And 2012's Guiding Word Is...

I really and truly dislike December every year. It would be a perfectly good month if it weren't infected throughout by Christmas, the pressure of the annual New Year's milestone, and my damnable birthday. All three must happen, though, every year, but this year I made the bold decision to take it in stride, aside from some complaining on Twitter, of course. I have to remain true to myself.

a breakfast of oranges and coffee

I decided that, while taking this whole end-of-the-year avalanche of milestones and meaningfulness in stride, I would go one step further and create my own little meaningful piece of it as a way to claim some of this for my own. Plus, winter is long and hard in Saskatchewan, and I need for things to suck less.

After giving it a bit of thought, I decided that the little meaningful piece I created for myself would be this: I would choose one word to use as a guide through 2012.

While I was thinking about what my word would be, I asked the people of Twitter what their words would be, and I received a number of answers: fun, joy, money, healthy, open, persistence, investment, dare, less, completion, wholehearted, patience, believe, tenacious, rehearse, onward, peace, fearless, tend, love, mindfulness, perspective, and acceptance. I also found out that Ali Edwards had already had the same idea with One Little Word 2012. I took this as a sign that it was a good idea to be having.

One word kept coming back to me, and I didn't like it, because it wasn't a particularly emotional or inspired sounding word, and it lacked a certain sexiness, but there it was, creeping back in among the much more interesting words I was trying to push it out with.
verb (used without object)

5. to move from one place, position, direction, etc., to another.
6. to manage to get along or succeed by oneself.
See? "Shift" does not score very high on the sexy meter, but it's a pushy little syllable, so there it is.

2012's "shift" is going to help me to remain mindful of when I need to shift in direction either in thought or in action. "Shift" will be my reminder to sidestep complacency and change paths when I feel stuck. "Shift" will help me to keep moving rather than allow myself to become mired in self-doubt and the safety of repetition.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that "shift" is already in action.

If you were to have a word to help guide you through 2012, what would it be? Are you surprised by what comes up for you?

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Me at Aiming Low: December Babies Need Some Extra Loving Right Now. Give Us A Hand. And Some Cake.