Words – #reverb10


#reverb10 prompt: One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)
2010: Segue

2010 was a year of uninterrupted movement. Slow, uninterrupted movements. As in, snails-pace slow. Some days I moved forward in my goals only an inch or two. A few times, I jetted forward. But for the most part, 2010 was a year of protracted movement. Slowness.

My entire life changed in May. It changed when I lost the last shred of structure in my life’s schedule: I finished my final master’s degree class. With the last semester of grad school (prior to beginning the non-structured work of my thesis) finished; working for myself and no longer having a traditional 9 to 5 schedule; forgoing my regular studio practices and dance classes; not having a consistent volunteering schedule. On May 14, the final day of my semester, my life suddenly became wholly and completely flexible. Nowhere to be at any certain time, no time-card to punch, no final papers due. My schedule was entirely my own.

And I found something out after a few months of living in an unstructured schedule: I need structure.

I need the kind of structure that allows me to portion out my days and weeks in meaningful ways. Waking up each day and having nowhere that I must be is—surprisingly—not as fun as I expected. It makes me feel pressure to accomplish everything, everyday. I like having class to attend and projects/papers to develop. I like having meetings and responsibilities to which I’m accountable—and can schedule into my days to give them structure. I like structure, as it turns out.

During 2010, I segued from moment to moment. Slow transitions.

This slow movement, for the most part, wasn’t comfortable slowness—it was sluggish and dawdling. It was slow because I lacked schedule and structure in my life. I found out that some structure gives me propulsion to move forward: in work, in my thesis, in projects, even in relationships. I don’t think segues must necessarily be slow. Instead, they can be fluid, steady.

2011: Joy

scribbling joy

Scribbling joy | Cali Harris

Today, as I look ahead to 2011, I recommit to me. I recommit to my priorities. I recommit to structure. I recommit to my spiritual life. I recommit to God.
I recommit to joy—reverberating, rippling joy.

  • Anonymous

    Very nice Cali! You have come so far in your life. I like your word for 2011, ironically mine was “recommit.”

  • So proud of all of your accomplishments this year and very happy with all my heart that I’ve gotten to know you. I need structure in my life, too. :) I look forward to seeing the joy that comes to you in 2011! Because you bring joy to so many.

    • Oh, Alex. Thank you for the bottom of my gater heart. :) Love you. Your words, responses and tweets ALWAYS cheer me.

  • Christine

    hooray! was waiting for your 2 words! and fantastic words, they are.

    • Christine!!!! I so appreciate that! You’re a freakin’ rock star (literally, figuratively). *mwah* Can’t wait to catch up on your posts…it’s been heads down for me with getting everything lined up behind-the-scenes, but from here out I’m going to be digging into posts. :)

  • Doniree

    There’s something about you and joy that is a natural concept. I can’t wait to see where this next year takes you.

    • You saying that means a tremendous amount to me, Doni. xo

  • SamTheButcher

    I think the need for structure runs pretty deep in us humans. I would say that’s where ritual and rites come from. And not just the silly school schedule, things to keep us busy, but ways of marking the time, as you noted. This is not just another week, this is Week 1 of December 2010. Without knowing that, it’s just a slow, meandering, menaningless inner tube drift.

    So we have a Thanksgiving meal. We celebrate the winter solstice. Holidays can mark our time, and so can prayers at mealtime, or bar/bat mitzvahs.

    Or writing a post a day to reflect and manifest. ;)

    • You are so right, Sam. I think the desire for boundaries is ingrained in us. We see it in family, in politics, in actual physical territory/possessions, in cultural traditions, in religion, in relationships. And I love what you said about marking time. Absolutely.

      Thanks, yo.

      • SamTheButcher

        Yes, boundaries! We seem to need them…and yet, in some instances, not. Curiously, I don’t have any desire to sail on lakes here in Colorado. Sailing, to me, implies the ability to go, set out on the open sea. While I love sailing, it doesn’t call to me on the little lakes we have here like it did on the California coast.

        What this has to do with structure, I don’t know. :)

  • i’ve been in a similar segue and it is also slow. i definitely need more structure in my life! i know i do. but i need to learn to implement that for myself, and not rely so much on society, school, etc.

    • Precisely! You’re spot-on — and that’s exactly what I’ve learned this year: that I can no longer rely on someone to hand me an “easy” template for structure. *I* have to create it for myself.

      Thanks so much, Janet!

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  • Totally, totally, totally. Love it! “Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.” Gustave Flaubert

  • L.L.

    I am a total structure freak. I can’t be left to my own devices. Up til recently I had two jobs, but the weekend gig has sort of fallen apart. So today being Saturday and me having nothing to do, I slept in til noon and took two naps. Now it’s three a.m. and I’m wide awake. Clearly I need as much structure as I can get!

    • Ha! I most assuredly hear you! I’ve found myself sleeping/lazing/wasting time away where I never would have before, when I had a busy schedule.

      I hope you can find the perfect balance of structure that allows you to thrive.

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