When I revealed my word for the year last week, a friend of mine shared this thought… “2011 promises to be a difficult one for me, but hopefully in the end it will be triumphant. And, as I typed that word, I realized that is the word I want to hold on to this year. Triumph. :). (Side note: love that the word ends in umph which sort of connotes strong effort).”
I was instantly crazy about her word (especially the observation of the ending sound– it does connote strong effort!). And then she upped the ante and revealed that her goal is to ask herself everyday what she did to triumph- in whatever form that takes or however that may manifest, little or big, weighty or mundane.
And I instantly loved that idea. So, for today, I am asking myself, ‘What I have done lately to exhibit expansiveness?’ and I am asking you what you have done lately to embrace your word for the year (balance, create, patience, learn, teacher, jump, commitment, grounded, discipline, passionate, hopeful, deeper are just some of the words that have been shared for me). Haven’t chosen a word yet? Well, then tell me how you have been triumphant of late as triumphing is always a sign of growth!
Here is my recent story of expansiveness:
Years ago, I always went to a gospel concert the evening of Martin Luther King Jr day. It was a final celebration, a capstone to a day that was usually spent both in service and learning and so satisfying. I am crazy about gospel music, old school AME Zion or Southern Baptist gospel music and more modern Kirk Franklin telling you to STOMP! gospel music. I am crazy about African spirituals sung in their native tongue and more modern, but deep rooted, Soweto Gospel Choir music and Sweet Honey in the Rock acapella music. It all just lifts me. And this gospel concert I went to always ends with Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing which is one of my favorite songs. So big bonus there. Anyway, since becoming a mom, it is hard to sneak away at night for most anything and because my work sometimes calls for meetings or events at night, I try not to do too many voluntary things in the evening. All that said, Happy is finally getting to the age where we can try some things at night as a family, and he loves music. Loves it. I felt certain that he would love this concert. So, even though we might not be able to stay for all of it (and, surely, we couldn’t since the concert started just 30 minutes before bedtime rituals begin), we could go for some.
And so when last Monday came and I had no reason to get dressed up until the gospel concert at 7 pm (and if you know me in person, you know that I am a workout clothes all day long if I can help it type of girl), I could have put the idea out of my head (that is just how much I hate changing clothes). And when the temperature dropped to an even more offensive low, I could have put the idea out of my head. And when it started to rain, I could have put the idea out of my head. And when I asked BF if he thought Happy would love it, and if it would go well, and he said, “No” (not meanly, just matter-of-factly), I could have put the idea out of my head. But I couldn’t. And so I put on my big girl pants (which are black dress slacks and not black running tights or black yoga pants) and bundled the baby up, and we went. And when that music started, his eyes got big, he sat back in my lap, and he was mesmerized. Like his mama. And it was good.
Soon tiredness set in, so Happy, BF, and I called it a night, but walking out of that performance hall, I was so proud of choosing expansiveness that night. For myself, yes, but also for my family.