay tuned. This new burst of creativity has also sparked to life those skills that had been weakened with the last 2 years of turmoil. The very ones that I had intended to re-commit to this year.
Oh well, life is a journey after all; we live and learn, we triumph and we fail, we love and we suffer loss, but if you believe in yourself, and even if times get really hard, know that in surviving, you must strive to keep going. Have confidence, you are here to experience all that life has to offer; both the good and the bad. But most of all stake your claim to the very short time and space you have been offered on this planet, because if there is another thing that I am sure of it’s that if the universe deemed your soul worthy of having this human life in the first place, it must have thought you were qualified for it. The universe is not wrong.