saying yes to 2012.

little red wagon

Last year, I resolved to lose weight in 2011. And on 1/1/11 at 1:08 pm, I lost 6 pounds and 15 ounces. Plus the placenta (sorry). I kept that weight off. I think this means I win at New Year’s, achieving my goal on January 1st. Other than that, I am not big on resolutions. I like to make positive changes in my life, but I don’t like to set myself up for failure.

In the past few years, it has become fashionable to choose a word to focus on for the upcoming year. I am not sure that I can say that I have chosen a word, because it feels more like a word has chosen me. Since I saw those two lines, felt Atticus kick, experienced his birth, things started shifting. Imperceptibly at first, like those twinges of kicks I sensed in the beginning. Now things have come a little bit more clear.

If I have resolved anything for 2012 it is to accept what I have known for a long time about my inability to be someone that I am not. Motherhood has taken away my last illusions about being a good girl. I am not good at making nice. I can’t pretend that I feel differently, especially when sleep deprived. And so I get in trouble for saying things like, “I am not enjoying every minute,” on Facebook. (Where I should know better, but I just can’t seem to help myself.) It turns out that I am the mom who says, “You have seen enough of me already today,” when Atticus has been up at 3 and 4 and 5 am and is reaching for me when I leave him at his school. (That went over like a lead balloon in the room. But I was tired. And we had seen quite a lot of each other. And he got to sleep from 5-7 am, whereas I was awake for the day.) I told my 16-year-old self to stop trying to be good and to focus on being herself. The truth is that 32-year-old me is just learning that same thing.

Lest you think that the word that chose me for 2012 is “bad” (as in “bad” girl since I have given up on being good), I should clarify that the word that comes to mind is yes. Since I have begun letting go of the idea of myself I have held for so long, I have been able to see more clearly who I want to be. I am worrying less about what people think and opening myself up to more possibilities. Yes, I will go and see an author I like (even if it turns out I have to go by myself). Yes, I will take a writing workshop with an author I admire (even if it kind of makes me hyperventilate to think about it). Yes–and this one is hard for me–I will play with Atticus instead of unwinding once I get home. Yes, I will take pictures even though I am worried about looking like one of those parents. Yes, I will answer you honestly (and because I have said yes, I am able to do it more gently). I will do things that stretch me, things that I am afraid of, and things that grab my imagination and won’t let go until I say yes.

This year was difficult, stretching me to my very limits. The lows were some of the lowest I have ever experienced. I love Atticus, but that did not keep me from exhaustion or despair. Surviving taught me a lot about paying attention and listening to myself. Armed with those resources, with new confidence in my own abilities, I am ready to say yes to 2012.

Did you make any resolutions? Goals? Do you have a word for the year?

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  1. […] that, I am not big on resolutions. […] Publish Date : Sat, 31 Dec 2011 10:49:59 +0000 Source : saying yes to 2012. share: Share on bebo Blog this! Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Share on dzone Recommend on […]

  2. […] learned about choosing a word to reflect on over the course of the year from my lovely friend, Kari.  Here’s a recap of my […]


  1. Judy

    I had not thought about a word, Kari – but now I am. It is a wonderful way to start this last day, while anticipating tomorrow. After gazing out the window, away from my computer screen, I have decided on “trust” – God and his promises, my family and friends, the country (perhaps the hardest). But then I had a thought – maybe for every word there is a follow-up word to consider. In my case, “trustworthy.” Definitely linked. You can’t have one without the other. Thanks for the reflection. Happy new year to you, Mike and Atticus!

    Posted 12/31/2011 at | Permalink
  2. Nancy

    For a few years awhile back, a word did seem to come to the forefront for the year. The one that stands out to me is “grace.” It is the grace of God that keeps me going when I have no more energy or drive to go on myself. It is the grace of God that allows me to make mistakes and learn from them and not feel bad about myself because I am not perfect. It is the grace of God that allows me to love other people and let them be who they are, not who I might make of them if I could. It is grace in other people that makes them wonderful partners in this walk through life. Grace is such a powerful thing and one of God’s biggest blessings, I think. And I think that “grace” may continue to be my word as the years move on. (One year, it was “courage” but I didn’t like that one nearly as much!) As for resolutions, I never make them any more because I could never keep them. I do set goals occasionally. One goal for this year may be to reread Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace? I think a refresher course in grace may be in order. Meanwhile I applaud you for saying yes to this next year and all the possibilities it may hold for you and your family.

    Posted 12/31/2011 at | Permalink
  3. Mine was “gratitude.” :~)

    And so, along those lines, I want to say thank you for sharing your heart on here. I just blogged earlier that being B’s mom “is a beautiful, joy-giving, sleep-depriving, heart-wrenching, prayer-inspiring, patience-stretching, merciful journey of learning the necessity of daily submission to the Lord.” I think you understand that.

    May your 2012 hold more highs than lows, and may the voice of your true self be heard clearly through the noise of life.

    Posted 1/2/2012 at | Permalink
  4. I like your word for the year, but really I like what it means for you. “Yes” could mean just saying yes to anything and anyone, but instead, for you it means saying yes to who you are and are becoming. I like that. I like that you’re listening to yourself and acknowledging that you know what is best for you. My own word for the year is awaken. My heart, body, and soul are so very tired, and I want to wake up, and soon. I want to set boundaries — I have said yes to too many things, and I have run dry. I forget, I think, that it is okay to be quiet and to retreat. In fact, it is better for everyone around me if I do those things. 🙂 It’s just who I am, and that’s okay.

    Here’s to 2012, and to still discovering just who we are.

    Posted 1/3/2012 at | Permalink
  5. It’s funny- 2011 was the year of “No” for me. Learning to say “no” in order to be more intentional about the things I was saying “yes” to. Learning to say “no” to really good things in order to do some great things. Learning to say “no” because contrary to popular (or just my own) belief, things WILL get done if I don’t do them and they might even be done (gasp) well. I will pray for your “Yeses” as I continue to practice saying “no”! 🙂

    Posted 1/5/2012 at | Permalink

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