2011 is about personal joy.

For the last several days I’ve been trying to come up with the word.  You know, this idea that every year we should have a word that becomes our focus.  A word that will play into our decisions, and the way we move through the world.  I really was struggling.

I don’t make resolutions.  Resolutions are nice little throw away ideas that lack action.  They are the frosting on your cake, they are yummy, pretty, make you feel good when they’re in your mouth… but they don’t really do you any good.  And in the end can leave you feeling badly about yourself – just one more thing you didn’t follow through on.  Unnecessary fat on an otherwise perfectly yummy vegan cake.

So…  I liked this idea I’d been hearing about.  That rather than making resolutions, we should chose a word that we would strive towards in our daily lives.  I can do that.  I have completed project 365 (that’s right, tonights the last night, the blog will be taking a new turn in the new year… stick with me to find out where it’s going), so I know I can stay focused on an idea, and be mindful of it every day for an entire year.  But what I wanted to focus on just kept eluding me.

I’ve had a concept in mind…  a kinda vague idea.  Something I’ve struggled with personally for as long as I can remember, and that has driven me in a negative way for equally as long as it’s been present in my life.  But it’s not a word…  it’s a concept.

The idea that I am good enough.  It’s tough for me.  I have this need within myself to live up to the expectations of others.  I need approval.  So this is what I thought, perhaps, 2011 could be about…  learning that I am good enough.  That I don’t need to be what YOU think I should be.  That, ME, the me that I am when I’m all alone, when no-one is watching, is all I ever need to be.  That I am good enough, even when the news crew is filming, I am good enough.  That I don’t need to put on airs, that I don’t need to impress, that I just need to lay it out there…  THIS is who I am, and I am good enough.  I am accountable to me, to my daughter, and to my family, but that’s it.  I don’t need the approval of anyone else.

A good idea, right?

Yeah.  A good idea.

But it just wasn’t quite right.

So yesterday I take the idea to a trusted group of women, the MomWriters (women, writers, mothers, and allies)…  and ask them for a word.  One word that encompassed what I was trying to say.  Got lots of clever responses – as I suspected I might – but still, nothing that grabbed me and shook me and said WAKE UP GRRRL! THIS IS IT!

I’d kinda given up.  Figured lets just go with a concept.  After all, it’s the idea that counts.  It’s the concept.  It’s being mindful of one thing in your life in a way that you weren’t aware of it before.

I started browsing around online…  googling things like “no resolution”, “a word for 2011”, “no more resolutions”, etc…  didn’t find anything at all that was even remotely interesting.  In fact, I was about to turn off Firefox and go pop in a movie when a freaking explosion went off in my brain.

I don’t need to measure up to anyone’s standards, because 2011 is about PERSONAL JOY!

So there you have it.

It may not be one word, but it is exactly what I was looking for.  Exactly what I needed, what I think we all need.  So stick around with me.  The beginning of the week, and the beginning of the new year has something in store for us all – if you’re interested in joining me.

Happy New Year!

the wee girlie and I, holding a little purple paper heart

From us to you...

About Tobi-Dawne

Tobi-Dawne Smith is many things to many people... photographer, canine behaviour expert, equal rights activist, green politician, lactivist, intactivist, writer, crafter, dog handler, third wave feminist, etc. But most important in her life is her role as mother to an amazing five year old. Learn more about TD at http://www.tobi-dawne.com/ follow her blog at https://td365.wordpress.com/ get to know her daughter at http://lilyannslemonade.wordpress.com/ or check out her work at http://tdphotography.me/

Posted on December 31, 2010, in BlackBerry, Feminism, Joy Journey, Just a Note, Nuthin' much and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Congrats 🙂 my word this year was Health. i really hope you achieve your personal joy

  2. The idea that I am good enough. It’s tough for me. I have this need within myself to live up to the expectations of others. I need approval.

    This is so like me. I am not proud of it, but I have been like that. This might be the reason why most of the time I like to be alone or with my family. Because when I’m with my family, or when I’m alone, I am very relaxed and I don’t have to think of what others will think about me.

    I hope you’ll make your goal happen this year and in the succeeding years.

    • Thank you Jenn.
      I think this is probably an area more of us struggle with than we’re willing to admit. So I suppose, in a round about way, 2011 is also about personal accountability. You can’t make changes in your life without first addressing the problems.


  4. “Enhance your calm” — that’s my phrase for the year. It’s from the movie “Demolition Man” with Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock.

    Hubby was watching it the other night when I was playing around with my new Bamboo and was quite annoyed and stressed, using some colorful words!! : /

  5. I think it is perfect. And one we should all work on…..

    • But do you believe in what others say that we’re already perfect as we are?

      • Nah… no perfection here. Just a regular person with things to work on. We are imperfect beings. We all have flaws, we all have things we should strive to improve. Life is found in the journey, and part of that is growing, changing, learning. Perfection would imply that the journey is needless. Where would be the fun in that? 😉
        — right Em?

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