Sunday, January 01, 2006

To lightly and strongly tread where I've never gone before (not a resolution, but a theme)

Rob the Runner has inspired me. He's inspired me in a number of ways and I've told him so. He's a bit nutso when it comes to the distances he runs, but he knows that and he's OK with it... as are most of his blogger buddies, not to mention his wife and family. (Some of us just sit back in awe when we read his posts.)

What he’s inspired me with specifically and most recently was that he has picked a “theme word” of sorts to sum up what he wants 2006 to be about for him. He picked the word “epic”. If you want to get the details, you’ll have to meander over to his blog.

His post, and more specifically, his word, have been bobbing around in my head for the past few days. I would think to myself, “‘Epic’, what a great word!” It’s Rob’s word and I believe that 2006 will be an epic year for him.

Being the linguist I am, I understand the power of words. He inspired me to pick my own theme word for 2006. I thought ... and mulled... and pondered. I had a word… but it didn’t seem to sum everything up for me, the way “epic” did for Rob.

Then it occurred to me that in 2005, I had two theme words that I didn’t even recognize as such until … about now. They were “health” and “balance”. I realized throughout the year, that these words are not an end or a goal that one achieves (which was a bit disappointing, given my type-A personality…) but rather a process, an evolution… and a guide for personal choices. There are no guarantees that one can ever have either health or balance. And if you do have them, there’s no telling when they can be snatched away from you again, despite your best efforts. I learned from focusing on these two words in 2005 that you can do your best and still get all out of whack, get stressed out, make unhealthy choices and get injured or, as others in my family experienced, have your health change quickly and unexpectedly.

Nevertheless, I learned a lot from having them as my guide through the journey that was 2005.

Rob inspired me to think of a new word for 2006. But alas, I am not so efficient as he. I couldn’t think of one. Instead, I have a pair. (Apparently, I like the balance and complementary nature of two words, rather than one.)

My words for 2006 are “light” and “strong”. ("Strong" was the first one that came to mind, but it didn't seem enough on its own, so it will work in harmony with "light".) Let me explain:

Strong” is mostly, though not entirely, for the body. I want to get strong so I can run (not plod… run!). My legs, hips and core need a lot of work. But they don’t work in isolation… the upper body needs to get strong, too. Physically, I have never been particularly strong. Through my training I am learning that I can be healthier and stronger than I was before… but it’s all relative, right? I shall dedicate 2006 as the year to experiment with physical strength, with a view to getting outside and running sooner, rather than later.

Note, this does not mean that I have any intention of bulking up! That might defeat the purpose of gaining strength so I can finally run.

Strong” also applied to the soul, spirit and mind. But typically, I’ve had less trouble with those sorts of strength than I have with physical strength, so we’ll leave those alone for the moment. This was part of the reason that I felt the need for another word.

Light” is that word. It is mostly, though not entirely, for the mind and soul. I tend to be a bit of a thinker, you see. (I know, you could never have guessed, right?) I get my head wrapped around my books, the problems of the world, issues facing the community or just about anything. It’s what MCM calls having a “cerebral existence”.

Part of 2005 was spent trying to get out of my head and into my body. I have realized this is impossible to do… They’re connected and trying to separate them, even theoretically, doesn’t work.

So what I will focus on instead is having a lighter soul in 2006… still being engaged in my studies; still caring about the world and people around me; still being conscious and conscientious… but doing so with a sense of lightness. I have a playful side… but it doesn’t show much. This year, I will attempt to bring it to the surface in a genuine way… keeping it in balance with my natural, more “cerebral” side; be “mindfully light” (as opposed to “lightly mindful”, I suppose!)

Perhaps if I can manage to do that, I won’t get my knickers all in a twist about issues like the one in my last post! Ha!

I could also say that I could try to be a “light” in others’ lives, but that sounds like a lofty and important goal… one I’m not sure I could fulfill anyway, so let’s not go there…

Light” of course, could also apply to the body, but I shall choose also not to focus on that. In fact, I have a good mind to throw out my bathroom scales today, January 1, 2006! To hell with monitoring my weight! I don’t care about it!

Well, OK… I do care about it… but not as much as I used to. But for me... this year… living light of spirit and soul… far outweighs the importance of any number on the scale.

So, no… I won’t throw them away… my house mate might clobber me, since her number is also steadily decreasing and she likes to see that. But I may well just ignore the fact that the scales are there.

I have other things to focus on… Strong body; Light soul. Here's hoping the words can guide me through 2006 as well as "health" and "balance" did in 2005. (This doesn't mean that the words of 2005 get tossed out, by the way... they are now as much part of me as my healing knees are... I walk with them daily and will one day run with them, too.)

To Rob: Thanks for the inspiration, buddy. May you have an epic 2006.

To all: Happy New Year!


M A F said...

I like the idea of a "theme word." Or perhaps "theme images" as it pertains to one who fancies himself a cartoonist.

I will have to think about a theme word that I might apply ot my resolution.

Turtle Guy said...

Your words on having a "lighter soul" touched me, Sarah. I think you're not the only one who could benefit from such an approach to daily living.

Being "mindfully light" sounds restorative and refreshing.

I've seen your playful side - embrace it and you will discover your lighter soul!

May you meet with all the success your efforts deserve.

ipodmomma said...

very interesting... strong and light... a unique balance that I for one would not think to put togehter.

but I think it will make for fascinating reading, and I will be keeping up to see how it goes...

Happy New Year!

robtherunner said...


That was a wonderfully written post. I hope that you follow your themes throughout the year and the focus will allow you to change in the best of ways. I look forward to following you throughout a "strong" and "light" 2006. Happy New Year!

zouzou said...

cool. very inspiring too. Since you've got yer words I'll pick mine: Me, Me, Me! just kidding. It will of course NOT be Me at all this year but HIM, the little interloper. I must ponder and post on this...

D said...

Great post, great goals. Happy New year!

katt said...

Great thyme words Strong and light to be add to your health and balance. What I have deside is to try to find some truths in my spiritual life. Balance is a great one to may I borrow it to add to my truth finding path, Sarah. For I hope in my search for truths I will gain balance in my life.
Thanks for the insightfull words