My Word of the Year (2017)
Last year was the first year I decided I would give myself a word of the year, after going back and forth over it for a few weeks. It was a trend I had seen going around my blogging community and my friends on Facebook for a couple years and originally had thought that it was a ridiculous practice. But, I learned the error of my ways and decided to give it a go last year and boy, was it more guiding and successful than any resolution or goal!
Last year, my word was “Fearless.” I chose that word because I wanted to really work on living my life as vibrantly as possibly during 2016. In order to do that, I needed to let go of a lot of my fears and anxieties that stem from my past. I knew that 2016 was going to be a year with many changes and a lot of unknown and I wanted to face those challenges more gracefully.
I didn’t live fearlessly 100% of the time during 2016, but I did learn a LOT about myself. I was surprised at how many times I kept coming back to my word throughout the year – and that I used it constantly as a guiding force as I face changes and new challenges.
So, I’m excited to pick a new word for this new year. It didn’t come as easily as fearless did, but it did come fairly quickly after I did some soul searching and pondering on what I wanted to get out of 2017.
My word of 2017 will be Thrive.
I have focused my life on the last 10 years on being a survivor because that is what I am. I’m actually learning to be pretty proud of that. I have survived a life-threatening disease and I have survived countless surgeries to reconstruct my left knee and leg. I survive the dirty looks I get from people who see me using my handicapped parking pass without realizing that I am truly disabled. And every day, I wake up and survive chronic pain, anxiety, and PTSD. I’m not listing this all out for pity or anything like that, but to simply share what my mindset has been for the last 10 years.
It often takes a lot of my energy and stamina to do this kind of surviving. And I usually feel emotionally and physically spent by the middle of the day and come home, ready to curl up in bed with Netflix and go to sleep. It’s not rare for me to have an emotional meltdown because Dustin wants to do more than one “thing” during the weekend, simply because I think about how much it will take for me to “survive” it. While I’m proud of all that I have survived, I realized that this mentality isn’t 100% healthy or productive.
I came about the word “thrive” as I thought about my favorite parts of 2016. Last summer, Dustin took me on the most amazing trip to celebrate my 10-year cancer-free anniversary to Universal Studios (specifically Harry Potter world.) We spent three days on our feet ALL day and in order to survive, I had my left hip and knee wrapped in numbing pads to keep the pain at bay and was alternating the max amount of Tylenol and Advil every two hours. I had my knee start giving out on me every day around 3:00 from fatigue and weakness. But, when I look back on that trip, I don’t think about how much pain I was in, or how hard my knee made it for me to enjoy my time there. I just think about how many dreams came true that week, how much fun I had, and how many things I got to see and experience. I truly THRIVED during that trip – it wasn’t about just surviving to get through the end of the day, it was about getting the most out of my experience and making as many memories as possible with Dustbust.
And I realized that I want that for me, every day.
I don’t want to get up during the morning and think about what I need to do in order to survive my day. I want to get up and THRIVE during my day. I want to look back at 2017 and think about all the moments I embraced instead of the things I was too spent to do. So, here are three things I’m going to work on specifically so I can intentionally thrive in 2017:
Get Physically Stronger – My surgeon has been telling me to go back to physical therapy for years now and I’ve been using my constant moving around the country as an excuse to not go. That needs to stop. In order to truly thrive in situations like Harry Potter world, I need to be stronger and have more physical endurance. So, I’m making plans to go back to PT, and I plan on actually getting off my butt and being proactive about my physical health on my own as well.
Unplug and be Present – Over Christmas break, I basically left my phone plugged in during the wall and didn’t bother with it, until it was time to call my parents on Christmas day. Dustin and I spent SO much time face-to-face, playing board games, watching movies, and eating fancy cheese and crackers. We took Rosie out to play in the snow every morning and relished in her joy at digging in the fresh powder. I felt truly present in my life for the first time in a long time and want that feeling to be consistent in my life here.
Last week, Dustin and I went to the aquarium with my sister, brother, and their spouses. I didn’t pull my phone out once, and you know what? My trip to the aquarium was amazing. I held hands with Dustin, we watched all the critters swim around, and spent 20 minutes alone watching the otters play. In that moment, I was living a truly present, vibrant life.
So, I want to find a balance to my life when it comes to my electronics. I LOVE sharing my adventures with my friends on the HTC social media profiles, however, I don’t want that to overshadow living in the moment and thriving in the situation. I’m going to choose one date night/activity/adventure a month where I don’t snapchat/Instagram/facebook it. In fact, I’ll just leave my phone in the car or at home!
Stick to the Vision – I’ve been so doubtful of my dreams that I never TRULY put all of myself into achieving my goals. There were many days when I would wake up with huge plans to work on my blog but decide to go to back to bed and binge-watch Grey’s Anatomy instead. I would do just the bare minimum to “survive” in blog world, not thrive. ENOUGH!
I will stick to my vision for my life. I will thrive in my plans and take specific actions to achieve my goals. I will not let self-doubt or anxiety put me in “survive” mode. I will only focus on thriving in life as I work to achieve my goals.
Jacket: BLANKNYC (ON SALE FOR UNDER $60.00!)| Tunic: Nordstrom (on sale for $27.00) | Scarf: Nordstrom (similar here) | Leggings: Simple Addiction (use code Chelsie15 for 15% off) | Clutch: Express (similar here on sale for $30.00 PLUS additional 15% off once in cart) | Boots: Old (almost identical ones here under $50.00) |
Do you have a word of the year? I’d love to know what it is and your reasoning behind it!