The day after the New Year begins and I find myself at a little table at a coffee shop in Almonte, Ontario. They have a jukebox and neon signs and I can get inspired anywhere, so this place will work.
I sit down to write and explore words.
I narrow my life down into categories — career, friendships, relationship, travel, hobbies — and then I start goal setting. I dig deep. I get to the root of all the things I want. I write questions and I respond to myself with wordy, long winded answers until I feel like I’ve gotten to the meat of my wants and needs.
What do I want less of and what do I crave more of when it comes to my career? My friendships? My finances? How will I recognize when I get the thing that I want?
I want to choose a word or mantra to guide my year. In the past I’ve chosen things like Grace, Connection and Y-E-S, (that last one resulted in a fun year that I am happy not to repeat).
I’ve been thinking a lot about balance lately. It keeps coming out of my mouth when I am stressed and overwhelmed and it’s something I keep promising my loved ones I am on my way to finding. If I just look in the back of the closet or move some things around in the cupboard, maybe I’ll find it. It keeps stumbling out of my mouth when I make apologies to my boyfriend, “I’m sorry, I’m going to find a better balance, please be patient with me.”
It has a bit to do with the fact that it’s January and time for a fresh start, but I know deep down it also has a lot to do with that fact that I’m 34 now and I’m serious about the things in my life that I love. I want it all to work.
I look up the definition of balance. The internet gets back to me in record time. It tells me that balance is ‘an even distribution of weight‘. I know that’s not it, it’s not what I’m aiming for. My work and my relationships and my hobbies don’t all require an even distribution of myself.
I keep searching. Harmony is a word that strikes me.
‘A consistent, orderly or pleasing arrangement of parts’.
A pleasing arrangement of parts.
I keep searching. Harmony is defined as ‘agreement’. Collaboration. Having all the things in your life working with each other? That feels better
I don’t want one area to take precedence, to become more important than other areas. I want every part of my life to have the space it needs. I want all my important things to work in harmony.
Maybe harmony is the new balance.
I keep reading, searching for words and feeling out their meanings.
Attunement pops up. Yes, yes. ‘The quality of being in tune with something’.
Stability: ‘the state of being resistant to change and not prone to wild fluctuations in emotion‘. This is what I crave.
All these areas of my life, all the things I want so desperately to work out, to do well at, to pay the right amount of attention to…how in tune am I with these parts? Am I present and aware? Am I giving AND receiving or am I leaving myself drained? Travel, relationship, friends, family, career. What’s the point if they aren’t working in harmony with each other? If the scales are tipped too far to one side?
Yes, please, more. That’s what I want.
I meditate on language. I sit still as it does it’s job again. Teaching. Assigning meaning. Labelling. Explaining. Defining.
I decide that I’ll allow Harmony to be my word to guide my next few months of 2020. Right now it’s the word that fits best as a guide, something to focus on, to hold in my mind while I let the rest of my needs and wants fall into place.
I might change it halfway through the year though, who knows. The word ‘expand‘ is already sounding quite nice.