Am I the only one who lets go of her New Year’s Resolutions before January is history? Not just let go, but sets them free to pester a more disciplined soul somewhere? And slam the door of failure behind them as they leave?
I not only ignored those resolutions, I broke them. All. Eventually I quit making any resolutions when the time came. It continued for some years. Whenever asked if I’d made my New Year’s Resolutions, I smiled and changed the subject.
Until our Quills of Faith Writer’s Group Co-Leader, Kate Barker, brought a new idea to the first meeting of the year in 2017. Instead of that list of resolutions none of us kept, how about trying a new idea that was catching fire. “It works for me because it gives me a focus,” Kate said, now a veteran one-worder. “And then I begin to see how things come together during the year.”An interesting concept. Just in time, too. I’d had a setback on my writing journey and a special, focus-word could serve as motivation to pull me out of my slump. I decided to give it a go and chose my first word – Forward (for 2017).
In typical, overkill-Cathy-style, I began researching quotes and verses and memes with my word at the heart of each. Soon, I had a ten-page file with colorful pictures and encouraging quotes to flip through. Daily. Or anytime I felt a little crumbly inside. These truths came from many places and many people. They supported my writer recuperation in the best of ways. The repetition of wise thoughts and advice served to replace my nagging self-doubts. Embracing the one word thing worked for me.
The next year, I chose Brave as my word. Again, success. Then last year, I chose Wisdom. Another winner! Focusing on all three words mended my heart (I’m a slow healer) and amended my point of view. Like a compass, they guided my steps and directed me toward the person I long to become.
And…no broken resolutions left behind. Nothing to lament. Rather, the commitment to my chosen word was a positive in every way.
The latest cozy mystery I’m writing features some folks who will play an important part in solving the case. They are part of a group referred to as Plain. Introduced to their ways, my non-Plain heroine saw something lovely in their lifestyle. Something restful and pure. So did I. Which made me wonder if my 2020 word was associated with them.
Then I found this beautiful rendition of “Simple Gifts.” A Shaker Hymn written by Joseph Brackett (1797 -1882). Performed by Yo Yo Ma and Alison Krauss. Ahhh….
Naturally, I found synonyms for the words Plain and Simple:
Plain – Minimal, unadorned, unfussy, down-to-earth, unpretentious, homely, pure, homespun, honest.
Simple – Uncomplicated, trouble-free, undemanding, humble, natural, effortless, easy, elegant.
My focus on the gift of simpler living began months ago. Maybe it’s been knocking on my heart for years and I’m finally listening. Recently, I started a board on my Pinterest site titled, “The Bounty of Simple.” You can see where this is going.
So, I searched for a word for 2020 to keep me focused on the beauty of less. On what IS without a lot of excess to make it more. Like a rosy-cheeked child holding her beloved kitty. There’s a story there. An attachment between the two. Adventures untold. Yet the simplicity of this picture made my heart smile and unleashed my imagination.
Simplicity seemed the perfect word for 2020. I’m excited to see where it takes me.