What I know now. It’s nifty.

I don’t make new year’s resolutions.  I never have.  While I’ve chosen words the last two years (2011: trust, and 2012: light) I’m still waiting for a word to reveal itself for 2013.  It may not.  One afternoon in early December, while I was driving with the children, I told them about my words of the year for the last couple of years.  When Grace asked what my 2013 word was, I said I didn’t know yet, explained that I waited for the word to come to me.  “What do you think I should choose?”  I glanced in the rearview.

“Maybe hope, smile, love, or peace?” Grace listed off the four words she’d recently featured in her room.  I nodded.

“How about nifty?” Whit asked.  Grace giggled, and so did I.

Those excellent ideas notwithstanding, nothing has risen to the surface yet.  Maybe a word will.  But here we go, forging ahead into another year.  What a privilege this is, this day, this blank slate, this new beginning.  I don’t know yet what to say about this new year into which we sail.  But I do have some reflections on 2012, some things that I know now are absolutely true, some new and others things that I seem to need to keep re-learning over and over again.

  • I cannot change other people.  Much as I rail against this truth, much as I wish it was different, I simply can’t.
  • I will never, ever get tired of Phillip Phillips’ song Home.
  • It is almost never about me.  Words and actions that slight and hurt are almost always about something going on in the life and mind of the other person.
  • Sometimes it is about me, however. And my intuition about this is extremely accurate.  I have to learn to let go of wanting everyone to like me.  They won’t.
  • Having blood taken on day 3 of a juice fast is not a good idea.
  • The sky still can, and regularly does, bring me to my knees and to tears.  One evening right after the Solstice, while running at dusk, I had to stop and watch the sky in its pink and gray majesty, convinced I could see all of the grand pageant of life animate in those clouds, lit from beneath by a light whose source we can’t see but in which we must believe.
  • Crossing to Safety might be the most beautiful novel ever written.
  • My favorite time of day is early morning. Some of my happiest moments are running under a setting moon as day breaks.
  • The truest friends are those who are there beside you when things go poorly and when things go well.  Some fall off in each instance, not just when things are hard.  Neither of these are reasons for a true friend to abandon you.

Sincerely, honestly, I wish you the happiest of new years.  I can’t express how grateful I am that you’re here, reading.  I mean that.  May 2013 be calm and bright, full of joy, peace, and wonder.

What do you know now, as this new year dawns?


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24 Comments

  1. Posted January 1, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    I’ve never had a word of the year, but I know a few like you who have. I have decided to live with a word for the year and the word that has found me for 2013 is open. I am grateful to have found your blog in 2012. Happy writing and discovering. Blessings to you and your family.

  2. Posted January 1, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    That song–that song makes me so happy! Nifty! I love this.

  3. Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I love your list of what you know, Lindsey. One thing I know is that you are a lovely human being in every sense of the word. While what you say is true, about friends coming and going, I must add that the loyal friends, the ones who stick close through the ups and downs, are one of the greatest treasures life offers. Thank you for the gift of your friendship and of your writing. You inspire me deeply. Here’s to a great 2013!

  4. Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Oh, the intuitive knowledge we ignore…you are so wise to accept that you do in fact know things. Wishing you breathtaking light on run and the kinds of heartbreaking beauty that make you grateful to be alive.

  5. Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    SO beautiful LIndsey!!! I love what you know. And nifty made me laugh:) I too love the song “Home” but am only beginning to learn that it isn’t about me. What I do know is that this summer marked the beginning of something new for me – something only beginning to reveal itself in a way that is both terrifying and lovely. The last 3 years I have done a word. This year I can’t decide between “courage” and “breathe.” I am going to need both:) Happy New Year!!

  6. Posted January 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year Lindsey. I look forward to reading your wisdom in this space. It always encourages me to reflect on my own life. Thank you.

  7. Kerri
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Great post. Nifty is great and so much better than the alternative! Like you, I LOVE “Home” and the next two listings on my alpha sorted playlist reveal my 70s upbringing: “Home Again” (Carole King) and “Homeward Bound” (S&G). They all hold meaning for me. My intention for 2013:”Get off the rollercoaster.” Be it the politics of my workplace or the inherent challenges of parenting a 7 and 4 year old, I know that I’m always empowered and at my personal best when I act from a place of choice, courage, and intention. I can choose how I choose to engage and that’s what I want to bring wholeheartedly into this new year.

  8. Posted January 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year 🙂
    I adore your list of what you know. So much truth there. Especially about not being able to change people…

  9. Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    “Nifty”… it conjures up a lot of lightness and silliness for me…also…”mindfulness”! You have to notice things and really look at them and experience them for them to be “nifty!”

    I hear you about choosing a word. Maybe that’s why for the last two years I’ve had three years. I tried last year to choose one. But three kept coming to me again. This year though, one “chose me” loud and clear.

    I’ll be excited to hear what word calls to you! Love to you, Lisa

  10. Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    I know you wrote many wonderfully serious things here but I must admit that I giggled about having blood drawn in the middle of the juice fast- you must have felt just terrible! As you know, peace is the word that came to me out of no where for my word this year and now of course, I am seeing it everywhere I look! Happy, happy new year to you and yours!

  11. Amy
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    How beautiful. My word for 2013 is “calm”.

  12. Posted January 1, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Nifty is a great word!
    I know that I don’t know everything, I don’t understand everything, I don’t have all of the answers, and I am okay with that.
    I know that everyone is a little screwed up in messy, beautiful ways.
    And I know that all I can do, all I can become, is a little bit more of myself. It is all I have to offer, and it is enough.

  13. Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year!! 🙂

    I don’t often comment, but I always read your posts, and take great inspiration and delight from them.

    Wishing you the greatest blessings,
    Meg

  14. Sara
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Crossing to Safety is absolutely my favorite novel ever. Ever! I gasped out loud when I read that on your list. But it doesn’t surprise me one bit, to see it there.

    When my husband was wooing me (which he didn’t have to do, because I already loved him fully), he bought me a signed, hardbound version of Crossing to Safety. I considered that our real proposal.

    I cherish that signed copy more than almost anything I own. For how my future husband clearly already ‘saw’ me, and knew what this gift would mean to me. And because I knew that Wallace had actually held it, before his untimely passing.

    Please keep offering that ‘little bit more of yourself’, for all of us who find such glory in your beautiful insights and words.

    Peace, Love, and Nifty in the New Year 🙂

  15. Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Amen.

  16. Posted January 2, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I love the idea of having a word for every year, and of waiting patiently for that word to reveal itself. It seems like a wonderful way to remind ourselves to be present in each moment.

    I’ll be keeping my eyes, ears, and mind open for a word for 2013 to come up for me, too. Thanks for sharing, Lindsey!

  17. Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    That song, YES. Nifty and Cool Beans, YES!

    I picked my three words but I’m also brewing on a post about the difference between resolutions and goals … I just can’t nail in the wrap-up portion of the post. I think it’s so important to consistently review that which you know … and strive to add to it!

  18. Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Brightest new year wishes Lindsey! Ok I’m going to admit it now- your blog is my favorite. Thanks for this space- looking forward to what the new year brings. xoxo

  19. Posted January 2, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I love your list, Linds. It exemplifies you perfectly. Can’t wait until you find out your word for the year. 🙂

    I know that I have a long way to go. I am nowhere near the person I want to be. There are days when I feel like my journey has just begun. So here’s to new beginnings and a year of accomplishments!

  20. Shahla
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful post. Enjoyed it.

    All the Best wishes for you !

    I also dont have much new year resolutions. I feel enough. I would like to continue Peace, Love, Smile, Gratitude, Seeing beauties, Good and useful work, kindness ..

    Thank you for expressing your feeling beautifully.

  21. Penélope
    Posted January 3, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    You’re expecting the word to reveal itself, to appear. Maybe EXPECTATION is the word. That feeling when you know a year is going to be great, and you just have to wait for the magic of life to happen. And remember to always expect for the best, as they say “the best is yet to come”!
    Happy New Year and lots of love from Spain 🙂

  22. Posted January 3, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I haven’t been able to find my word yet, either. Nothing is coming to me…

    I’ve learned this year that sometimes I just need to stay in my pajamas all day and read.

  23. alison Norris
    Posted January 5, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    If you love HOME, you will also love GONE, GONE, GONE. My kids and I can not stop singing it. PP rocks!

  24. Margaret
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Lindsey, beautiful post, thought provoking as always. I read it the day you posted it (I hang onto your every word daily, even tough I comment infrequently), but am commenting late, as it took me a little while to come up with my word (or, shall I say, that I, too, was waiting for it to reveal itself). The word that kept coming back to me was “faith”. I decided that was it! I then went to church on Sunday (yesterday), and wouldn’t you know that the dynamic youth minister gave a wonderful sermon, all about each person’s “journey of faith”. It was reassuring, and I definitely took this as a sign that I was on the right track with my personal word for the year. Here’s to trust, light, faith and ??? Happy New Year, looking so forward to your new year of inspiring and transformational posts! xo Margaret

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