In early December for the last 41 years or so, I’ve search out a single word or phrase that will help guide and direct me in the year ahead – hopefully keeping me on track! It’s a handy tool I use for personal accountability. I call it my “compass phrase”,
Keep climbing…… my compass phrase for 2013. I will post these words in various places – on post-it notes in my office, one inside my side of the medicine cabinet, written on a slip of paper in my wallet, or make a book-marker with the phrase on it. One year I even wrote the word with wipe off/grease pen on the shower wall, so I would be SURE to see it before I scurried off for the day’s assignment. (My husband was NOT thrilled with that idea!!)
I found by having the words surround me throughout the day, they would remind me, they would keep me in check, and more often than not, they would help me to understand where I was heading or why. Sometimes the word or phrase would pop out from a book or article I was reading. Sometimes I would discover the word during my daily quiet time. Other times the word or phrase would come as I filled my lungs with crisp winter air as I took my daily walk, wandering through the woods or down to the river.
The end of 2012 found me in a un-seasonal season of silence and stillness – all in the midst of a wild season that first brought howling winds gusting over 100mph to the area, then temperatures plummeting to minus 25 degrees. Then POOF everything came to a standstill. What snow we DID have (about a foot) was now piled -into drifts, swirled elsewhere on the property, or swirled down the river. In the stillness that the Pineapple Express blew up from the South, with unseasonal temperatures in the 40’s and clear skies, the words “keep climbing” whispered in my soul.
Keep climbing. What would THAT mean?! Would it mean I’ll have MORE uphill battles to fight? Would it mean MORE treacherous trails to travel or travail on? Or maybe, just maybe, it will mean to keep doing what I know I am to be doing. I ‘know’ my assignment. I know what to do. And I know what it takes to make it work. Sometimes that means uphill battles and treacherous trails. But I think this year it is going to be – keep the steady ascent – keep working on marketing and distribution of the book all while I am working on book #2. Keep bringing encouragement to others – especially survivors and caregivers as we remember, celebrate and continue to FIGHT BACK as we LIVE with and SURVIVE cancer……which on some days is easier than others.
Join me, will you? Find a word or phrase that will be YOUR compass for 2013. It will be fun to share throughout the year where we are our finding opportunities and adventures!!
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.