2011 in review

I’ve decided to start a blog. Time will tell whether I’m disciplined enough to keep up with it, especially considering that I’m two days behind on the catalyst for this entry.

So…a couple of days ago, I encountered a blog that challenged folks to write daily in response to a prompt. For more info, see here:


Day 1: Encapsulate your 2011 in one word. Why that word? What would you like your word to be for 2012? Why?

My response:

2011 = liminal

That’s a big word. Here’s what webster.com says:

Definition of LIMINAL

          1:  of or relating to a sensory threshold
          2:  barely perceptible
          3:  of, relating to, or being an intermediate state,
                phase, or condition
            : in-between, transitional
              <in the liminal state between life and death
              — Deborah Jowitt>
Origin of LIMINAL

          Latin limin-, limen threshold; First Known Use: 1884

Liminal is the in-between, the not-quite-there but can’t-turn-back. It’s suspension and suspense. It’s standing at the altar but not yet husband-and-wife (or husband-and-husband or wife-and-wife). It’s pregnant, the cocoon waiting to become a butterfly, the seed germinating, the visible air of an exhale on a cold winter day. It’s me typing this blog but not yet clicking “publish.”

This year was a journey in liminality for me. I knew that Mom’s life was coming to an end, and every day felt like a step closer to the inevitable while waiting on hold. It was a time of preparation, reflection, expectation, meditation, rumination.

But it was also a time of action. I had to make major decisions about Mom’s care. And then three months after her passing, I learned that I had to finish my Ph.D. dissertation a lot quicker than I had anticipated. So I moved forward, put my nose to the grindstone, and wrapped up the unfinished business that had been lingering for far too long.

As a result, I’ll be entering this next year in a completely different place than where I was 12 months ago. Last year at this time, I didn’t know what to expect. Guess that’s always the case in many ways, but I certainly couldn’t have foreseen things playing out the way they did. Tying up loose ends has opened up the space and freedom for me to do some exploration this next year, starting with some significant travels.

So where am I headed?

2012 = Transformation

That sounds a lot like 2011 on the surface, but it’s definitely different. 2011 was reactive. Waiting to see what would happen and then responding. Trying to avoid having to make decisions unless absolutely necessary. Hoping that things would just “work out” without me having to own my power in the process and then scrambling to do what needed to be done.

This next year, I commit to being more intentional, proactive, conscious, aware, and thoughtful. I don’t want to run so fast that I don’t savor the journey, but I don’t want to hold back so much that I find myself with diminishing options. It’s a fine balance, one that will require being fully present in the moment and living fearlessly but not recklessly. It’s going to be a lot of fun!