Excluding New Year’s weekend, I’ve been a hermit since Christmas, hiding in my sanctuary of a bedroom, curled up with hot beverages, books, journals, tunes, sweatpants, wine, and chocolate. Don’t worry; I ate food, went on a few walks, and worked.
Even though I’m only 23, I’ve discovered what makes me come alive. My profession isn’t everything, nor do I want it consume me, but I feel lucky that my job speaks to something deep inside. Even though it’s tiresome, I can’t imagine doing something else. But before I go all butterflies and teddy bears, I have to say my week of hermitage was necessary. As much as I enjoy being with people 95% of my week, I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m only a mild extrovert, which means I have a crap-ton of introvert in me compared to the average social worker.
Ironically, I spend my time doing what I love, but I allow it to suck me up sometimes, too. I get so passionate about the cause that I forget why I’m doing it. Or I see only those slipping from the grasp of change, and I lose hope, absorbing myself in inevitable futility. This process applies to my personal life as well. I’m sort of like a hamster: I get on the exercise wheel, thinking about everything and nothing, and run round and round until I’m dizzy and overwhelmed.
At this time last week, I was in hamster mode, and I needed out badly. Maybe it was a jam-packed quarter or a long trip home, but I was drained and felt as though I’d lost my motivation to do the work, to be well. An old supervisor once told me that starting right required ending well. It’s not an exceptionally articulate idea, but it’s life changing. Taking his words to heart, I decided to end 2011 right, even if it meant being a hermit, pressing into bottled emotions and revisiting moments that brought my the greatest joy through the year. During my week of solitude, I reflected on where and who I was a year ago. It’s crazy ridiculous, but my life is awesome regardless of the hamster wheel.
I believe in setting goals, dreaming dreams, and making plans. Even though I’m not going to share my 2012 anticipations, know I have them, and that, no matter what happens and who I share it with, 2012 will be smokin’. It’s okay if you’re not a “resolutions” person, but I encourage you to pause and consider things that were and will be. May you be well in 2012.
Peace be with you.