Right now, when I think about the word I chose as my word of the year, I feel a grudging sense of oh, yeah, now that’s ironic. Life right now is not replete with ease. I was surprised to see, when I went back to see what I’d written about ease so far in 2016, that in the spring I was already asking is this the opposite of ease?
Now, ease does not mean easy, of course. It doesn’t look like I expect it to.
When I think more about it, I realize that it’s not an accident that this is the word I chose for this year. It’s precisely in the midst of these turbulent months that I am learning how to live with ease. I’m not learning fast, let me be honest: I feel exhausted, and overwhelmed, and sad, and grateful, and emotional right now. I do not feel ease. But I’m aware of it, floating around me, and maybe that is the lesson right now. It is there, the ease I want, and the way to reach it is to grasp less frantically, to breathe more deeply.
It’s only a goal now, ease, a desire, a fierce hope. I am snappy and easily frustrated and my poor children are bearing the brunt of my not-easeful way of being in the world. I’m so tired that the other night Whit observed that I looked like I had bruises under my eyes. But still. And yet. Every morning I can wake up and get out of bed and as Jane Kenyon said, I’m keenly aware that it could have been otherwise. Each day is an opportunity to do better, to be more patient, to be more gentle, to live in the days of my life with more ease.
So maybe that’s why this word presented itself to me at the opening of this year. To remind me of what I want, what I aim for. I think every single day of this quote, one of my favorites (author is unknown):
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things and still be calm in your heart.
And so I return to my life, forgiving myself for being far from the peaceful, easeful person I want to be today, allowing myself to imagine that tomorrow I may inch closer to her.