Have you heard of the one little word trend? Also referred to as "word of the year," it's basically the practice of choosing a word that becomes the touchpoint or focus for your entire year. I like how Ali Edwards phrases it, "a word to focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon as I go about my daily life."
Although I've technically chosen a word for the past two years (there's a spot to choose a word in the Powersheets, which I've used for several years now), I've never really stuck to it, referred back to it, or incorporated it in any way through my day-to-day life. But this year, I'm trying again.
When I first filled out my Powersheets for this year, the word I chose was slow. With Matt's new job, him going to the police academy, having a busy toddler and welcoming a baby in June, my business, this blog, all of the things, I felt a desire to slow our life down. But as I dug more into what that practically looked like, I realized that in fact, our life is already pretty slow. What I mean by that is that we don't have a lot of standing commitments as a family or individually. I'm not part of any clubs or committees anymore (besides Book Club once a month), and our day-to-day routine is - although never easy - generally pretty slow. There really wasn't anything non-essential that I could trim from our life.
So it wasn't that I need to slow down, scale back on activities or step away from commitments. My true desire for this year was actually to chill the heck out. Even though we aren't coming and going a ton, I struggle with putting a ton of pressure on myself as a stay-at-home mama. I feel this need or expectation to have a rotating calendar of activities for Xavier, as if I'm running an early childhood education center instead of my simple family home. I put pressure on myself to be super wife and have all of the household tasks completed by the time Matt walks in the door, even though he doesn't expect that of me, at all. As I pictured our life this year, with Matt being gone a ton for training, adjusting to his new schedule, adjusting to a new member of the family, etc., I pictured in my heart of hearts, peace. I want it to be a peaceful year. I want to let myself off the hook a little bit. Let the laundry pile up while I snuggle a newborn. Let the Pinterest activities go in favor of racing trucks around the living room for the billionth time. I'm often my own worst enemy when it comes to achieving peace in my home, because I let the pressure I place on myself rob me of sweet moments.
So, I declared 2017 my year of chill. Dial down the pressure a notch. Lower the standard that I hold myself to. Not sink into laziness, but finally practice what I preach and treat myself to a heaping dose of God's infinite grace. So how does this practically play out? How am I actually embracing the Year of Chill in my day-to-day or regular life? Here are a few of my ways...
- I'm embracing chill by buying all the snacks + treats for tonight's Noonday Collection Trunk Show, and not stressing out about making anything from scratch. Literally nothing. I'm opening containers, putting them onto pretty dishes, and calling it good.
- I'm embracing chill by not googling symptoms or worries (a very recent development - like two weeks ago - thanks to a timely reminder from my friend Emily to "give it to God instead of Google.") As I stress about Xavier's development or whether he's hitting his milestones, I'm turning to prayer instead of the internet.
- I'm embracing chill by rotating between the same handful of meals again and again, and not trying to cook a bunch of new things or spend time scouring Pinterest for meal ideas.
- I'm embracing chill by using Xavier's afternoon nap time to rest and recharge, instead of getting more stuff done.
- I'm embracing chill by letting Xavier be a toddler and get messy, play in the yard and ruin his jeans, and learn by exploration. Part of this includes buying all his clothes secondhand, so I don't stress out if he truly does ruin them.
- I'm embracing chill by making it a practice to ask myself, as I get stressed out or discouraged, "how can I chill out about this? Is this worth getting riled up over?"
- I'm embracing chill by using one of the blank sections of my prayer journal each month to ask God to open my eyes to other areas where I can scale back, dial down the pressure and be more easygoing.
And that's been enough to get me started! I'd love to hear - do you have a word of the year? Think the whole practice is lame? Swear by it? I'm always curious to know! Have a wonderful weekend sweet friends, XO!
*header photo by Shay Cochrane // post contains affiliate links