If you’ve read my 2019 closing ceremony post, you might have got the idea that last year was busy. You’d be right.
More than that though, it was unstructured and, at times, stupidly chaotic. Part of me (okay, a very large part of me) quite likes that. I tend to have a tenuous relationship with boundaries, and chaos gives me the illusion of flexibility – and illusion is something I get along with very well indeed.
This year promises to be even busier. There’s the day job, plus I’ve taken on a new (voluntary) role as President of the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA). Most importantly though, there are the novels I want to write and publish in 2020 – the ones that for various reasons didn’t quite happen in 2019.
I tend to be constantly chasing my tail in a never-ending blur of activity. I get stuff done – I get a lot of stuff done – but I never seem to quite get there. I never seem to fully capitalise on opportunities or momentum.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come a long way in the last decade and have achieved a lot. More importantly, I think I have a better idea of who I am and what I want from life than I did at the beginning of the last decade. That’s why I looked at my closing ceremony and decided that there are three things I want from 2020:
- To be healthier than I was in 2019. That means a continuation of Project Excess Baggage plus moving in a way that will help me move easier – and yes, that does make sense.
- For my bank balance to be healthier than it was in 2019. Even though it mightn’t appear that way, we’ve gone substantially backwards (financially speaking) over the last few years and can’t continue to live as well as we have been living on the salary from my day job. Budgetary belts need to be tightened yet, we both still want to travel, which leads me to…
- To be closer in my ambition to be making a (comfortable) living solely from my writing.
How to tie these goals into a single word of the year?
Knowing how busy I’ll be professionally this year I thought of strength, purpose or resilience. These words, however, feel more like standing still than moving forward and I’m not yet at a consolidation phase.
Then it occurred to me that while my schedule is demanding, everything that I shove in and around it, are ways for me to escape from not just the real world, but also from all those other self-limiting things like fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being invisible, fear of being seen. I could go on.
That’s why I’ve decided that it’s time to get real.
- To accept what I can’t, or am not prepared to, change, and do something about what I can.
- To get real about my writing career – write the books, do the marketing, put myself out there.
- To get real about the excess baggage – and I’m not just talking about the kilos.
Maybe, then, my word of the year should be real?
Perhaps. But this concept goes further than that. It goes past everything that I currently use to escape from reality. It goes past the bullsh*t excuses and layers I create to control my environment, keep me safe from exposure and, in the process, ensure that I’ll never quite get to where I need to get to. I say that knowing that there is, of course, no endpoint.
Stripping back the layers and the pretence and the masks will leave me feeling naked and vulnerable; at one point I was leaning towards naked as my word of the year but decided that could have other connotations.
Ultimately though, this year, I need to step out of the shadows and be seen. Be seen to take responsibility, be seen to step up, be seen to be out there.
That’s why my word of the year is…drumroll…
What do you think? Do you have a word of the year? Should I have gone with naked?