Happiest of New Years to you, my friend!
I don’t know about you but I have a positive feeling about 2016. For me, 2015 felt heavy. So much sadness everywhere. And I don’t know why but I’m feeling a shift. A lightening. Maybe this is just within myself as opposed to the whole world, but I feel it and it energizes me.
A few years ago, I started the tradition of choosing one word in January to guide me through the upcoming year. Last year, I got crazy and chose four. Too many, my friend. Too fragmented. Overcomplicated. This year, I knew before January 1st what my word would be: LIGHTER
Two years have passed since my mom died and perhaps this passing of time is part of the lightening for me. The empty space in my life from losing her—her physical presence, her morning phone calls, her energy in my life—can never and will never be filled; however, the pain is less acute now. It’s rounder. Softer. Lighter.
I still have moments of sadness that catch me off guard. A week ago today, I was spiffing myself up before heading out the door to a weeklong photography conference here in Portland. I had to give myself a little pep talk about going since I didn’t know anyone there. I still have so much to learn about photography that I knew I’d have to put myself out there and ask the novice questions that many of the pros at that conference have known for years. I wanted to share that with my mom. Have her say, “You can do it, Care.” I know she’d be proud of me for working hard to improve my photography and grow my business and unexpectedly my throat caught when I remembered I couldn’t call and talk to her about it.
Before I left the house, I put on the ring she gave me made out of an antique silver spoon, I clasped on the necklace engraved with her initial, B, that one of my dearest friends gave me after my mom passed, I wrapped the light pink cashmere scarf around my neck that she wore and used as a blanket during the last few months of her life, and I brought her to the conference with me.
As I headed downtown with my mom wrapped around me, I didn’t feel sad. I felt lighter. Having her scarf tied around my neck was just enough “Go get ‘em, Care” that I needed from her to walk into that ballroom full of strangers, stick out my hand, and introduce myself.
Often, the weight of NOT doing what you truly desire is heavier than the fear of doing it.
My greatest wish for you in 2016 is that you do those things you deeply desire to do in your life. Lean in to the fear and shed the weight of not doing them. There will never be anyone like you on this earth ever again. You deserve and the world deserves that you realize your greatest potential and I’m going pester you about this all year.
And right now, if you chose a word for the year, I want you to leave it in the comments of this post. Or, if you don’t want to share it publicly, shoot me an email. Or, if you just want to keep it private…okay fine. There are no right or wrong words except that your word should guide you toward fulfilling your truest desires.
In my upcoming posts, I will continue to share why I’ve chosen the word LIGHTER to guide me toward shedding the weight of the undone. And yes, that includes the damn book.
Until next time, much love,
PS: If my story today resonated with you and you think a friend might benefit from it as well, please forward it along or post it on social media. I truly believe that one small way we can lift the weight of the world is by sharing our stories so we all feel less alone in our journeys. Thank you, kindly.