Where Are You Going? Setting Intentions For 2014

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Apropos of nothing, except the sarcasm that hilariously bubbles up from it which perfectly matches how I feel this time of year, this is my favorite nursery rhyme.  It’s a bit obscure and I only found it because it was on one of those baby CDs that someone or other gifted us years ago:

“Where are you going, my pretty maid?”
“I’m going a-milking, sir,” she said.
“May I go with you, my pretty maid?”
“You’re kindly welcome, sir,” she said.
“What is your father, my pretty maid?”
“My father’s a farmer, sir,” she said.

“Say, will you marry me, my pretty maid?”
“Yes, if you please, kind sir,” she said.
“What is your fortune, my pretty maid?”
“My face is my fortune, sir,” she said.
“Then I can’t marry you, my pretty maid!”
“Nobody asked you, sir,” she said.

How do you make your decisions and plans these days?  Do you have far-reaching goals with a lengthy chart of how you plan to arrive?  Do you wing it?  Do you have a vague sense of what you feel you might become, but it’s a distant dream out on the horizon?  Do you just take it day by day?

You know how people over-book themselves at the holidays, and run around like lunatics wanting to cross everything off their lists, get the sugar cookies made because they “should,” have 100 gifts to wrap, and over-spend because each thing is “under $20 so it’s a deal” but then they forget to calculate that there were 50 people on their list and their budget was only $200?

Not to mention the holiday parties, the school gingerbread houses, the functions and the ever-lovely extended family obligations?

Many years ago I decided to be an insurance agent.  The busiest time of the year is the 12/31 and 1/1 renewals, which means half of the underwriters are on vacation, a quarter are drunk at the off-site office party, and the rest are slaving away under intense pressure at their desks.  I was always the one stuck at my desk, trying to cross every T and dot every I and praying that London hadn’t left for the day without remembering to send my binder.

For the last few years I didn’t have to do that, but now that I am back at work it is upon me once again, with a few twists.

I missed my oldest child singing something from Oliver in the school play – the first school event of his I have missed, ever.  His teacher is 8 months pregnant so all of the notices went out on a Tuesday night for a Friday mid-morning show, and there wasn’t enough time to rearrange the plans so I could be there.

There is a balance between staying at home making no income and being available for everything and being a full-time office worker who has time for nothing.  So far I haven’t struck it.

I did appreciate seeing my pay stub this week that summarizes exactly how much we would be in debt if I hadn’t found a job.  There was also a small surprise holiday bonus, which I thought was lovely considering I have only been there 6 months…it was enough to cover everything I bought for Christmas.

The main thing though is that I have found a rhythm to life that is starting to gel a bit.

It’s that ability to prioritize in the moment, what can I embrace and accomplish and what do I need to let go of?

I was sad for a moment listening to the kids’ wish list – people they’d like to see, places they’d like to go.  Things that just aren’t likely to happen.

I realized that there are few people in our daily life that really matter.  I am not beset by a list of “show up here” and “we’re depending on you” because if anyone cares they know I won’t do it due to work obligations.

I’m not sure there’s anyone left who really cares!

It’s like how I suddenly realized that I hadn’t sent holiday cards out in about 7 years…no wonder I get only a handful from diehards!  Sure, I see most people online every day, but still…I like those cards.  Even though I don’t send them, I want to receive them…and I actually enjoy those ridiculous “This Was My Year” group letters that inevitably brag or are completely depressing, and now seem to come via an email attachment rather than in the mailbox, postage and time being what it is.

I had one high school friend who sent me a box of gifts – for me, not the kids, which never happens – with a personal handwritten card thanking me for extending my time to help with intuitive questions that popped up here and there for her.

I practically fell over when I got it.

THAT was perfect.

It sent my gratitude meter soaring.

I was tickled pink.

It was so completely unexpected, and just lovely.

I realized suddenly that there was absolutely no reason to be sad over what is not happening that we sometimes wish would.

I had cut a swath through my life this year, eliminating everyone that did not fit the bill.  It wasn’t really intentional, I didn’t set out to do it, but I did follow my intuition on it.  It is true that when you tell the Universe that you don’t want something in your life anymore, and you are fully prepared to deal with the fallout, and you are 100% ready…it unfolds like a magic carpet.  You wanted to cut cords of attachment?  You wanted more of this and less of that?  Here you go.  Silver platter.

What happens then is that a void opens.  You don’t know what to do with it, because suddenly…there is less stress.  There is more time.  There is a moment of opening back up to the things you had let go of, because you just keep expecting them to be there hitting you over the head…they’ve been doing so for years or decades, where did they go?

Then you realize that WOW, they are really GONE!  Gone for good!

Then you have to start looking for your list…the list of what you wanted to do before, but couldn’t.  Suddenly, you can!  It feels a bit surreal to have the refrigerator lifted off your back and stand up straight, looking around the world and seeing the sun.

This is when there is an opening, to new people, to other community involvements, to…who knows what the Universe might bring you, now that you have changed?

You know how everyone says to “close out” your year?  It’s true, do it.  When the moment feels right, take a conscious inventory of your entire year.  What were you hoping for this time, last year?  What were your new year resolutions? What were you hoping to close the door on?  What doors were you hoping would open?

Did they?

If they didn’t, what else came on it to take their place?  Something better?  Something worse?  Something you needed?

When the moment feels right, take a mental walk down 2013 Memory Lane and express appreciation for whatever showed up for you, and what didn’t.  Put a mental and emotional period at the end of that sentence.  Consciously close it out, like you were doing your annual books or renewing your policy.

2013 was a “1” numerology year for me, the start of a new cycle.  You can look yours up for 2014, just to get a feel of where you are in the 9 year cycle.

My “word” for the year was PROSPERITY.  I got it.

Then, take a deep breath, let it out, and see what pops to mind as your “word” for 2014…something surprising may hit you.  Your new year’s resolution should be simply that one word that you bring into the new year.

The word is a prayer – an intention you send out into the Universe for what you will focus on in the upcoming cycle.

If you have one, what’s your word?

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Comments

  1. My word for 2014 is “Balance”, which is interesting b/c my situation is going to be similar to yours: balancing being a mom, keeping up the home and the finances, and working full-time outside of the home. I have a feeling it’s not going to be easy to attain, but hopefully we can get into a groove.

    2013 was a “2” for me, which I guess that means 2014 is a 3? Here’s to hoping it’s a fantastic year for both of us.
    Lindsay recently posted..When things don’t go as plannedMy Profile

    • Lindsay, Yes you are in a 3…look that up sometime, it’s interesting.

      Balance – I’ve been trying to do this for the last 10 years since I got pregnant with Fred, and frankly there is no such thing. There is the ability to take deep breaths and prioritize in the moment, and the learning to let things go. A lot of things. That’s probably why I was so offended when my MIL made such a stink about me and my house – she should try it, with my husband, his business, 2 children, a full-time job, a giant house, and way too many pets. Then I realized though that what I could learn from that is that it is appalling when someone criticizes someone else without ever spending a second in their shoes, or even trying to imagine what it must be like. Therefore I will try never to do that. Keep that in mind as you go into this year, and don’t do it to yourself. Self-compassion is the way to go.

  2. Oh I just love the last line in that song, Julie.

    I read your post twice – it is beautiful, Julie!

    As for the planning/decision-making, I’ve let go of the word “Should”. In many ways, I’m going to take many days exactly as they come. Some planning is always necessary, but only for logistics. I have lots of things on my ever-growing wishlist.

    My word for the year? Without even thinking, “Giving” popped in my head. I have lots of other words…but if this one came in spontaneously, then so be it. 😀 Clutter-clearing is a huge part of my plan for the first quarter anyway. I started a few months ago…but have had to take breaks. I am okay with that. I am also focusing on self-care. I had a great 2013. I think 2014 is going to be great too!

    Hugs!
    Vidya Sury recently posted..Of Gita, Gardening and GratitudeMy Profile

    • Vidya, Isn’t that the funniest nursery rhyme?! Made me laugh. Out loud 🙂

      Oh, you are ahead of me if you are at “giving.” I was thinking of “joy”, “release”, and a few others. “Release” popped to mind first, so maybe that’s what is needed, but I feel like that’s a letting go and giving outward, instead of a bringing in…bringing in sounds more fun.

  3. Hi Julie

    You have had an eventful year and it looks as if 2014 will be a fresh new start for you.

    I think 2014 shall be an interesting year for me. There are somethings I will put an end to and other things will be in the process of building a new beginning. It has been a year I have learned a lot about myself and with that knowledge it can only get better.

    One thing for sure, you can never change anybody, they have to want to change. Some are stubborn and others never see that they are closed minded. A lesson in tolerance and compassion.

    Happy Holidays

    Mary
    Mary Stephenson recently posted..The Christmas Card for 2013My Profile

    • Hi Mary,

      I think it was a clearing out year. I guess that just makes room for more good things! I am so not interested in even attempting to change anyone, except maybe things to do with helping my kids grow and blossom. Other than that, I have been in observer mode and stepping in to help where it’s been asked for, but that’s it. There is so much work we have been doing on ourselves this year! I don’t want to say it’s been exhausting, but it kind of feels like that time after a big spring cleaning, when you then look at what you’re left with and you see the work left to do? Something like that.

      Have a blessed year, and thank you for all of your visits 🙂

  4. This so resonated with me Julie. Especially closing out the year, the desires, ‘cos it makes space for the growth we’ve made over the year to flourish.

    My word is definitely gratitude. Gratitude for things that I take for granted every day and gratitude for what hasn’t yet arrived, because I know it will.

    Blessings for the happiest and most loveliest season.
    Love Elle
    xoxo
    Elle recently posted..The Real Key To Being The Happiest Person You KnowMy Profile

    • Thank you Elle, and same to you 🙂

      I like “gratitude” for you, that seems so right.

      I guess the year’s end is a sort of arbitrary time to take stock, but we humans need to pick a time and stick to it – the end of the year is as good a time as any.

  5. At the moment I have three words and they are tied into WTF.
    Josh recently posted..A Question of PrioritiesMy Profile

  6. I wonder what my word is. Nothing has popped in my head just yet, but we will see. I did have fun for Christmas, however. I buy very few presents and don’t expect much in return. I don’t like the idea of spending a lot of money. I’m just too frugal for that!
    Fred Tracy recently posted..Understand the Law of Diminishing ReturnsMy Profile

  7. Hi Julie, I haven’t commented before, this seemed like a good time. My word for the year is “surrender”. It all of a sudden popped into my head a couple of weeks ago and just felt right. A little scary, but right. When I started seeing it everywhere, I knew it was mine for 2014. Right now, my plan is to keep a small journal and write something about it that hits me each month so I can look back at this time next year and see what I have learned from it. See what it brings. Thank you for the idea to close out the year…I’m going to start that right now.

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