Since mid-December I’ve spent quite a bit of time mulling over my 2016 word and working through Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead. Today I thought I might share how I happened upon the word FUN.
For decades I have focused on productivity. I rate each day by how much I accomplish. A good day means I check many tasks off the list; a bad day means I complete little. I base my personal worth on this efficiency scale, and lately I’ve come to realize this system does not lead to a life of peace and joy. So I decided my word for 2016 needs to combat this flawed focus.
I began to journal using the Word Association tool. I started by looking up the definition of Productive: having the power of producing; generative; creative.
I stopped in my tracks. Productivity and Creativity are connected?! I’ve always assumed these terms were complete opposites: productivity being practical work which must be accomplished first; creativity only allowed when all work is complete.
I have erroneously confused productivity with Busyness – so I reviewed that definition in the hopes of finding its antidote. Definition: actively and attentively engaged in a work or pastime; not at leisure.
Hmmm… I continued the word association. Leisure: freedom from the demands of work or duty.
When I read duty, it resonated deep within my soul. Duty is how I have lived my life. Each day is ruled by what is expected of me. I am bound by moral, legal, real or imaginary obligations.
Bound is how I feel. Trapped, enslaved, locked up are synonyms that give voice to my struggle. This is what I must overcome in 2016.
I thought perhaps Play would be the appropriate word, but I soon realized my definition of play is not quite the same as others. For example, I enjoy research, writing, learning. I like finding a common theme and centering activities around that central idea. What I consider play, others consider work … or boring.
So I went to the thesaurus to review other antonyms for duty and bound: entertainment, fun, pastime, blessing, benefit, free, release, let go, liberate, permit, encourage.
I settled on Fun.
It’s a little scary to admit “fun” will be my focus for the next twelve months. I mean, isn’t it hedonistic to live a life of fun? Doesn’t the Bible warn that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop?
But I keep reminding myself this is only for one year. I’m on sabbatical from the busyness of life. For just one year I will make fun a priority. I even made this wallpaper for my iPhone to remind me of my mission. And if this lifestyle does not agree with me, I can always return to the way things used to be in January, 2017.