Type 1 life adventures
My friend Chel and I have a tradition, almost a decade long now, which is our alternative to the standard new-year resolution. Rather than being fixated on rigid objectives, we opt for a single word to encapsulate what we hope the year will bring, and as the descriptor by which we intend to shape our lives or acknowledge where we are at and want to be.
It started as a one-word-for-all collective activity that generated much musing amongst our gang from about November. As friends and lovers drifted in and out of the word circle, Chel and I continued with the tradition, but it has since morphed so that we now project our own word for our own story.
We are obliged to justify our words to each other with a paragraph or so on the aspects to which this banner will apply. We start reflecting in November about the year that has been, often realising only then how much the word really does summarise the year’s journey. Then we start to think about what comes next. There will generally be a trajectory of where we’ve come from, to where we intend to go (which sometimes does not get locked in until late January or even February).
We’ve had the Years of Transition, Exploration, Consolidation and Fruition, amongst others. 2013 is my Year of Indulgence. Chel is Leaping.
For me indulgence points to the pampering I suppose I’d craved after the focus in previous years on getting diagnosed, the boring business of learning to manage and the general mission to become well. I knew from late December last year that I would be accepting a redundancy from my university and that this would give me room to indulge with time off to think about my next stage in life, to take overdue holidays and pursue my own creative and emotional aspects, rather than perpetually indulging the cerebral and the institutional. I wanted to indulge fleeting or offbeat ideas by giving them the possibility to take shape. Maybe even indulge a few fantasies here and there. And I wanted to be unapologetically self-indulgent.
That last bit has been surprisingly difficult. Not so much the self-indulgence but the unapologetic. It’s amazing how much expectation there is from yourself and others to get back to work, to be a grown up, to be available, to put a deposit on a house, to not waste time and opportunities. For the first couple of months I had to contend with redundancy life change guilt, like I had to justify my intentions and account for my investment in myself. In a way I think the overtness of this self-indulgent blog and the hike project itself are about making my choices seem tangible.
In any case, the indulgence report card to date is pretty good: yoga retreat in Byron Bay, hiking and canoeing in Katherine, retreating into my own little world of doing not much balanced with oodles of positive and challenging activities including pilates, pottery, gardening, reading, studying (MEd) and walking. Oh, and Chel has been doing lots of leaping.
Next year is too far ahead to project the next word with certainty. There is still more indulgence to dish out. But I’m tossing around the idea of 2014: The Year of Exposure. Now, when I say I’ll be exposing myself don’t get all hot and bothered expecting this site to cross into XXX territory…but I will be exposing myself to different ideas and things, and exposing me to you the reader. With the hikes will come exposure to the natural elements and environments. I will be exposed to risk. I want to take interesting time-exposed photography. And by some point I hope this blog attains exposure to a community of regular readers.
But I’m still prepared to indulge other word considerations.
So that’s how it works. Anyone have any ideas for themselves?