Reverb 10: Awake

This morning, I saw a new hashtag in my Twitter feed: #reverb10. I clicked through and read PaigeWorthy’s fantastically eloquent post, and knew I wanted in.

Every year, as we hurtle into December, I start thinking about the year nearly gone, revisiting resolution lists and figuring out what I might still salvage. Typically, it’s three or four weeks into the new year before I feel adequately prepared to start fresh.

Reverb’s mission is “to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.” I love the idea of a daily prompt to reflect on a given point. It will be a challenge to write daily, so some may be short, but it’s a more realistic goal for these harried times than NaNoWriMo (which I did in 2006 and 2008). Here we go!


One Word

Today’s prompt, from Gwen Bell: Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?


It’s tough to pick a single one to do justice to an entire year. That’s even more true in a year of so much turmoil and change. “Turmoil” implies bad, and this year was anything but. And the simplicity of “change” has been altered by the Obama phenomenon.

Maybe “more,” as that has become my reality? My life is fuller than it’s ever been, and throughout the year, I was asking for more. More responsibilities, more friends, more roles, more creative time and energy. And I got it.

In that same vein, “busy” might work, but again, it’s become an American cliché, a pat response when asked how things are going. “Busy” doesn’t really mean anything anymore if we’re all busy, all the time.

I like “ascending,” because it’s what I’ve been doing – moving on, moving up, both figuratively and literally, as I conquer my fear of running uphills.

But I think “awake” or “awakening” is most apt. 2010 is the year I really woke up to the reality that you only get what you ask for, what you push for, what you work for. And getting anywhere requires being awake, aware, alert and engaged.

So I woke up. I started running regularly and getting more sleep, eating better and really taking care of myself. While in 2009, I focused on losing weight and getting in shape, in 2010 I went further and really took control of my health and all that goes into it. And I’ve begun to find a balance I never knew I could have.

And despite the late nights of class and cramming more into my day than I ever thought possible, I am truly reaping the rewards. I am more engaged in my community and in my own life – and all because I woke up.

Sometimes I’m tired and weary and need the extra-large latte that makes me toss and turn when I know I need the sleep, but overall, it’s so worth it.

A year from now, with a whole year of this “new busy” under my belt, I hope to sum up 2011 with a word like “enthralled” or “mesmerized,” as I hope to be somewhat settled into the lifestyle to the point that I can really enjoy and embrace all I’m learning and doing. I never want to be “content” or “satisfied” because that would imply I can stop!

What word would you use to sum up your 2010? How do you hope to describe your 2011?


19 responses to “Reverb 10: Awake

  1. I had trouble settling on one word at first, too. In fact my first thought was ‘stressed’ for my word of 2010, but managed to come up with something more positive in the end.

  2. Hello, darling!
    Thanks for linking to my piece — glad I got a pingback so I could read your post!

    Congratulations on taking the reins of your life and focusing on the bigger picture for yourself. I hope 2011 is everything you want for it — looking forward to meeting you soon!

    • Thanks for tweeting your post early today – it really got the wheels turning and I knew I just had to participate.

      Looking forward to your #reverb10 posts – you’re a fantastic writer, Paige. Hope to meet you soon at one of the many Chicago events! I think we travel in some of the same circles.

  3. Kudos on taking control. I enjoyed your willingness to try this out on a twittery whim.

  4. Change was the easy way out – I took it because it was the first thing that came to mind and, it really does sum up my 2010 – but I like the word “awakening”. I very much feel like it was a year of awakening and discovery for myself and a lot of folks around me. I’m fortunate to have discovered talents I didn’t think I had, and to awaken myself to the reality that my “dreams’ weren’t that unachievable.

    It’s been a great year, without a doubt the most exciting of my life. Can’t wait to see what the new year will bring!

    • But change is so TRUE. And your life has had some of the biggest life changes all rolled into the span of a few months. I’m excited for 2011 and to see what Proof brings you next year!

  5. Your comment, “I’ve begun to find a balance I never knew I could have,” has caught my eye. I run but still struggle with my weight. Your comment inspires me to go the rest of the way, to clear out those cluttering habits that keep me from finding a balance I didn’t think really existed. There is really balance out there. I shall go in search of it.

    I know that when your schedule is full (of good things) we do seem to live more meaningfully, be more engaged. Perhaps it is because we let go of the “fluff” that we don’t have time for anymore, and keep those things that are most important. It is a distilled existence.


    • Thanks for the comment. And exactly – when you’re so, so busy, the cream rises to the top, and the things that are most important become clear. Being busy forces you to make sure you’re using your precious time wisely and cast away the fluff.

  6. Best post yet, Crysta. LOVE THIS. And like you, this year has been more full and more fulfilling than any in recent memory. And definitely enriched by meeting you! 🙂

    Awake. May we all continue to find ourselves awake and wide eyed in 2011!

    • Thanks, Jenn! I agree – meeting you has awakened me to entirely new worlds, too! A year ago, I would have scoffed at whipping up a batch of soup on whim.

      Beyond awake, maybe next year I should shoot for “bright eyed and bushy tailed” – or maybe that will wait until school is done 🙂

  7. Good challenge. And awesome word choice for your year.
    Hmmm… I’m going to go with “waiting” for me. All the negative connatations with that? Accurate description. We’ve not been fully present this year, since I made the decision to quit the current job… but I can’t make the transition to the new (dream come true school/future! yes!) until next fall. So even though I feel like I’m on a path to my dream… I’m in such a holding pattern right now. And next year will be so full of transitions! Anyway… I really wish I could pick a word like “fulfillment” or “joy” or “present” but if I’m honest with myself… I’ve just been “waiting.” Maybe next year will be an “awake” year for me!

    • Hmmm… maybe “cusp,” as in, you’re on the cusp of great, fantastic things? You’ve got your tickets ready, everything’s set for the next journey – you’re waiting for it to start. I have a feeling next year will be a great one for the Hensons. Can’t wait to follow your adventures as you return to the South and start the next chapter!

  8. Great post, Crysta. Thanks for sharing.

  9. This is a great idea and a great post! My word for this year has been “baby,” for sure! I’m hoping next year will be “focus”–need to keep my eye on the prize, if you will. If I can stay focused on what’s really important to me, I think it will be a good–no, great!–year.

  10. Pingback: Alive | The Adventures of Elginista

  11. Pingback: 2011: Ready, Set, GO! | The Adventures of Elginista

  12. Pingback: Reverb10 Redux: Elgin Edition? | The Adventures of Elginista

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s