Reflect, Connect, Create: The Create Q's
In the book Your Best Year Yet!, Jinny Ditzler poses Ten Questions. The first four invited a look back on your 2011, and the next two questions asked you to look within. The final four prompt you to discern and design your path forward:
Q7 Which role is my major focus for the next year?
Q8 What are my goals for each role?
Q9 What are my top ten goals for the next year?
Q10 How can I make sure I achieve my top ten goals?
If I had been Jinny's editor, I would have switched Q7 and Q8. Every year, I find it discomforting to choose one role to focus on. It sets up a cascade of internal dialogue: "They are ALL important," I argue. "If I focus more on one, the people I touch in my other roles will be neglected, feel rejected. I'll get out of balance. I'm skipping this question." Then I read Q8 and my chatter subsides. "Whew, I can give everything attention--each role deserves a goal." I return to Q7, and with a jolt I realize the wisdom of her strategy.
I venture to say that there is a role, for each of us, that's out of balance. There is one role that needs more work, or a different approach to it. We know it the minute we read Q7, but we disown it. For me, it is my daughter role. If I own that, it means making time and emotional space this year for discussions I don't want to have. My Mom wants to talk about her fears and plans around death and dying. My mother-in-law wants to talk about about her wasted life and lost dreams. My Dad wants to talk about sin and salvation with a Baptist slant. My father-in-law is depressed and doesn't want to talk at all.
Instead of "balancing" each role, divvying up my time and energy so everybody gets a sliver, I am making 2012 the Year of the Parents. I have marginalized my daughter role in the past two years, it doesn't feel good, and it deserves more focus of attention. If I engage with these four beloved people with generosity of spirit, compassion, and full presence, the other roles will benefit, because I will bring a more joyful and integrated self to those relationships as well.