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2010: focus, caron, focus

January 17, 2010

As we turn the calendar to a new decade, I can’t help but reflect on the past year and make goals for the year ahead.  One usually does that at the birth of the new year but I was too busy making out with a boy to think of such things.  And then, of course, came the mandatory sulking (it would be rude not to after such a high).  But now, NOW, I am back on my feet people and it is time to get with the program.

And so, I am following hoards of bloggers in stating my word for the year.  Resolutions? No thanks.  I’ve learned long ago that I can say them without a problem but come February, I’m all resolutions? What resolutions? As I down another glass of wine, skip my yoga class, watch an episode of Scrubs (oh Zach… I can’t quit you) and order a pizza.  We Geminis apparently lack persistence in achieving set goals. We are a flighty bunch, brimming with enthusiasm and there are only, like, a million gazillion things we want to do, which makes keeping resolutions next to impossible.  Also, I am lazy.  There, I said it.

Resolutions are all up in my business, nagging little creatures nipping at my heels, but a word, a word I can do. An intention I can do.

And so, given the aforementioned lack of persistence that makes up a big part of my genetic code, I’ve decided that my word this year is DISCIPLINE (slash FOCUS). I know.  Boring, right?  Especially when defined as the trait of being well behaved.  Where’s the fun in that? And if you go with the United States Marine Corps’s definition of “Discipline is the instant willingness and obedience to all orders, respect for authority, self reliance and teamwork. The ability to do the right thing even when no one is watching or suffer the consequences of guilt which produces pain in our bodies, through pain comes discipline… well you might as well jump off a cliff.

Hence the need for the slash/ focus.  Discipline indeed feels cold and martial. Focus adds fire to the definition.  The concentration of attention or energy on something; a point of convergence of light.

Last year I was committed to saying yes and showing up for life.  2009 was a year of adventure and hedonism, of exploring extremes and letting loose and going wild. I traveled on my own for 5 weeks in England, Spain and Italy, I had my very first article published in Somerset Life magazine, I went to Squam where I met some of the most kind, amazing, funny, sweet, vivacious, creative, soulful, real, inspiring, beautiful women, I explored rooftops by night and train tracks at dawn, I started rock climbing, I bought a polaroid camera, I photographed my cousin’s wedding, I beat my fear of biking in the city and am now hooked, I painted a wall aubergine, I became an internet addict and a Facebook junkie and a lover of whiskey.  I went out, a lot, and I laughed. I laughed so much.

2009 will no doubt go down as one of the best years of my life, definitely one that will be difficult to top. But in my opinion, there is only way to go and that is UP, therefore I have high hopes for 2010 as well.

However, this year I want to gather all the lessons learned, harness all the energy that poured into me last year in various forms (love, creativity, friendship, freedom), use the courage I found and focus… on health, on career, on finances and creative endeavors.  Because, truth be told, I feel like I am on a slippery slope. It’s similar to walking along and suddenly hitting a patch of ice and realizing the sidewalk is crack-your-skull slippery and you can’t just be walking along without paying attention because that next patch of ice could see you on your ass.  So suddenly, you pull your head out of the clouds and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.   Whereas last year I would have gladly bought a crazy carpet and gone sledding down that slope screaming weeeee all the way down, I feel like I had my fun and now it’s time to come in from the cold and have some tea and simmer down.

That is not to say that I won’t have any fun.  I’m all about the fun.  It’s just that I’m going to have to learn to slowly reintegrate “no” into my vocabulary in favor of doing things that are in line with my purpose.

So I suppose my intention this year boils down to self-control, using willpower to accomplish a task rather than succumbing to habitual band-aid desires. I’m going to have to fight distractions and say Jeanine can’t come out and play right now, she has to submit that article or enter that photo contest or go to the yoga studio. It’s time to grab the wheel again (perhaps for the very first time), take control of my actions, my emotions, my fears and create my destiny, which isn’t going to be easy for me but I guess that’s why they call it growing pains.

I know you’ve likely answered this question a thousand times over, but I’d love to know what your word is this year?  And what do you do to stay focused?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2010 6:54 pm

    2010 is going to be a hard year for me just by default (husband-away-in-dangerous-place kind of hard). But between my little 365 project and keeping busy with the kids and blogging and life, I hope I can keep the good going. Keyword: Upside.

  2. January 17, 2010 7:45 pm

    i said no to choosing a word because it was pretty much stressing me out. i also said no to squam, sigh because i need to focus on getting my finances in order and take care of some much needed house renovations. that said, i have already said i am working on some much needed discipline and this year seems already to be about the quiet determination of getting down to it already … i am running again, back in the gym and doing the much needed diet to finally get rid of the weight and for a girl who likes to eat whatever she wants, so not easy but it feels good. i have also been writing daily and sketching daily and really focusing on well getting down to it 😉 i suppose without actually declaring a word, i am pretty much focused on getting down to it. this is the year i put in some work and so far so good, it feels strangely like a good fit.


  3. January 17, 2010 7:55 pm

    it helps me to focus when i rest/get quiet…& my word this year is glory/living increasingly into my beauty & listening to it in others…lovely to visit your blog & kind face..

  4. Josefina permalink
    January 17, 2010 9:46 pm

    My word for 2010 needs to be fearless. I need to let go of the fear that stops me from doing all the things I want to do. Wish me luck!


  5. January 18, 2010 12:34 am

    i want to say yes to squam but said no for now because i’m still recovering from last year and 10 months of unemployment. now the car gets fixed along with other things i put aside for a while.

    my word is journey – to make sure i soak it all up as i travel with new road in a new year.

    as a cancer (following your gemini) we’re the focused ones of the bunch – in some ways tunnel visioned so we need your twins to balance us out. my ultimate focusing agent is lists…..lots of lists.

  6. January 18, 2010 11:17 am

    Cheers for your fabulous, inspiring, adventurous year! I happily raise 2 fingers of whiskey for all grand exploits. I wish you a fantastically focused new year. Looking through your lens and bringing what you want into focus rather than letting it autofocus for you makes for interesting captures.

    My word this year is connect. Mind, body, spirit connection, listening more carefully to others and myself, as well as connecting the dots of all the things that resonate deeply with me. It’s time to shake things up a bit. This is the year for Squam, a move to a new city and who knows what else. A rock from Mccabe says Change is Safe! Word.

  7. Elizabeth permalink
    January 18, 2010 11:45 am

    loved this post! my word for 2010: LAUGHTER!!

    so obviously that means a return to Montreal as I laughed so hard there and I MISS montreal!! I really, truly MISS it . .. I am inspired by your commitment to focus and feel that there is a part of that going on for me in the year ahead, too– I want to clear aside a lot of guff and get down to the three daily things that are my top priority: meditation, yoga, writing.

    and? TRAVEL! heeee

  8. kat permalink
    January 18, 2010 12:10 pm

    Your posts are so insightful, thanks for the opportunity for introspection!
    love keeps me focused, ie. i love myself so i practice yoga and energy work and eat well, i love gioia so i keep it together when she hasn’t slept thru a night yet or i love clean clothes so that heap o’dirty no problem, i love my dog so raw meat meals for her however gross no worries it’s the love that keeps me going and my word this year is ABUNDANCE, the Universe provides and i continue to trust that ABUNDANCE is the natural state of being for us all. oh and i think it might be fun to make up A BUN DANCE lol.

  9. Alison permalink
    January 18, 2010 12:15 pm

    Well, I guess my word might be walk. That’s because when it comes to work I’ve been running around for 1 1/2 years like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Always thinking that the faster I go the better my chances are of catching up. That was never going to happen. So, I let go and all of a sudden things are happening. Part of which is I’m getting a full time back-up so I can work at a regular pace instead of break neck. So yea, I’m letting go of running and that definitely brings a smile to my face. 🙂

  10. January 18, 2010 2:32 pm

    Well, my word is Trust. But to your question about discipline, this may be the year to say “no” in order to stay disciplined. “No” is not always a bad word. It’s about shedding the dead weight..the things that don’t serve where you’re headed.

  11. January 18, 2010 4:31 pm

    You inspire me! I have read so many people’s lovely posts about their word of the year and honestly, I have NO idea what mine is. Still thinking…

  12. January 18, 2010 11:08 pm

    Sounds like a good word for the year. 🙂 I know for myself sometimes I have too much focus and discipline and don’t allow myself to have fun, but I’m slowly working to get a balance between the two. My word for the year is “explore”, which in line with both exploring fun and exploring focus. I wish you a very Happy New Year!

  13. January 19, 2010 9:56 am

    I found you from Elizabeth’s post about a love story. I am a sucker for a love story and yours is so wonderful. I ended up reading your whole travel series and it is so inspiring. I am glad I was directed here!

    My words for the year are potential and desire. I am trying to shed my critic’s voice and look at the positive. I love this post, and I love your writing.

  14. January 20, 2010 12:15 am

    Wow, what a year you had in 2009! And you’ve a fabulous attitude. Hope 2010 has more adventures and fun in store for you.l

  15. January 20, 2010 7:22 pm

    Congratulations on your self-travel and your first article. It’s a thrill to see your name in print for the first time, but to see your words spread neatly across the page, and to tell the story you held so tenderly in your imagination is sublime.

    My word for this year is community. I’ve had a year of focusing inward, now it is time to look outward and share myself with the world.

  16. January 22, 2010 10:13 pm

    I had been thinking in early December what my word might be for this year – my word for last year was Stretch. This year my word seems to be Baby #2 which could also be called ‘keeping my head above water’. Maybe next year I will focus on one word. 🙂

  17. Kim permalink
    January 23, 2010 12:01 pm

    Okay. I finally came up with my word even though it took me a week to figure it out – and no it’s not procrastinate: ). It’s “let-go”. I know that’s two words but they are short and I’ve used the joining dash to pull them together. This year I hope to let-go of the bad habits, the fears, all (or as many as I can) of the things I’m holding on to that no longer serve me – or never did. I want to let-go of some unfulfilled dreams I’ve clamped over the years and admit their time has expired. I definitely want to hang on tight to the good stuff. But the other clutter… I want to watch it slip through my fingers. Bye-bye. Yes, it’s time to make room for the new and just get on with it.
    About how I stay focused… I don’t. I, like Charlane, am a cancer but I’m more the scurry around from side to side type. I have no idea how I get anything done. (Wow, is this comment ever long…)
    Good luck to everyone in making it happen and thanks to Jeanine for putting the word.

  18. January 23, 2010 2:23 pm

    Dear Mademoiselle Caron, first, can I just say, Word. Ok, that was funny inside my head, but not so much typed, eh, I’ll go with it. And so, my word is passion, and I am ambling along towards there… but focus, I don’t stay focused, I am multi tasking even in my sleep, problem solving and moving from one thing to another. So I figure I will embrace this side of myself instead of fighting it, and bring in the focus thru the passion… make sense? maybe not but here we go… xo

  19. January 25, 2010 8:23 pm

    My word for 2010 is Balance. I am the all-or-nothing girl, and that’s not healthy or sustainable in the long run. So this year I’m trying to balance everything out, so no one thing overwhelms me. Good balances bad, happy balances sad, quiet balances chaotic. I’ve not had much practice with balance. I seem to be built to teeter between extremes. Here’s hoping I become comfortable with balance and am better for it.

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