In 2017, I didn’t choose a word/ phrase/ thought for the year as I had done every year since 2012.
There is no reason for not doing it. It just didn’t happen. Strangely enough, I didn’t stress about it which was very out of character for me. I usually fuss and get displeased with myself if I don’t follow through with something I promised myself I would do.
Though I did not choose a word or phrase for 2017, there is no reason not to look back upon it and summarize it. All that can be summarized and documented.
The year packed a pretty awful punch. 2017 was witness to a terrible loss; I had to let go of something I was loath to let go of. In fact, I was convinced it could not be lost even if I decide to let go of it.
Don’t ask me what gave me that Pollyanna-ish certainty. I was certain, that’s all. But I was wrong, and how!
The protest still pounds heavily in my heart. The pain still swims in my eyes. The unspoken words refuse to shrivel up and die. A part of me watches on detached, watching the rest of me drown. It is almost poetic, this strange dichotomy. I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. In confusion, I lean to the former since the latter has been all used up.
If I could just put this one thing aside though, the year was magnificently and unforgettably exhilarating!
2017 was filled to the brim with opportunities to acquire new skills and with exciting new projects based on those skills. I learned a lot in this year. I also applied almost all of it immediately, which was as satisfying as it was novel.
The (snow) ball is rolling- and how! I will be acquiring some more skills in 2018! Oh, the joy of learning new stuff! I think I am a glutton for learning new things. Nothing, but nothing, gives me more joy.
I enrolled for a few online courses and have completed a few. I am also halfway through a VERY extensive, advanced course on Life Coaching- something I’d been hankering after for a long time. In addition, I have also enrolled for two advanced courses in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Learning-wise, 2017 was the most fantastic year I’ve had in a long time.
The combination of advanced Life Coaching skills and NLP skill will surely give me a serious edge for my work as a Life Coach. The thought is very exciting.
Thank you for this thrill, 2017. Thank you Shiva, not only for putting this opportunity in my way but also for causing my son to give me that final push. Your ways are indeed inexplicable.
The latter half of 2017 has been immensely exciting in another way. The editing projects I took on this year have been satisfying. The editing work I did for corporates was challenging but enjoyable. The book projects I took this year have stretched me in more ways than one. They have given me a more accurate idea of my capacity for work. I am pleasantly surprised to know that I had underestimated myself, again.
What Ho, 2018!
However, this post is more about the thought that would govern my journey in 2018. Every decision I make, every choice would be filtered through the lens of this thought.
This year I have not chosen a word or phrase. I’ve chosen a sentence, which is also a short prayer. You must surely be familiar with it. It is called the Serenity Prayer.
I decided to pick the serenity prayer as my ‘phrase for the year’ during a conversation I had with my daughter yesterday. She was asking me why people walk away even when we don’t want them to. The thought had made her sorrowful. When I couldn’t find a way to soothe her, or to offer words of solace, I recited and explained the Serenity Prayer to her.
She will accept it, I know. She still hurts, but the intensity is lower. The protest is still raging within her. But once the pain has played itself out, the Serenity Prayer will settle down in her. I know it will- I hope it will.
I knew I too needed this prayer with me all through 2018. One needs to stop and let things flow at times. To seal the thought, there was a tweet from Shekhar Kapoor, the film-maker.
Serenity, Courage and Wisdom.
I think I can handle any challenge if I just hold on to those words in the same context as they are in the Serenity Prayer. Everything else in the universe- all powers, forces and entities- can be disarmed and diffused with Serenity, Courage and Wisdom.
At times, a head bowed in acceptance conveys more than a battery of arguments.