Without exaggeration, the last six months have been incredibly difficult. I can think of two other times in like, some twenty odd years ago, that were this hard. Knowing I made it through then give me strength to know that I will get to the other side of this period too.
But the kicker of course is to figure out how to get to the other side without losing your damn mind, while also figuring out how to get the day-to-day living stuff done. Of course, that’s the struggle with grief, right?!
In any case, since the start of the year brings with it a reflective process, I’ve been trying to figure out the processes (for lack of a better word) that I want to move forward into 2018. I definitely wouldn’t call these resolutions. Rather, I’m trying to think of a series of words that can always orient and focus me mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually and words that work across both my professional and personal lives. As many of my academic friends know, I routinely try to boil things down to a few keywords or phrases. The symposium is notorious for gathering information int his way and starting activities around these sorts of things. Why? Because it’s kind of one way that I see the world and then try to put those words and phrases together in different ways. It’s always been useful as a teaching strategy.
So what would be my keywords for 2018?
While hope and faith have been my lifelong guiding words, I wanted a series to bring in this new year. I wished everyone joy so that’s a good one for the coming year. One I totally believe in. I think, too, I’ll go with one of my father’s favorites, persistence. Not that he used that word a lot, but it was definitely a way he lived and oriented himself in the world. It was a gift that he gave all of us children, nieces, and nephews, and in turn, we are (hopefully) passing it onto the next generation. It’s no secret that simple persistence can help one achieve all sorts of things. That’s the moral behind the tortoise and the hare, right?!
I’ve also been thinking a lot about courage lately. My grandmere used to say that we should never be afraid because fear was only one step away from courage. And it is courage that helps to get us through the hard times, while simultaneously being what we draw on to try new things that can reap all sorts of rewards and benefits. It is also courage that can help us get passed our fears.
That’s a pretty good list I think because if I can invoke them and their true meanings at different points throughout the year I sure as hell stand a pretty good chance to be successful at whatever it is that I’m trying.
I’m happy to share these keywords with you and feel free to use them too.