2013 – Year of Being Present

Picking a word this year was challenging. Partly cause I grew to love Savor so much that I felt strongly that I didn’t want to let it go. When I look at my list from last year, I am amused at how many of the same words were on my list this year, too. Here was the list I tinkered with for months:

  • brave
  • calm
  • quiet
  • shift
  • shine
  • true
  • present
  • now
  • breathe
  • celebrate
  • light
  • still
  • listen
  • open
  • center
  • moment
  • unlock
  • guide

Like last year, I resisted my word this year. Even though present kept coming up, I just didn’t like the way it sounded. I didn’t like how long it was, how many e’s it had (when you’re a scrapper, these things matter!) and it just seemed too bland.

But no matter how much I resisted it, it kept coming back to me. And after I finally decided to stop pushing back so hard, it felt completely right. It was going to be my word for 2013 and that was that.

One of the things I love about the word present is that it has multiple meanings:

  • Right now: This is the first meaning of present that resonated with me. Being in the right now. Not thinking about the past or the future. One of the things I hear often in the meditation I listen to is how there’s no suffering in this moment. And how a lot of it is either about the past or the future. So if you stay in this present moment, you can reduce suffering a lot. And I’m all about reducing suffering, especially in 2013.
  • Right here: The second meaning of present that really resonates with me is having presence. Being here. While I am playing with my kids, actually playing with them and not also doing email or talking on the phone. Or even thinking about anything else. I think one of the strongest ways I can show my love for them is with my attention. Actually being there for them. And doing the same for each thing I do. Being here. Paying attention. Not numbing, distracting. This is sort of like savoring but in real-time.
  • The gift: The final meaning that resonated with me was the idea of life being a present. The days I get are a gift. The days I get with my family are a gift. The days I get as a healthy person. The days I get to do art. The days I get to read and write. So much of my life is such a gift. Not to be squandered, not to be taken for granted. Not a moment to waste. I love the reminder of these precious moments being a gift.

Like last year, I changed my blog banner on my site and bought myself another ring with my word on it. I am still wearing the savor one as well since I am not ready to let that word go yet.

And there we are. The year of being present.

Like last year and the year before, I also made my Priority List for 2013. Just to remind the idea behind this is:

I was listening to The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and one of the things the author mentions is managing our time and how we spend much of it doing what’s urgent instead of doing what’s important. As in, we’re often reacting instead of thinking ahead and calmly acting in the direction of our dreams and priorities.

So I decided it would beneficial for me to make a “Priority List”. A list of goals and people I want to prioritize during the year. This way, when an opportunity or request came my way, I could check my list and make sure it is aligned with my priorities before I accepted it. It’s easy to lose sight of things and take on projects that end up eating a lot of my time and not making me fulfilled. If I had my list to look at each time, I could keep what’s important at the forefront of my mind and make sure to prioritize it.

Here’s my Priority List for 2013:

  • Family
  • Health
  • Work
  • Art
  • Celebrating
  • Reading
  • Gratitude
  • Learning
  • Belonging

Like last year, these are not in order. Yes, most of the time my family comes first. However, there are times when work takes higher priority because it has to for a brief time. Or sometimes I might choose to exercise even if my son wants to play at that moment. These priorities are fluid for me. They are all a part of me and I want to make sure I value them and dedicate time to each. I also want to make sure I turn down anything that doesn’t line up with one of these.

The list is similar to last year but not exactly the same. And like last time, I know you could make everything fit into one of these categories but, in my heart, I know what these mean. And I know when something comes along that doesn’t fit. Above everything, I want to stay true to my gut. I’ve made the mistake of doing something that will look good and make others think well of me before and it was a lot of heartache for me and so I want to listen to myself more and trust my gut and know that if I turn down something that feels wrong, other opportunities will still come my way and I will know when the right one is there. So I will have faith in myself and in the universe.

And I will prioritize the important.

And there we are.

Here’s to an amazing 2013: The year I will be present, in the present and remember the present it all is.

5 comments to 2013 – Year of Being Present

  • Jan

    Thank you posting your thoughts. I really like what you have to say. I to have chosen my word for 2013 “persist”…it came to me one day a few weeks ago that I need to persist more so I can achieve more…and my word was born. I like your priority list and have taken a leaf out of your book and written them down.
    It is New Years Eve here in Western Australia (we are having a heat wave)…so Happy New Year for 2013. I am grateful that I found your site and have enjoyed checking in…I look forward to a wonderful year.♥

  • EVA

    Great post! I too have chosen PRESENT for my word this year. I like how it is both a noun and a verb and has multiple meanings. For me though, the verb speaks louder – to present my ideas, present papers or talks – all of which are a stretch regardless of how often I do them; or my art. The noun says “me too” and I know it will be important (and am even imagining ways to visually rePRESENT it) but it is the verb that really calls.

    Best wishes for a great year with PRESENTs!

  • dawn

    LOVE LOVE THIS TOO!! Your savor project has been my absolute favorite thing too!! Good luck with your word and hope it brings you happiness!

  • Katherine

    I am just catching up on my blog reading today and am excited to see that your word is PRESENT!!! This is the word that I have chosen for me also! 2012 was such a hard year – my Mum unexpectedly passed away and in the grieving for her I have been anything but PRESENT 🙁 So I have decided to start Project Life which I have never done before and to be Present much for the same reasons you have chosen the word. Can’t wait to see what this word means to you as the year progresses and to see what it will mean in mine and my families life! Thanks so much for your inspiring blog x

    • karenika

      that’s so great! here’s to a year of being more present for both of us. (and i am so sorry about your mother, my deep condolences.)

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