2 years ago 💘 for day 2, 2019 with 307 words.

Setting myself up

At the end of December each year for the past few years, I've written a "year in review" post looking back at the major milestones, accomplishments, and challenges I faced during the preceding 12 months. At the end of the monthly recaps, I declare on a "word of the year" to guide my intentions and actions on for the next year.

It didn't feel right to me to write one for 2018.

While I've found the "word of the year" workshopping helpful during long-term dream planning and imagining and idealized future self, the only time I've thought about it after publishing the post is when I think to myself — "I haven't been very _____ in my actions this year, have I? This will be disappointing when I write my next Year in Review."

I need fewer occasions and reasons to let myself down and more opportunities to surprise and delight.

The answer to that isn't through an apathetic autopilot mode I coasted through 2018 on. The answer to that isn't aggressive overcommitment and an overall sense of busyness. Those seem to be my two extremes — mirroring two of my mental health struggles, the passivity of depression and the frenzy of anxiety. Both feel like always reaching, always climbing, but without an upward trajectory. Velocity at 0 or 300. Since I was a kid, I feel better with completed stack of deliverables and checklist items all checked, but I burn out quickly. And I can fall complacent in the warm laziness of the recovery state.

This year, I'm determined to work toward finding the in between. And when I find it, working to keep myself there, even when I think it'd be more comfortable to swing forwards or backwards. I'm fortunate enough to safely fight through what's comfortable in order to grow — without punishing myself or indulging too early.

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By Jessica Paoli

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