Wednesday, January 1, 2014
A Guiding Word for 2014
Amicable is much more gentle, I think, and that's exactly what I need to be in 2014. My guiding word for 2013 was metamorphosis; it's a selfish word for a year that was, in many ways, about focusing on my own growth. I had a lot going on both personally and professionally and I don't feel guilty about that, but now it's time to nurture my relationships with others.
Jon, ever the peacemaker, is actually the one who put this word into my head. When we were in the Bahamas last week, I snapped at a family member about something relatively insignificant and Jon took my hand and whispered lovingly to me, "Betsy, be amicable."
I'm often disproportionately frustrated by relationships that aren't conducted on my terms, but I've finally realized that my reactions and responses to those who don't meet my expectations can be truly unproductive. Being amicable isn't about lowering my standards for how I should be treated or for the sorts of relationships in which I invest myself; rather, it's about giving others more room to meet those standards, perhaps in ways I might not recognize on first glance but which are, nonetheless, valid. And it's about understanding that, when I'm unable to engage with friends or family or colleagues at the level I'd like, being amicable will keep more options open than the alternative will close.
So my guiding word for 2014 is amicable - and if you see me forgetting that, dear readers, you have my absolute permission to remind me as sternly as you'd like! After all, you've been teaching me to be more amicable in your comments ever since you got here and for that, again, thank you.