The theme for Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics for 2023 is “be”* (as in “be authentic” or “be balanced” or “be calm” - a new letter after “be” weekly). This changing theme is reflected in our weekly staff newsletter and forces me to think of my authentic or balanced self and how calm I am. This is hard. I have to reflect on my values and my shortcomings and weekly for the next 49 weeks decide how each “theme” word impacts and affects on a daily basis.
For the most part - impactful words and themes help. Like next week is the word “daring”. How am I daring? I consider myself one of the least daring people I know. I usually only participate in things that won’t embarrass me or make me look stupid. But … I have to remember when I first tried things, I probably flubbed a bit. (Like in biking - you are clipped into your pedals. You will fall 3 times - I heard this somewhere - and I fell 3 times before I figured it out. And my 3 falls were dramatic and in front of hundreds of people.) When I first spoke publicly, it wasn’t comfortable. I probably flubbed and sweated profusely. Now biking and speaking come naturally. So, what’s next for daring? (Handling birds is out of the question and so are rollercoasters … they both freak me out.)
I was talking with someone the other day in Des Moines, and they said they really hated their job. I thought, “They need a theme at that organization.” Our need to theme the year doesn’t necessarily mean we will be successful or better, but it does give us something to focus on and play around with. A good friend, Liz, talks about cookies for celebration. She said people would complain about the cookie and how administration is trying to make everything better with a cookie. She says to just eat the cookie and appreciate that someone is doing something nice. It’s not the cookie’s fault that your day is bad -- maybe “be happy/gracious/thankful”?
There’s a lot of bad stuff in the world to focus on and be upset about. Think about your “theme” for 2023. Chances are, you are probably amazing … give yourself a little space and think about the great things in your life. This year-long, 52 week experiment is already giving me a different appreciation of … me.
*and also “bee” as in honeybee or bumblebee.