Thursday, January 1, 2009

Directionally challenged.

I've spent the day in quiet reflection. I've found when we return from traveling together as a family for a few days, we all retreat from each other and do our own thing when we get home. I've enjoyed catching up on reading and seeing how people approach the New Year. I'm not a big resolution making girl. I do think about the coming year somewhat by taking stock of the previous one. I do know that I did make a very general goal for 2008. I wanted to broaden my circle of friends. I decided the best way to achieve this was to give what I most desired. I tried to be the kind of friend I desired to have. And I decided to be as unconditional as I possibly could. No checklist. No goal tracking. Just a "way of being in this world." I couldn't have imagined a better outcome. I think the friendships that I have made are one of the biggest blessings of the past year.

In thinking about this past year I can't help but notice what has been front and center these last few months. Declining health for both my mom and dad. The passing of a couple of family members. I am also sensing the loss of my time at home with the boys. We've always said I'd go back to work when the boys are both in school all day. School all day is already next fall. There is a lot of change on the horizon. A lot of questions, not so many answers. And this inevitably invites complacency. Its familiar and comfortable. Its the go to state of being when the answers aren't at my fingertips. But I've seen complacency dull spirits, and weaken people. And when the only moment we are really promised is the one right in front of us, not in tomorrow and not in yesterday, then complacency really isn't an answer.

So when my blog friends started taking the Ali Edwards the one word challenge, I decided to forge ahead into unchartered waters for me. At the suggestion of Sara, Robin picked joy. Sara herself chose devotion. Ruthie decided upon love, and many more continued to hop on board with their singular words.

So its taken me all day. In between making wild rice soup and baking bread for dinner and getting ready for school tomorrow, I have been trying on words. In a backwards-typical-me kind of way I backed my way into deciding by starting with the word I DON'T want. Complacency. I figured it wouldn't be so difficult to find an antonym for complacent. But it seems that I can't find a suitable substitute opposite meaning word. Anti-complacency perhaps? LOL. I was about to abandon the idea when I stumbled on this...

"Sad will be the day for any man when he becomes contented with the thoughts he is thinking and the deeds he is doing – where there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger, which he knows that he was meant and made to do."
Phillips Brooks
1835-1893, American Episcopal Cleric

And that led me to this article by Carmellita M. Brown, a Success and Wellness Coach, Online Publisher, Author, and Instructor.
"Abundance is a journey of joy and purpose. Those things that begin with joy and purpose manifest abundance. However, there is a polar opposite to joy and purpose, this polar opposite is fear and complacency."

"Stepping into our own greatness and living in abundance begins with overcoming our fears and letting go of complacency. When we understand that abundance is a journey of joy and purpose, we will give up the familiar for the new and begin to live life as our true self." Abundance article

Ahhh. So there it was. Buried underneath everything I don't want my life to be about, the word I have been searching for... purpose. More specifically purposeful. According to Miriam Webster it means: "meaningful, full of determination, intentional."
Or in the Westra World, that would be anti-complacent. Take your pick.


  1. I love it! And I love that you let us in on the whole process of getting there... like we were in the kitchen with you making soup and thinking of ideas.

    You have a great purpose in my life, Vicky, so you're already a step ahead of the game. And boy am I glad you wanted more friends this year :)

  2. I love hearing your thoughts on this. I can so relate to the process and think it's pretty awesome that you stayed with it and found your word!
    The soup and homemade bread...yummm.
    I'm looking forward to sharing our lives this year, I'm so honored to be your friend...
    Glad you guys are back safe and sound :)

  3. Oh I forgot...your new header rocks!!!

  4. Sara, I'm so glad you got to hang out in my head yesterday! The whole process was something akin to writing a college paper, sheesh. Thank you for the challenge... you have some seriously awesome blog peeps and I feel lucky to just get to breathe it all in :)

    Robin, thanks for all things you and the amazing gift of friendship! You have already helped me try so many new things with the boys and my mommy journey would not be the same without all of your talents and gifts :) I'm mailing pictures today... more snow coming tomorrow!

  5. I am so glad I got to read your blog today! You have truly helped me understand a particular person in my life by reading this. I can see your psychology background coming out! Thank you!

    Happy New Year! I love the pictures!

  6. Heather,

    I am so honored that you come and read : ) If something I've said has helped you out then that is just pure bonus! I would love to hear a baby update. I sure hope you are well and getting your rest! Thanks for stopping by!


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