A few years ago, I started choosing a word to give me focus each year, rather than making a resolution. I like committing to a focus area or articulating a lens to view the world through for the year and I like that the word in once swoop can be both inspirational for where I want to end up, while also capturing where I am in life at the moment I choose it. As we start the new year, I wanted to share what my word was and why I chose it. So, without further ado, my word for 2020 is SERVICE.
I chose my first word in 2017, the first year I went full time in my business. And each year my word has had a personal focus. My word was all about my own journey and the journey I was on in my business. And while I’ve grown and found value in each year and each word, this year as I contemplated my word for 2020 I felt pulled to choose a word that wasn’t about my career in any way.
My Word For 2020: Service
It felt like it was time to choose a word that would push me to stop focusing so much on my own path. This is not a purely selfless motivation either – just to be clear. Scott is in the process of interviewing and applying nationally to tenure track teaching jobs and for post docs across the country. It’s easy for me to focus on, at times even obsess about, our path – where we might end up in the coming years, and how uncomfortable the ambiguity is in the meantime. But ultimately, I have no control over where he hears back from or when, so it’s not productive to keep focusing on what’s next for us in this sense. Instead, taking the opportunity to focus on others is much more productive and positive. So, SERVICE feels like the perfect word.
Of course, I’m going to be working every single day, just as hard as ever, to care for and nurture my business. But I decided I didn’t need my word for the year to push me to do that – I know I’m going to work hard on my business because I love what I do so very much. And no matter where Scott gets hired, I’ll be in Boston through all of 2020 and look forward to all of the love stories I’ll capture! In the meantime, I’m still figuring out how to focus on and embody my word this year, but I do have some ideas.
Here are a few examples of what SERVICE means to me:
-Approach every relationship with a generous heart – assume the best and whenever it’s in my power to help, do so happily.
-Give more of my time to volunteering in the community – I’m a member of Boston Cares but I haven’t completed a volunteer opportunity with them in two years – it’s time to sign up again!
-Find ways to love on and support my clients that go above and beyond what they’d ever expect from their photographer – weddings are both wonderful and stressful – I want to ease that stress as much as possible.
-Share knowledge and expertise generously with new wedding creatives – getting into this industry is hard and I want to make the journey easier for others.
-Join a committee and become more involved at my church.
-Continue to give $200 for every wedding booked to either the MSPCA or the BGCB – and beyond that, volunteer my photography services and/or my time to these organizations that I care so deeply about.
-Spend more time with family and loved ones by being the one who reaches out, does the travel, etc.