My word of the year for 2013 was relax
. Working hard at relaxing would have been counterproductive, so it went along in the back of my mind a lot of the time without direct attention.
I did end up working at discerning my attitudes toward relaxing, both physically and with general effort, and got an article
out of that. Two
, actually. Mostly I learned that relaxation and dissociation aren't the same thing. I'm still exploring how it feels to relax while staying present.
I see some progress toward not working AS HARD AS POSSIBLE all the time. Overall my anxiety level is lower. Things seem to get done eventually, if not as efficiently or quickly as I expect. There's also more resignation and less effort around my social anxiety. The line between relaxing and giving up around being "acceptable" is still unclear.
Related to that line of thought, I've chosen "welcome" for 2014. I want to feel welcome. I started thinking about it a month ago, and it immediately twisted itself around into, "I should be more welcoming." I don't like the "should" aspect, but I will pay attention when I push things away.
There's a lot of victim-blaming and magical thinking around social connections and loneliness. "You should try harder to fit in." "Fix what's wrong with you and people will like you better." Also, "Be yourself and you'll find your people." That hasn't worked out quite the way I imagined. A handful of connections I value but hold lightly, and none I depend on.