Word of 2018: Engage

I received a Day Designer planner from my parents for Christmas and immediately devoured the annual planning pages. In previous years, I’ve chosen a phrase or a Bible verse as my inspiration for the year but I’m letting my new planner set the course this time around. As such, I’ve limited myself to one lone word for the year:

Engage

If I had been allotted two words they would’ve been “Head Up” but “Engage” meets the one word challenge set by my planner and takes me one step further, from limiting my phone time and passive involvement to actually stepping into the daily swell of things when I might be inclined to tune out.

I have a bit of a phone problem.

I spend far too many hours on the stupid thing. I don’t know all of the people I’m investing in online (their houses though!) which means the time I spend with them is time I don’t spend getting to know the intimate details about the people immediately around me. Ya know, those with whom I daily interact in person.

It’s gotten bad.

I downloaded the Moment app which tracks your time by app and even prompts you when you’ve reached your daily limit or are in the black out periods you set for yourself. It helped for a while until the reminders to get off my phone became too persistent and I turned them off (yes, really).

To be a little more transparent, I’ve known it’s been an issue for a while but I have a hard time kicking the habit. Educating myself seems to help a little (Irresistible by Adam Alter was fantastic; it’s somewhat empowering to learn that apps are designed to addict users). Tracking my time helps a little more (until I sabotage my own boundaries, that is).  But the biggest motivator of all is when my daughter’s “Watch this!” sounds strained instead of full of three-year-old excitement. *Gulp* I look up from my phone and see her searching eyes and I know without a doubt that I need to change.

Yeah, like I said, it’s gotten bad.

So I dove into the annual planning pages of my new planner with that in mind and I wrote down my values, my strengths, my passions. I documented the things I did in 2017 and how I wanted to handle those categories in 2018. I circled relationships. I committed to spending more time with my head up, more time outside (although I admit I put that in the second quarter goals because… brrrr). I committed to more fun.

I also committed to more organization but when I looked outside this afternoon during a KonMari-inspired tidy, I saw a pink fluff of snow gear joyfully plodding through knee-deep snow and thankfully had the clarity to think, Hey idiot, put on your snow gear. Layer up. GET OUTSIDE like you said you would and be with these rosy-cheeked people you love!

 

And I did.

Dear 2018,

May there be many more days like your first. May I have many more days like today: Engaged.

Yours,

Meg Danielle

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