Word of the Year: Explore
I’ve never before chosen a word of the year. Quite frankly, sometimes when everyone is doing something I get super curmudgeonly and am like, NO.
But it has been on my mind as I've seen friends declaring their words. And this morning, as I was experimenting with something new, the word EXPLORE popped into my mind. And I was like, YES, I want this to be my guiding word for this year (for life, really).
For many, the word explore likely conjures ideas of big travel adventures. While those would be great, what I'm getting at is exploring new ways of being, new ways of doing things, new experiences big and small. The idea is to break down internal assumptions about myself...to create opportunities to explore, experiment, fail, succeed, discover...to find moments of surprise and delight in the everyday.
Because here's the thing. Everyone knows I am a doer. I do a lot of things. I can power through a to-do list like a boss. But putting my head down and being focused solely on the doing restricts my ability to be open, whether it's to myself or to other people. And I want to be more open.
Yesterday Jon and I were talking about focusing on taste. I realized that I usually make myself a huge cup of coffee (really, probably the equivalent of two cups) but I really only enjoy the taste of the first few ounces then slug back the rest out of habit. I also tend to load my coffee with enough cream and sugar that it’s practically ice cream. This morning I made just a small cup AND decided to see how it would taste without cream. I gingerly took a sip then sat in a state of stunned silence as I realized how delicious it was. Had it really taken me 25 years to figure out how to enjoy the true flavor of coffee?
Starting your day with surprise and delight, even with something as simple as a cup of coffee, is pretty amazing.
If you are choosing a word for 2019 I'd love to hear it. And if you're not, I totally won't judge.
(📸 by Laurel, taken while exploring ice caves for the first time near @smugglersnotchvt)