My one-word for 2018 was ‘service’, a word that I tried to keep as my ‘theme’ for the year. However, when I look back on 2018, a lot of other words pop into my head as what I will remember about the year. Words such as pain, sadness, anger, loss, exhaustion, frustration, helplessness, despair and grief are the first ones to come to mind, unfortunately. My mom’s cancer and her death hit me hard – a lot harder than I ever imagined. I’ve struggled throughout and I’m struggling now as I write this, trying to figure out how to simply survive this crushing sadness I’ve felt through this experience.
In my more positive moments, I may also get a glimpse of words like family, dedication, sacrifice, collaboration and love. Having the chance to work together with my brother and his wife to care for and do the best advocacy for my mom, drawing closer to them through the process, was one of the only positive things to happen through all this. I treasure that greatly, but at least for the moment, I’m still very much in the weeds with the heavier feelings and memories of last year.
As I looked forward to a fresh calendar page in 2019, with a whole new year of possibilities, I spent a lot of time trying to think about what I wanted to reach for in 2019 – how I wanted to focus my energy and plan my actions. What word would I like to think about when 2019 comes to mind? Given the place I was the previous year, I knew that my one word for 2019 would be ‘revive‘.
Restore to life. Bring back. Renew in the mind. Become active or flourishing again. I cannot say how much more appropriate this is; my 2018 had been laser focused on one thing, and I became consumed with my mom and what she was going through. Work, activities, volunteering, creativity, my memory, routine, concentration, friends and friendships, plans, even the essence and traits that make me who I am like my crazy good memory or my attention to detail – I set all these things aside to some degree or they were lost with the stress of my mom’s cancer and all that came with it.
My focus will be on becoming active again, returning to consciousness and flourishing. Revive. But here’s the thing: I don’t want to be who I was before my mom’s cancer. Instead, I want to be a better version of myself that has learned and grown and can help others using my experiences. I want to truly take this opportunity to come back and be brought back to life after the sad and difficult experience that was 2018.
My journey to ‘revive’ has already begun in small ways. In all truth, I’m not really sure what revive will look like at the end of the year or how I will get from January 1 to December 31, but I am trying to look at ways to work through my grief in healthy and productive ways. I plan to re-evaluate my running and fitness goals. Then I will decide how to plan training and then confirming races for 2019 to contribute to my physical revival – rather than running simply because I feel like I should. I’m trying to pull myself from this apathy and basic indifference to everything, trying to again find motivation, meaning and purpose in my life again. It will not be an easy or short road, nor will it be straightforward, but I know it will be a worthwhile one that I should begin to travel.
Did you select a one word for 2018? What word was it and how did you live it out? What is your one word for 2019? For more information on the concept behind choosing one word for your year, please click here.