In Praise of Intuition

IMG_5410Hello from Peet’s, my little caffeinated hideaway, blessedly only two blocks away from our apartment. The babysitter is with Micah, and I fought the urge to just fall asleep in the car (lolz) and came here instead for an Earl Grey fortification. Every time I try to log in to my blog, I have forgotten my password. Ha! Probably as good an indication as any of how frequently I get to it.

This is one of my favorite times of year–not just for the family and festivity and beautiful liturgies, but for the opportunity to look back and look forward, doing old Janus proud. This year I saw Susannah Conway’s free workbook Unravel Your Year mentioned somewhere, and I am working through it little by little. It has really been an amazing exercise, and definitely one I think I’ll want to do every year. So far I am still on the 2016 part, but it has been encouraging and comforting and surprising all at once.

To wit: I sat down to answer the question about my word for the past year and was all geared up to reflect on how my word was “savor,” and that it was a good word for living in the moment instead of having a big goal or plan, and then…I looked it up and realized that “savor” was my word for 2015! Ha! My word for 2016 was actually “grow,” which has a similar gradual sort of feel and was very good for this toddler-mom year.

In looking back through the year and actually trying to remember it (more lolz here), I was proud to see that in some ways I really have grown. Not in all ways, and I will have more growing to do for the rest of my life (I most sincerely hope), but I had a happy sense of accomplishment in an area that is sometimes challenging, but not impossible, to measure.

I scrolled through my blog posts from 2016 (not many!), and I found this post about my plans and goals for 2016. I had completely and utterly forgotten that I had written it. And yet…I actually did do those things I hoped to do. It was definitely one of those chills-down-your-spine moments, as I realized that even though I have given those goals (and my word, apparently) exactly zero attention this past year, I still somehow managed to live them out. Not perfectly, no. I did not read a book in Russian! (Maybe I should start with some comforting stories? Pushkin Book Club, anyone? I have an odd urge to reread Povesti Belkina!) But I did so much. And I am so entirely grateful for whatever intuition it was that led me to and through the things I did and learned this past year. It reminded me just a tiny bit of the feeling you have when you do something you did not think you could do, and then when you actually do it, you realize that that ability was actually in you all along. It is a powerful and humbling feeling.

So here I am again at the beginning of a new year, which will be very new indeed. I feel about as unprepared for it as I did not remember feeling last year (but my blog post reminded me!) And so I am not shaken by that unprepared feeling. I will come around to it, I am sure, sometime in February or so. As we journey through these first few weeks of the year, some ideas and goals will find me, and I’ll jot them down here. If nothing else, this whole experience has been such an encouragement to do that, to get words on paper, or on a screen, in this case.

I am excited for this year. I want to write (and am planning to write) about my word for 2017, what I hope it will hold, and millions of other little things too. The best thing I can do, I think, is to try to establish a habit. So here I am getting started, reminding myself of the pleasure of the staccato of computer keys. It’s good to be back. But my tea is gone, and it’s time to head to dinner with my Orhan Pamuk novel (the height of luxury!) Happy, happy new year to you all! I’ll be back soon.

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