Vigor: Part 1

Have you chosen your One Little Word for 2012?  I chose a word for 2011.  What it was I can't even remember because I didn't choose it with authenticity or clarity and I didn't actively pursue it with awareness.  I was, as Christine Kane puts it, putting my word in a microwave oven and waiting for the bing and changes that followed.  Not surprisingly, my word and those changes did not manifest themselves.

But 2012 will be different because it has to be.  In 2010 Mr. Cook's resolution was to be more positive.  And he has become an entirely different person.  That's what I want for myself and 2012.

These are my answers to Christine Kane's "Your Word of the Year Discover Tool".  If you want to choose and live your word with intention you can get a copy of the tool here.

Write the word (or words) you are choosing for the coming year: Vigor.

Source: flickr.com via Summer on Pinterest

Why is this the perfect word for you this year?  2011 has been a year of a lot an insane amount of change.  Most of it good, some not so great.  Mr. Cook getting home from Afghanistan.  Learning to live together.  Learning to love together.  Learning to be married all over again.  Learning to be best friends again.  Learning to have a roommate again.  Graduation from college.  Learning to be a grown up.  Learning to accept opportunity and blessings.  Learning to pursue my true desires.  Struggling through a summer school teaching experience that left me in daily meltdowns.  Landing a position as a high school English teacher and letting go of incredible co-workers and an amazing 'work' environment, knowing that I was disappointing a staff of blooming young adults and people who have incredible hearts for service and pursuing a job I am qualified for, but terrified of...daily.  Navigating all that is the first year of teaching.  The "first year of marriage".  The "first year of home ownership".  Talks of little Cooks to be.  Exhaustion. Not taking care of myself.  Not taking care of our marriage.  Of my friendships.  Of my family.  I am tired of being tired and run down and constantly saying, "Maybe. When I have time."  I need to infuse my life, my relationships, my career with VIGOR in 2012.

If you embraced and lived this word daily, what would be different for you?  I would wake up every morning with an incredible desire to tackle the day, to "Wake Up and Fight" (Woodie Guthrie's 33rd resolution for the year 1942) and go to sleep with a sense of peace that if that day happened to be my last I had made a mark on the world.  I had spoken kindly to a student.  I had kissed my husband so completely he didn't stop thinking about it all day.  I had made my dad's day with a phone call.  I had made two puppers very happy by taking them on a walk.  I had taken care of my body by feeding it with the right foods to live vigorously.  I had taken time to journal.  I had lived my passion.

My schedule would be intentional.  I would make time for writing a letter to a friend in Germany.  I would drop a treat off to my sister.  I would cut out the 'time-consumers' that took away from my VIGOR.  Things  like (prepare yourself for the shock and horror that is to follow) catching up on my DVR filled with Real Housewives and fictional TV characters whom I live vicariously through because I am 'too tired' to get off the sofa and live for myself, ensuring my googleReader has a pleasant (0) blogs unread, that I know the comings and goings of everyone else's lives lived by checking in on facebook and that I've accomplished a sufficient amount of pinning despite never accomplishing the ideas pinned.

In what ways do you already live/embody this word?  Currently very little of my life is lived with VIGOR.  I have been in survival mode.  Surviving re-integration (the military's awesome terminology for learning to live all over again after you've ripped the band-aid off and you know he's home, really home this time) and my first year of teaching.

The only thing currently being done with VIGOR is the work we are putting in on our marriage.  We are learning and practicing how to love and communicate so that we can be experts at marriage and being one another's best friend.  It is a skill you know.  And it is a lot of hard work, being taken on with VIGOR and hope.

In what ways do you not live/embody this word?  I do not work out, despite my gym membership.  I do not eat healthy, despite having a health nut for a husband.  I do not fully invest myself in anything because I am too distracted by the magnitude of everything.  Apathy is a good way to describe it.  I tried to explain it to the Mr. the other day and it went something like this, "I'm trying to make myself un-numb.  I spent so much of the deployment being numb because I wasn't sure what would happen if I allowed myself to feel.  I've gotten really good at not feeling and waiting for the worst.  Now that the waiting is over, now that the worst didn't happen, I'm afraid to feel again because I know the next deployment is always around the corner".  Apathy out of necessity?  I'm not sure, but it has infiltrated every aspect of my life.  It's time to feel and accomplish things and life and relationships with VIGOR.

If you were to live this word daily throughout the year, how would your life be different one year from today? What would you have created or attracted? How would you feel?  I will be healthier.  I will have taken care of myself physically and mentally.  I will have impacted a student, far beyond their life in high school.  I will have happy puppers who are taken care of, loved on, and walked.  I will have a happy husband who wakes up excited to see me and goes to sleep longing for the next day to spend together.  I will have nurtured friendships.  I will have shown my family how much they mean to me.  I will have become less selfish, less tired and more ready for little Cooks.  I will have started my free lance writing and submitted work for publication.  I will have cut out the distractions and lived fully with VIGOR in my day to day.  I will have picked up my guitar and french horn.  I will have utilized my creativity instead of comparing it to others'.  I will be surrounded by positivity, by energy, by builders.  I will have cut negativity, apathy, and downers.  My energy and passion will be contagious.  I will feel alive, not numb.

Source: flickr.com via Hannah on Pinterest

"Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind." -Leonardo DaVinci

I've shared my one little word over at Stephanie Howell's Blog Your Heart, a monthly link up dedicated to being honest and authentic about what is going on in your heart.


Mom said...

I am all caught up now. A lot of thought and words into your blog - phew. I am impressed and amazed by your one word and the impact it can have if you succeed. I will do everything I can to support to you - but you know I am not the most intuitive - so please let me know what is supportive, and what is not. I love you - and I think you and Marshall have the potential to have an incredible life together. Life is tough - but there is so much more to be thankful for and be blessed with, than not...

Blessed Little Curl said...

This made me tear up. I love how intentional you are with your words. You write beautifully (and a little funny I must say!) :) I'm praying for you! I'm down for a "craft/talking" night anytime! Or, lets be honest, another pedicure might do the trick ;)

Stephanie Howell said...

what a beautiful, honest post.

Kelly said...

This is so wonderfully and thoughtfully written. 2012 is going to be a great year for you!

linda e said...

Good luck embracing your word this year! It is such a magnificent word to live and something we should all be reminded of!

Andrea @ Knitty Bitties said...

Well ... I'm not sure what to say after all of that lovely, so I'll just say I love you and despite what you might feel as some failures in 2011, I think you've been doing a great job at this thing called life ;).

Your Seester

P.S. I'm still a' thinkin' on my little word. I had one in my heart, but not sure if it's the one ;).

Ashton Bower said...

You have just made a marriage between me and my word- thank you for the beautiful post and the gentle reminder to unplug. True inspiration!