My Word

The veracious Helen Cottee wrote a great blog this morning about reinventing the whole New Year's Resolutions malarky. She has decided that rather than defining January 2-13 by a torturous list of joyless to-dos, she will pick just one word to live by. I, like Helen, am a big fan of writing improving to-do lists on January 1st that often get discarded by the 2nd week in, not for want of trying, but I become aware that I can't do everything on that list and get a degree and have a life and be a normal person, so I throw in the towel and just deal with the ring of fat around my middle and my addiction to caffeinated drinks and guess what, I still have a great year.

I wrote two things down this year, but I wouldn't call them resolutions. That seems too final, too demanding, too unforgiving. No, the things I wrote down are more like long-term aspirations that I have chosen to focus on this year. One is related to my physical health and the other to my spiritual wellbeing. I am serious about them and they are not completely unachievable, still I like the idea of having a word. It's all encompassing, malleable and above all, easy to remember.

My word is ADVENTURE. I've been feeling very unadventurous over the past couple of weeks, all I've wanted to do is snuggle into the bosom of my family, slug around the house and watch terrible things on TV like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I even rebooked my flight back to Germany from today to Tuesday because my brain is so fried and my body so exhausted that the thought of returning to my loveless apartment on the side of the Autobahn just filled me with dread. I was almost starting to wonder whether my lust for adventure had finally been satiated until I started to really reflect on the world adventure and what it actually entails. First things first: an adventurer cannot embark on the next adventure when they are still recovering from the first. Preparation is essential. I need to build myself up with good food, good company and a comfortable home before I pull away from the next for another eight months. 

The start of this year is going to involve a lot of travelling and a lot of aimless wandering. I want to soak in the spaces and experiences I encounter and to find adventure in the mundane. I want to push myself when things start to get hard and my two old friends, homesickness and self-pity, start popping round a little too often.

Adventure means making things fun, it means finding the romance in things that go wrong, it requires flexibility and a love of the spontaneous, it means opening my eyes and arms and heart wide to anything and anyone that comes into my path. It means learning how to live with yourself and how to turn loneliness into a satisfied solitude, it requires vulnerability, perseverance  enthusiasm and gumption. Most of all, it requires you to carry its spirit around with you always, to bring adventure back home with you and to involve it in your sensible plans for the future. 

In 2013 I want to live for and with adventure, using this blog to document the consequences.

What is your word for 2013?

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