Every year I choose a word that is my keystone. In previous years I have had – mapping, balance, determined and, last year, learn. Each has served its purpose, constantly bringing me back to what I want for myself for the year, both at work and at home.
2013 was not an easy year for us; Mum died in mid-December 2012 and then Tony retired in January 2013. We both had some health issues, mine caused by an accident with a drunk driver the year before. There is some hard stuff in 2014 for Tony and me, starting with major surgery for him on the 13th of January and, hopefully, a knee replacement for me later in the year. My job continues to grow, as do my professional commitments and, as always, I want to grow my art life.
In 2013 I took an online library MOOC through San Jose University which helped clarify my values and what drives me. The word I came back to time and time again is kindness. I even spoke about kindness in the workplace at our annual LIANZA conference in Hamilton. So that’s my word for 2014. Kindness: to myself, to my husband, to others in my personal life and in my professional life.
It has been exactly the right word for me this year. In my own time I have been studying the intersection between management, leadership and kindness. I am more and more aware that kindness is at the heart of my values. By kindness I don’t mean some woolly-headed ‘let them run wild’ softness, but an inherent concern with people, justice, personal development etc.
Have I been kind all the time? Heck no. Have I tried? Yes, usually. I hope over time that kindness becomes more and more entrenched in what I do and in how I think; in who I am.
So what will my word for 2015 be? I’m thinking on it…