In 2015, my word of the year escaped me.
Unlike past years, I didn’t paint it on a canvas or place it in an obvious part of the house as a reminder. I didn’t reflect on it monthly, like I thought I would, and I didn’t write reflective posts about it (except maybe this one.)
It just wasn’t with me. I had too much on my mind.
While the year started off with monthly intentions and excitement for the year ahead, it all got lost in the shuffle. It got lost in worrying about a sick dad, getting engaged on the beach and managing a crazy work load. It got lost in the chaos (and joy) of planning a wedding, staying on top of my relationships and traveling abroad (to two countries in the same week!).
It got lost in love and sickness and joy and sadness.
I experienced all of these things in 2015, and, while I lost sight of my word of the year, it turns out that it never really left me.
I had vowed to be STEADFAST, which means to be loyal or steady. And while I feel as though I might’ve gone off the deep end at times, I never gave up on myself. When I really take a good look at the past year, I know that I remained dutiful, unwavering and loyal … to myself.
I was healthy. Eating right and exercising daily remained a daily routine for me. This has truly become part of my life, my every day. Like any human, I had slip-ups. I went a few days without working out. I hate Chinese food. But I never gave up. I made sure to give myself those 30 minutes every day. A time to walk, or do push-ups and just sweat. For me, this is my place of peace. Movement gives me power.
I surrounded myself well. Last year, I wrote that I had some really great friends and that I wanted to foster those relationships. As 2015 comes to a close, I feel closer than ever to some of the people in my life. Like any year, I’ve grown distant from some people. But the people in my life right here and right now matter most to me. It’s a pretty remarkable feeling.
I stayed creative. I vowed not to be hard on myself this year. Whenever I got those thoughts of “I never did anything with my MFA” or “Why don’t I get stories published?” I pushed them down. I told myself that my creative interests right now are what’s important. How those things make me feel. How being creative doesn’t have to be telling a story. It can be designing a color scheme for a wedding, reorganizing the bathroom, working on a gift for someone. Creativity comes in many forms, and I’ve learned to accept that.
I didn’t save money. This is a goal every year. It’s obvious to me that I didn’t actually save more money. Every month we had a credit card bill the size of Miami. This is what happens when you pay for a large portion of your own wedding. I have no regrets. I saved when I could. I indulged a bit too much at times. But the big thing: I never touched my savings account. Never dipped into it at all.
I did things for me. I spent a lot of time at home this year. It was really, remarkably nice. I didn’t stress myself with doing things all of the time. I had my tasks, which I completed, but I didn’t pressure myself to go out if I didn’t want to. I said no. I said yes. I looked out for myself. I vowed I’d stay home for Christmas break. And it was one of the most relaxing, peaceful holidays I’ve ever had. I missed my family, but I enjoyed creating a memory with my new family, with my future husband. I ended the year by looking out for me.
The year, like all years, had its high points and lows. It had its moments of stress, joy, chaos. And even though my word seemed to leave me, it never really did. It was there in my daily actions and in the way I just live my life.