12:30 am. Early January. Trying to go to sleep and failing.
I’d been mulling over a focus for 2017 for several weeks and hadn’t settled on anything. “Hadn’t settled” is actually wrong- that implies I had options, but I was coming up dry. I mean, I’d thought about it, but it was all kind of a jumble and nothing was resonating as a thing I specifically needed to work on.
So when “wholehearted” jumped to mind, apropos of nothing, in the middle of the night, it was kind of a surprise. It resonated immediately as the direction I should grow this year.
It’s wound through scriptures. Loving and serving the Lord with your whole heart.
I’ve also read a lot of Brené Brown- “wholehearted” is shorthand in her work for a lot of huge things- living from joy, gratitude, vulnerability, authenticity, among others.
It’s a big word.
It kind of scares me.
And I’ve spent the last month trying to figure out how to wrap words around why. I still can’t.
I assumed that at some point, I’d have a solid direction to go, but that hasn’t happened yet. I was waiting for some processing time on vacation to think all the Big Thoughts about it, because that’s what I do on vacation. I take time out and think Big Thoughts.
It didn’t happen.
So I’m learning about being wholehearted in the in-between. In the little things.
(Turns out, that’s where I live my life anyhow.)
It’s missing a lot of facebook and Instagram because I can’t afford to have my attention divided right now.
It means reading a lot of books, because reading focuses my attention rather than splintering it.
It’s spending some time talking with Lilly and watching her blow bubbles rather than washing dishes.
It’s getting thoroughly irritated at a couple of my children, but paying attention to the part that was my humiliation at their public disobedience. It was me as well as them.
It’s being awake to things like the background noise of Lilly chatter and Magic School Bus and really loud compressor noise from the fridge behind me, along with a strong desire to read my book and the headache that comes from not enough caffeine and too many fevers and crises making their way amongst my children.
It’s looking my lovely babies in the eyes and seeing them.
It’s pondering (with no real revelation yet) how to bear the burdens of another as an empathetic friend without internalizing those burdens and making them mine.
It’s seeing my insecurities around living in shorts and bathing suits for several weeks of the last month, and being kind to myself both about my body and about my moments loathing it.
It’s noticing (and telling my husband) when everything he’s saying hits my ears as condemnation, and realizing it’s not coming from him, but from my own inner crazy.
It’s nothing huge or shocking or even slightly life-changing. I’m hoping it becomes large and it does change me this year, but today wholeheartedness means nothing more than paying attention and living life honestly.