One Word

The stirrings of January and it’s apparently the year of the non-resolution, by which I mean people seem to be in exploration of the notion that we are enough as we are or less and more are ways to beat up on ourselves (read more about this on Abigail Rose Clarke’s fantastic Wild Yes newsletter). The notion is acceptance, I guess.

I’m mulling that.

I’m mulling one word (idea via my writer friend Powell Berger) in lieu of a list and how that word might really be “And.” As in, I don’t need “but” and I don’t need “however,” I need “and.” I need the sensation of yes, the sensation of plenty, the sensation of take care of your children and yourself.

Sure, there are things I could resolve, things I know I will do or mean to do, even should do, such as to go to the eye doctor, or the doctor, or the hospital for the tests I’m supposed to get. I make it without fail to the dentist, because fear of losing teeth. I am proactive about this; perhaps, I could become proactive about other things I’m not so dedicated to. I’m dedicated to working out, and to—increasingly—resting and to sleep (again, increasingly if not always). I’m dedicated to bodywork, again, more than I was, and perhaps not as much as I will become.

Other things, I could name: gratitude or kindness. In truth, I am so freaking grateful and in truth I am extremely kind. I don’t need to resolve to feel or be those ways; I am. AND I know this. I could remind myself those things matter. And I do remind myself those things matter.

But, however, I don’t need to resolve a thing about them; I’m there. Like with the dentist, I’m there. I’ve gotten quite comfortable reminding myself how grateful I am; I’ve become adept at kindness such that I don’t have to remind myself to be kind. I am kind. In fact, if truth be told, I am growing kinder—to my friends, my husband, my children and my parents, my extended family and to myself.

Acceptance, by which I mean self-acceptance, wavers. Self-acceptance is ephemeral and solid; it’s a little quivering in the knees and a tall, strong stance.

And, that’s what sums it up for me this year.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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