Stretch

Is it too late to do a New Year’s post? It’s January 3rd and some people have already set and abandoned their resolutions. I feel like I am behind the curve in that I am just now publicly committing to my One Word.

First, some background. One Word is a new, social way to approach resolutions You pick one word that will be your theme for the coming year, find others who have picked the same or similar words and then spend the coming year focusing on that word.

I know myself well enough that I will not commit to actively engaging around one word for a full year. A season, maybe, but not a year. Last year, I was looking at texture for my one word, mainly in the context of my personal life though parsing apart personal and professional is not always possible.

This year I am noodling on the word “stretch”. The word is more professional than personal for me. Professionally, I’ve made it a point to continue to grow and learn and acquire new skills. But I can tell – perhaps from age or familiarity with my job (12 years this summer) – it’s been a while since I’ve extended myself beyond my usual range of motion.

Stretch implies going for something just out of reach, expanding. When you are young (or new) everything is a stretch because you are learning the basics and essentials. At some point, you should master them. But once you do, then what?

The risk is you stop stretching, staying within the range of what is comfortable. The concern there is once you stop you imperceptibly begin to contract and that in turn eventually leads to stiffness.

The metaphor abounds here.

I’m aware of the dangers of stretching, continuing with the metaphor; reach exceeding grasp, pulls and tears and so forth.

Despite the risks the word for the next six to twelve weeks is stretch. It feels right.

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