The Adoration Conversation

Do you ever vibe/manifest/pray/meditate/insert your flavour, here a word or phrase for the year ahead?

My flavour is pray. I have been praying and reflecting on upcoming words for upcoming years for around 7 or 8 years now. Some of my words have been rest, new, devote and seek among others. I usually get a feeling around November or December what the word might be and it always comes out of the blue. Sometimes it comes as a lyric that I just keep hearing over and over, or a physical sign or poster. Or sometimes it just ice skates through my mind randomly. In late 2021, the word ‘adore’ kept coming to me like waves.

At first I was a bit confused. Usually the word has a very practical tone. It doesn’t always have to be a verb, but usually I can already begin to preempt how it may live itself out in the upcoming year. I can already brainstorm some ideas to get the word rolling. I can set aside more time for ‘rest’. I can ‘devote’ more time to serving others. I can ‘seek’ opportunities. But ‘adore’ stumped me. I was convinced it was just because I was playing Christmas music from September and I kept on hearing ‘come let us adore Him!’

‘Adore’ didn’t go away though. It was lingering and making itself even more known in my head. No longer ice skating through covered in tinsel, but was actually cannon-balling into my brain just like the solar system of post chocolate acne was cannon-balling into my forehead during January. I thought ‘okay, let’s just go with it.’ I had no idea what to expect from the word, but the less and less I thought how to plan for it, the more and more prompting I was given in how the word might be applied to me for this year and beyond.

The first big moment happened to both Josh and I, on the same day, around the same time extraordinarily (totally in-sync and cringey). We both realised how much we were totally in our own ways when it came to contentment, happiness and gratefulness. We both kind of had this epiphany that at times we felt like spectators of our lives, not actually participants. We were watching life tick by, but felt we could do better to be more present, more happy with how much we had achieved, and more content in the current season of life we were in. It actually spurred some conversation and changes that we have been making for our family and innovated some plans we are excited for in the future. We were reminded that life doesn’t just ‘have to happen’. We have the ability to build a life that we truly adore, not just wait for life to be built around us and watch on from a distance.

We also talked about how especially as a parent, you don’t always feel groovy and motivated. You don’t always feel pleasant or as of you can be bothered to do all the things today (even as adults in general it can be easy to slip into unhelpful mindsets). It can be easy to focus on everything that you can’t do now that you have kids as opposed to what you still can do. We were reminded that a lot of the time you literally just have to choose your mindset and you have to choose to to celebrate the joys, be grateful for everything you have and be thankful for what has been built together and what you are in the midst of creating. The word adore popped up in my head, because I know personally I get so caught up in the schedules, the dinners, the events, the bills, the general life admin, that I just don’t stop to adore. I don’t stop to adore how the kids interact. I don’t stop to adore my life for what it is, not what we have to do everyday. I don’t stop to adore the different things Josh, Henry and Thea all do differently or the same. I don’t stop to adore what we have created, completely 50/50 together. I don’t stop and reflect and adore our journey. Somewhere along the line, life became a simple string of events, but stopping and adoring my life and everything in it has me reflective, happy, and thankful. It has helped me not be so grumpy and has hugely helped with feelings related to feeling behind or as if we aren’t doing ‘enough’.

Another thing that has tied into the adoring mindset has been the serious application of boundaries this year. To be honest, even though I’m quite social, I find the older I get the more burnt out I become in general but especially burnt out socially and mentally. Josh has always been great at boundary setting (an introvert thing?!) which I have always admired even though it did annoy me earlier in in our relationship as our social capacities were quite different. But I admired that he has always known his limit. Particularly socially I would push myself to the absolute limit, catch up with so many people per week, do the dinners, do the after work catch ups, or even just in general be a ‘yes’ woman to lots of different things, but I was finding it would just catch up to me and I would have no space or energy preserved for me and my own mental health or wants or needs. I have been protecting my boundaries and energy pretty hard this year, and saying no to things that I just don’t have the capacity for.

It’s hard, and I particularly feel it around family as you always want to be available for your nearest and dearest but the reality is that is a toxic and unrealistic aspiration. It’s healthy and preserving to say no. I have truly marveled at the results of being in the space of ‘not today’. It’s helped me take back control of how I navigate and approach my spare time and has made me more present in the now in a purposeful way. I’ve also learnt that I don’t just have to fill time in just for the sake of filling it, but instead dedicate certain chunks of time to certain things to make life feel more intentional and paced. Again, I’ve been reminded that we are in control of our thoughts, actions and energy, and only we can dictate how those things play out. Adoring my life has truly been about me being intentional with where my energy is going, and realising how important it is for my mental health that my energy is being used with respect and with care.

Adore in a nut shell has meant creating a life that is mine, and ours, that we truly love. It’s meant booking the trips away together and with our babies and not letting life tick by without leisure. It has meant not letting others dictate how my time is used (other than my kids and my employer and my lecturer!) and being assured that only I can control my thought patterns. It has meant protecting my own energy and allowing myself to feel and do as I please for the sake of my own mental health.

It’s early days (already March eek!) in the year, but it’s crazy how a word I had no hope in would show any direction or guidance for my life is showing up and teaching me valuable lessons. Do you have a word or phrase this year? Or a theme? Make it front and centre and be aware how it can transform your perspective about things you are navigating in the year ahead.