Feb 18, 2016
Once a year, every year, I choose a theme.
It’s usually no more than a word. A guiding thought for the year to come. A subject of inquiry. A standing piece of advice for life’s decisions, big or small. Once, it was ‘sovereignty’, once ’hearth’, once ’capability’. I think once it may have been ‘balance’, and once ‘the small’, but my record-keeping is somewhat lacking.
So, once a year, every year, I choose a theme. But ‘choose’ isn’t quite the right word. It implies a range of possibilities, when in fact it is a matter of a single idea, bubbling to the surface. Almost always, it emerges when Ju and I meet to discuss the year just gone, and the one to come.
This year, somewhat to my surprise, my theme is ‘share’. I am surprised because it seems more outward-looking, more engaged with other people, and more open than any introvert-who-just-wants-to-be-left-alone could be. Consequently, I have found myself stubbornly pushing back against the idea.
Sharing time? I don’t have time!
Sharing energy? I don’t have energy!
Sharing stories, experiences, food, friendship, space? Did you hear what I said about time and energy?
Evidence that I have found a fitting theme.
As usual, perfectionism – ever my companion – intervenes. It appears self-evident that I need to conduct this inquiry on a grand scale, at no cost to all the other things I do. That somehow (if I’m a better person, a kinder person, a healthier and stronger and more organised person) time and energy will rain from the heavens and all will be well.
This is – self-evidently – ludicrous. I have learned and forgotten and learned again that the only way I do things well is incrementally, in tiny, successful steps. (I recorded this knowledge many years ago on The Map of Win which hangs in my hall, but I still forget and re-learn.)
And so, some tiny sharing possibilities.
Write here again – just a little. Nothing epic, nothing grand.
Help organise Cary’s open-house breakfasts at The Workhouse (instead of just showing up at best).
Process and upload just a handful of a three-year backlog of photos to my Flickr.
Give a tiny gift.
Make a date to appreciate a friend’s new house.
I will – as usual – make a mind-map soon to explore the idea of sharing more broadly and deeply. And this year, I will share it here.