2016: The year of immersion

New Year’s resolutions seem to have gone to the wayside for many people. The new trend I’m seeing is to assign a theme to the year by choosing a word and making every effort to live up to that word.

Jerrilyn Zavada, a columnist and reporter at the newspaper where I work, touched upon the topic in her weekend column. Blogger and writer Michelle Chalkey also has committed her year to the word presence.

Words always are an important part of my year. I could hardly contain my excitement when I got to start a new one of these:

Calendar

But I’ve never assigned a single-word theme to a year.

This year, I’m joining the new movement and choosing a word. For me, 2016 will be the year I immerse.

You have to go a few definitions down in the dictionary to find the meaning I intend: To engage wholly or deeply; engross; absorb.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary couldn’t have a more perfect example of the word: She had immersed herself in writing short stories.

This is the year I want to immerse myself in my passions. I want to be deeply engaged in my writing, in my household, and in my workplace. When I participate in an event or activity, I want to be wholly engaged.

Multitasking will be minimized, to an extent. Listening to webinars while doing dishes is a positive type of multitasking to keep, but the cellphone distractions of texting while also carrying on a conversation in person have to stop. It’s time to immerse myself in conversations as I’m having them and be wholly present by giving people my attention. The person on the phone can wait until I gave them my full attention.

In a way, living with the mission of immersion is an umbrella over many resolutions. I resolve to do more work toward encouraging literacy and advocating children’s literature because I want to be immersed in my work. I resolve to be more efficient and active in the newsroom because I want to be immersed in the paper’s success. I resolve to spend more quality time with family because I want to be immersed in those relationships.

But the key of living by a word is that I’m not scrambling to fulfill a dozen goals. I’m simply reminding myself, in everything I do, to focus and give my whole attention in that moment. It’s a more efficient way to keep momentum because I don’t have to keep a scorecard of how many pounds lost or books read or words written. I just have to keep my mantra of immerse yourself going through the day.

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