I love the fresh start of a new year. This year is even more exciting since it’s the start of a new decade. I’ve been working with a therapist the past few months and one thing that we are focusing on is to change how I see things in life. My thinking tends to be very black or white. Either I’ve succeeded at something or it’s a failure, either the day is productive or it’s a wash, I’m either eating healthy and exercising or I’m eating junk food constantly. There’s not much middle ground in my mind, at least not for myself. That’s where my 2020 word of the year comes in: Gray. It seems like a weird word for something like this, but I need to learn to see the gray matter. If I miss a workout or two, I don’t have to give up completely. If I wake up grumpy, the whole day doesn’t have to be hell. And if I don’t accomplish a set of goals, it doesn’t mean the day was worthless. One negative event doesn’t have to change the entire day from good to bad. The world is not one or the other.
Why I Chose Gray as My 2020 Word of the Year
This past decade was by far the most life changing period of my life. I graduated from college, got married, started my first grown up job, bought a house, started this blog, had a baby, became a stay-at-home mom, and had another baby. With all of that change and growth, I probably shouldn’t be too surprised that I was a bit shell shocked. I felt lost this year. Without a job or grades, I didn’t know how to measure whether or not I was doing a good job at living life. I’m no longer earning an income, so I didn’t feel like I was contributing to my household. There are days when I got mad at the kids and yelled, so I didn’t feel like a good mom. I felt sad, listless and tired. I believe a lot of those feelings came from having a baby and adjusting to life with two kids, but knowing where they came from didn’t make them go away. With time, the heaviest of the fog started to lift a little (and then return on difficult days). I realized that I needed help. I wanted tools to combat the feelings of inadequacy and disappointment that I felt constantly. I also wanted to figure out to how to get out of my funks that would settle in and disrupt life for a few days.
This year, and this decade, I want to learn to embrace the gray area. I want to find balance between relaxation and productivity. I want to be able to appreciate pajama days without being upset with myself for days. And, probably most of all, I want to learn how to bounce back. I need to be able to rest or not finish a to-do list, accept it and jump back in the next day instead of beating myself up. Black or white thinking has led to years of discouragement, frustration and lack of motivation. My hope is that my 2020 word of the year: GRAY will lead to contentment, understanding and accomplishment.