I selected PHASE as my word of the year because I wanted to capture my intention to be chill in the face of cyclical experiences. To accept that my energy will ebb and flow. To surf the big waves when they come, being as productive as I can, and then to rest at low tide, letting my body recover. To recognize that whatever hard parenting moment I’m having at any time is just that, a parenting moment, even if it’s a moment where my kid doesn’t sleep for longer than two hours at a stretch for four weeks, because eventually we’ll come back around to a 6, 7, 8 hour stretch.
One of my favorite lines from the Aeneid is Book I, line 199: “dabit deus his quoque finem” (forgive the lack of macrons, please) – which comes from an even better couplet:
O socii—neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum—
O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem.
As happens so often, translating this directly is a challenge. And I don’t have my Fagles at hand and I’m not content with the Williams or Dryden translations at the Perseus Project, so I’ll paraphrase. At this point, Aeneas and his friends/comrades, who have sailed away from Troy, narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Greeks in the Trojan war, are shipwrecked at Carthage. And he rallies them, telling them, essentially, “We’ve been through bad stuff before; we’ve endured harder challenges than this; god will give an end to these things, also.” It’s the Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot. It’s the Circle of Life.
Each of us has survived up to this point, and whatever we’re dealing with now, things will change before too long. And that might mean they’re worse, or it might mean they’re better, but whatever they are, they’ll be different.
That’s the key interpretation the Tarot reader gave me of the Wheel of Fortune right before my birthday, and it is the energy that I, as a chronically ill woman, as a mother, need to embrace. It is one of my key lessons in life: you’re strong, you’ve gotten through everything so far, you’ll get through this too. Don’t get too comfortable, don’t get too complacent, don’t despair too much.
So PHASE is my word, which captures cycles like the moon, which captures stages of projects, which in its verb form can be defined as “to adjust so as to be in a synchronized condition.” Also, it’s what you call it when Kitty Pryde uses her power.
I’m not big on resolutions, but here are the things I’m feeling/trying this year:
- Embracing the PHASE energy.
- Really owning my Mer-Goth/#seawitchvibes aesthetic.
- Reading for pleasure more.
- Having a good time.
That last one came from a fun Twitter autotext meme:
My 2019 resolution is to have a good time. t.co/dkeCjW6coX
I think my phone’s keyboard is on to something.
Featured image is the 2019 Celestial Calendar by Rivtak. I put one on my Christmas list and got it. You can get your own here.