It’s interesting. I’ve been mulling over my 2013 theme for over a month now, but from the moment I started thinking about it, one word instantly came to mind. I wanted to continue thinking about it more to make sure I was certain I wanted to use it, but still, the same word came to mind. It’s kind of been stuck there. So, I guess maybe my word found me and I just had to settle into it.
That’s what I’ll be working on and toward for 2013. I like using verbs because I feel the implied action gives me momentum. It keeps me moving forward.
Last year, it was PRIORITIZE. This year, I wanted to continue the same thread while also getting a bit of a fresh start. I definitely needed a break from the craziness that was 2012. I feel SIMPLIFY does that. It just so happens that it also goes nicely with our 2013 theme for The Orange Conference, Focus. 😉
This tradition of a theme/word for the year is loosely based on the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. My friend, Daron, came up with the idea, and he as well as several of our friends have continued it. The basic idea is that instead of merely looking back at the year to see what happened at the end, you start the year by looking ahead to see what you think the year might be about. Then you use the theme as a lens in which to view things throughout the year. At it’s basis, it’s a way to be proactive/responsive to the year, and not let the year just happen to you. It’s an intentional way to live rather than reactive—which is how I prefer to live.
I’ve decided I that I also want to live more simply, which was an underlying inspiration for my theme. Some days, this seems incredible difficult. “Stuff” just seems to find it’s way home with me. A new kitchen appliance. A piece of furniture. Picture frames. Gadgets. Books. Clothes. The list goes on and on. I somehow keep adding to my Amazon Wish List. But in the end, I usually end up with some form of buyer’s remorse. Not only are 99% of these things not needed, but many days I just get sick of having too much. I hate looking around at all my junk. I realize more and more the excess and accumulation of the society to which I belong. Realistically, if you came by, you probably wouldn’t say that if you saw my apartment. I don’t have piles of things around. I don’t like clutter. I periodically give items to Goodwill and clean out my closet. But much of what I have, I just don’t need. And as my heart becomes more attuned to global issues, I think I begin to understand that I can do so much more if I have less. Those are things would never cause me remorse.
I feel like SIMPLIFY will be a sort of cleansing for me—on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. I’ve already started incorporating it into many areas of my life, down to small things like unsubscribing from some email lists. There are numerous ways to SIMPLIFY and I hope to tackle many of them over the next 12 months.
Here are just a few of the ones that have already crossed my mind, with more to come, I’m sure:
- Getting rid of more stuff. A couple of items include my coffee table and dining room table, because really, I don’t use either for anything other than setting decorations on.
- As noted, unsubscribing from email lists.
- Paying down more debt. I started off pretty good last year, but medical expenses and a couple other extraneous items did more damage.
- Going through my budget, yet again, to see what I can cut back on.
I’ve even done a couple of things that may seem counter-intuitive to SIMPLIFY. I printed a reading list to read through the Bible chronologically, since I’ve never read it that way, and started using the service eMeals.com. These two things were done more as a way to automate habits that I was already in or wanted to be better at, without really taxing me mentally. I’m not one that loves and craves routines, but I think incorporating these two processes into my life will be really good. They will allow me to refine past routines, which I think fits nicely with SIMPLIFY.
My song and verse for 2013 came to me during the church service last week. I love it when that happens because it feels natural and promised. The song I’m using is “Be My Everything” because of it’s repetitive nature and message. It is what SIMPLIFY sounds like to me based on those two words. My verse, on the other hand, doesn’t necessarily go with the theme. Frankly, I just really liked it and kept repeating it in my mind:
Matthew 16:18, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” ESV
Quite honestly, I think I just sat at home sick so much in 2012 that the action in this verse makes me want to get up and get out there. I’m ready for a little hell-gate prevailing.
So, that’s it. There you have it. That’s what I’m looking forward to in 2013. Realistically, I know curve balls will come and life will happen, and I’ll just be along for the ride most of the time.
But I’m hoping I can keep SIMPLIFY in mind along the way.
I’m hoping this theme will give me the ability to channel my thoughts and actions.
And I’m hoping I can come to you in 11 months or so saying that I have have less, and have lived and given more.
Okay, and if I get to do a little hell-gate prevailing in the meantime, so be it. 😉