So, 2016 was supposed to be my year of delight. And although I never intended it, 2016 was also the year I did almost no writing. At all.
And I missed it sometimes. Other times not so much. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Delight when used as a noun is a feeling of great joy/happiness/satisfaction or something that brings you great joy/happiness/satisfaction. And, when used as a verb it's the act of bringing that joy to the world around us.
So, it is possible to be delighted in as one human to another as well as children of God.
As I look back on 2016, flipping through my Instagram feed, because heaven knows I really didn't take notes, I can see a few themes that have shaped the direction I've taken.
I learned a lot about myself as I experienced new relationships, deepened existing relationships, and let go of others that had run their course.
Side note: the trouble with picking a word for the year is that (at least for me) I seem to encounter all the different sides of that word. What I mean is, (and maybe this is obvious to everyone but me) in order to experience and understand delight, I also need to know and recognize the stuff that's not delightful. 2016 was the year I defined delight and non-delight inside myself and it surprised me.
As I took stock of where I was spending my time and energy in my relationships, I noticed I was being driven towards and away from others by a negative force instead of a positive one. A self imposed sense of condemnation was keeping me from being present in the way I'd like to be. As soon as I noticed that word in my heart, I was able to root it out.
The truth is, it is possible to live free of condemnation and allow others in your life to live out this freedom as well.
I made a lot of stuff this year. I knit a hat and two sweaters. I taught myself to screen print. I did a lot of block printing. I made bracelets. I made new recipes. I pieced together the top of a quilt. I wore my overalls a lot. I remodeled a kitchen.
I love the process of creating something new. There is joy in getting my hands dirty, getting paint and ink on my overalls.
I enjoy sharing what I've made with the world around me and the community that's formed when we make stuff with our hands and our hearts.
I had the opportunity to explore new places and try new things in 2016. Lots of little road trips, river rafting, snow shoeing, camping weekends, game nights, camp fires, exploring new cities, story telling, fireworks, hikes, food, selfies, tea, friends, and laughter. Lots of laughter. I want more of all these things! Who wouldn't?!
I realized pretty quickly, that my delight wasn't found in acquiring new stuff. My delight was also not found in working to maintain a certain level of stuff. And, in fact, there was a great deal of delight in having less stuff.
I moved to Boise in August of 2014. I had let go of almost all my furniture in order to fit my belongings into the apartment above my parents garage. It was a really great little place for me as I was starting over in a new city. But this past fall, when my youngest brother, expressed his need to move to Boise make a new start, I knew what needed to be done.
I gave him the apartment and moved into my parents basement. I wanted him to have what I had when I came, a chance to start over. Fresh and clean.
I'm not sure if I've hit "tiny house" status, but minimizing my stuff has given me such freedom.
While I have picked a new word for 2017, I want to keep exploring each of these in the coming months and years.
Next up: my word for 2017 and so much more. I promise!
And if this post was meaningful to you in some way, please comment or share it with someone you care about.
This is not the end,