Last month, I hinted at how much I’ve enjoyed having the word SPACE in my life this year. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a word before that showed up for me . . .  in so many places and in so many ways . . . over the course of a year. It seems everything I did or thought about or imagined or ran into could trace itself back to SPACE somehow. Lots of lessons; lots of opportunities for growth. (And that’s saying something for a 64-year-old, y’know?)

Way, way early last January, I wrote these words in my journal: “Trust the non-doing. Allow for space.” At the time, I had no idea those words would become the theme of my year! But it really has really been a year of allowing myself . . . to take space for myself.

I started by allowing space for the new year to unfold. I didn’t make plans. I didn’t set goals. I just . . . went gentle into January. And that really set the tone for the rest of the year. I ended up . . . getting comfortable with the non-doing. I gave myself space to shake up my routine and take more breaks, to be comfortable with silence. I held more space for myself . . . judging myself less harshly, forgiving myself, taking the time to work things through. I got quiet. I read less fervently and more selectively. I listened more. I built margin into my days, into my life.

It’s been . . . really good.
Not without struggles, of course, but good!
I feel stronger and happier coming out of 2023 than I did going in.

Some of my lessons and take-aways from space?

  • When things don’t feel right, maybe you need to give yourself some space to regroup and figure things out. Let go! See what happens.
  • Not having enough space can be a problem But so can having too much space! Where is your Goldilocks-of-Space? Find it. 
  • Space . . . can be a refuge. Take it when you need it.
  • When you give yourself permission, you’re giving yourself space . . . to breathe, to figure out the next step, to work out solutions, to try something different.
  • Carve out the space to be healthy . . . because no one cares about your health like you do!
  • Allow space for enjoyment. Give yourself permission to enjoy the gifts you’ve been given. You don’t have to earn it over and over again.
  • Giving yourself space means letting things play out. Because they WILL play out (one way or another). Give yourself enough “real estate” to see how things look from a distance.
  • Make space for disruption. Set your priorities, and then let shit go. You can’t do everything. REVEL in the disruptions.
  • Give others the space they need to do things differently than you do.
  • Sometimes when things feel heavy, you need to put them down for a while. Give yourself space to breathe and rest. Then you can pick them back up. Or not.

“Sooner or later, I hate to break it to you, you’re gonna die, so how do you fill the space between here and there? It’s yours. Seize your space.”

— Margaret Atwood

During the pandemic, I got in the practice of taking selfies of myself. I was growing my hair out at the time, so it was a way to document that process. But it was also a way for me to document the alone-ness of that period. I used those selfies when I did my 2020 year-in-review process. It was kind of . . . fun . . . to have this whole new way of documenting my year. So I kept at it. This is the fourth year of my “selfie project.” You’ll find some of my 2023 selfies sprinkled through my year-in-review posts.

Join me tomorrow for another chapter of my year-in-review.

And . . . because I build one every year for my word . . . here’s my SPACE playlist. It’s 32 songs (just over 2 hours) that spoke . . . space . . . to me. Enjoy, if you’re so inclined.