Every year, I choose three words and write them on a post-it note above my desk. They help me guide my decision-making for the year in a more intentional way. In 2016 one of my words was Complete.
I actually chose that word based on my desire to finish a whole lot of work related projects during the year. I had a whole pile of half-written stuff, and I often prioritised working on what I felt like or what someone else might want me to do (whether they had asked me or not). I wanted to work towards completing some of these projects and getting them ‘out the door’.
It has been a crazy-productive year. I was applying for promotion, so I spent a significant amount of time adding up all the stuff I had done, and trying to get other projects completed so I could write them up as ‘forthcoming’. I also knew I wanted to save the summer (from November onwards in the Southern academic year) to work on my book, so I really needed to think about what I could get out the door before that time.
But in all the completions that happened (none of which I will bore you with here), it struck me again as I looked at the word Complete, that I am complete. I don’t need to finish things and get patted on the head and promoted and praised (although those are nice), because to be complete does not mean to be an achiever or to get stuff done.
So in the last few months of the year, I also started to use the word as a way to make decisions about my own personal and spiritual development. Should I stay in my office and check facebook for a break, or go to yoga class? Complete – yoga wins. Should I sit with a cup of tea in the backyard and watch the kids on the trampoline, or get back inside and clean the toilet? Complete – enjoy the moment with the kids and tea. Should I stay at home out of working-mother guilt or go out and join music practice for Sunday service? Complete – music wins. I really only just started to get into this way of thinking when the year ended.
With connect and complete, I feel like I have only taken baby steps towards understanding the deeper meanings these imply, so we might find them on a new post-it note for 2017!