I've seen these posts all over the internet this month---where writers choose a "word of the year". A mantra, or focus for their energy. Honestly, I thought it was kind of cheesy. But in re-reading all my "Intentions", I have noticed an underlying theme for almost all of them.
Most obviously to my husband, my children, my friends; these relationships I want to strengthen and deepen. But also for my career. Part of branching out into my own independent work--away from my primary mentor for the past 5 years--is forging new collaborations and seeking out new mentorship and guidance. Also the dreaded "networking" and "self-promoting" that is so crucial to academic success. Things that don't come naturally to me and drain my introvert soul. If only I could work in a vacuum.
I spend a lot of time in my own head with my own thoughts. Ironically, the busier my life is, the more I substitute talking to myself (silently of course) for real conversations with others. And I'm beginning to suspect this isn't helping my anxiety or adding to my happiness. No, not every thought needs to be shared, but keeping them all inside can be toxic. I've found that my worries & fears tend to fade once I've voiced them, like a ghost that disappears once you've looked it in the eye.
I think connection is what life is all about. Laughing, loving, helping, being helped---changing someone's life and having them change yours. Its messy and scary at first, but ultimately much more satisfying than total independence and isolation.