“Today I’ll choose courage over comfort.” ~Brene Brown
I sat down multiple times over the past few months to knock out my 2020 goals but was never able to finish. The distractions of a cross-country move, not to mention less time due to the move, as well as not really knowing where to start because this year is going to be so different (re aforementioned cross-country move). I entertained the idea of scrapping my usual annual goal-setting activities, including choosing a word of the year, but, even though we’re well into the new year, it doesn’t really feel like 2020 could really begin for me until I completed this activity. So, here I am, 39 days into the year and finally dedicating the time and energy to identify what I want to focus on for the remainder of the year.
During many of those failed attempts to complete my goals, I kept coming back to one thing — start over in a new place. Which, of course, is not just one thing. It’s a multitude of many things — large and small — but I think it’s enough. If I can make this year about that and be in a state I feel good about at the end of 12 months (e.g., a sense of belonging, community, friends), that’s enough. And, if I do my very best and am still feeling a little lost and not quite there yet come January 1, 2021, that’s enough, too.
Fortunately, mixed in with that one huge change, there are snippets of continuity. Of course, there’s the hubs and the pup. There’s also my job, which I’m grateful to have been able to transfer to the Bay Area. And then there are the things that I want to continue in a new place but will take a bit more effort.
As I’m thinking about all I’ve worked on and toward over the past year and beyond, I don’t want to lose all semblance of progress but, I also need to be fair and kind to myself in admitting that this year is going to be different. The accomplishment list will likely be shorter. Fewer pages will be read. Different things will take priority. And that’s okay.
Something I did want to make sure to complete this year, as it relates to this post, is to choose my word of the year. Luckily, I had some help with that task. Before leaving Denver, my therapist and I talked through setting intentions for the big move and we decided together that courage was and is the most appropriate word to focus on. The act of moving cross country from a place I’ve called home for nearly 13 years in an extreme act of courage in and of itself. However, it doesn’t stop there.
This year, courage will — and already has — taken on a much more prominent role in my life. The courage to start over. The courage to try something new. The courage to show up. The courage to ask for help in a new city. The courage to admit you’re sometimes not okay and you really miss your friends and Denver. The courage to talk to a stranger. The courage to navigate a new public transit system. The courage to make a new friend. The courage to be vulnerable. The courage to be open to changes. The courage to be okay with failing. The courage to be okay with uncertainty. The courage to discover a new normal. The courage to work through all of the emotions of a big life change like moving. The courage to check in with yourself. The courage to become more of yourself. The courage to just be.
And, last but not least, the courage to finish this post — even though it’s well past the traditional time to set annual goals.
I’m looking forward to observing how courage shows up for me throughout 2020. I’ve even taken to asking myself, “how was I brave today?” Sometimes the answer is and will be quite easy and obvious (e.g., I tried two different types of public transit and successfully navigated each) and other times it will be more subdued (e.g., I took the dog for a walk even though I really just wanted to sit on the couch and miss my friends). But that’s the thing about courage — it’s not just the big stuff, the grand gestures, that make up our legacy of bravery. It’s a mix of it all, including those easy-to-miss acts because those are what get us through, one decision and one small step at a time.
Bring on the remainder of 2020!
Featured image courtesy of http://www.livingwellspendingless.com.