I think I’ve finally settled on my three words for 2010. Luckily, ‘timeliness’ isn’t one of them.
Proclaim – This is about committing to writing in many forms, whether that involves my writing projects, blogging, other social media, articles, writing letters to Congress, or anything else where I can speak what’s true to me and advocate about what’s important to me, particularly autism and children. And this is not just putting words on paper or screen; proclaiming is writing emphatically and ramming the exclamation point down into the table.
Connect – To personally connect with more parents, educators, therapists, specialists, technologists, and others who have similar experiences to mine and foster the relationships I’ve already made; to help people connect with each other so they can learn and get the information and support they need; and to connect people with quality online resources that help them become better parents, carers, educators, or therapists. This includes actually responding to my e-mail and our blog comments in anything resembling a timely fashion – which I’ve clearly and epically failed at for a long while now – as well as participating on others’ blogs.
Bamboo – This one requires a bit more explanation. Bamboo is – among other things – an important symbol in Zen Buddhism. It is very strong, flexible, supple, and resilient. It will bend under tremendous weight but not break and still be able to snap back to upright when the weight is gone. It responds exactly as it needs to under pressure, bending neither too much nor too little. It is the opposite of tension and rigidity. It has a profound ability to flex and adapt even to vast changes.
I wanted to find a simple word that for me captured the foundations for physical health, emotional health, and attitude. I think in order to be like bamboo you have to find ways to bring yourself more into balance, take care of yourself so your body can respond to things in the right way, practice a lifestyle that fosters calm, flexibility, and ease in the midst of great challenge and adversity, be open to opportunities and gifts that come from being a parent, and nurture a positive attitude about life.
Of course, if I manage even a fraction of any of that, I may try to cure cancer while I’m at it. 🙂 But by trying to be more like bamboo, I think I’ll be a better father, husband, and friend.
One of the activities that pondering bamboo has led me toward is something I discovered called a ‘gratitude journal’. I at first thought of it as incredibly cheesy, but after doing it for just a couple of days I felt a noticeable change in my perspective. Being the geek that I am, I do this on my iPod Touch using an app – not surprisingly – called Gratitude Journal. (Link opens the App Store in iTunes – it’s 99 cents) Just open an entry, type some things that happened that day that you’re grateful for (shows up basically as bullet points), and you’re done. If you feel like it, you can rate your day 1-5 stars and drop a photo into it, though neither are required. It takes maybe two minutes, but I’ve found it a great addition to my day.
Have you decided on your three words for 2010 yet? Would love to hear them if you want to share!