One Too Many Surfing Analogies

In an effort to get my writing swagger back here on Life Without Pants, I’m participating in the month-long writing prompt extravaganza that is #reverb10. And just as I am now trying to find a way to get back into writing, something that has fallen off my plate as work has consumed my schedule, this entire year has been very similar, trying to find a way to make things work and doing my best to embrace the changes that have come my way.

If you’ve been around this block for a while, you know that I spent some time (with some friends) writing about how change is inconvenient – it comes all at once – and sometimes (often-times) you can’t plan for it. You have to think fast and react quickly to the situations that are presented in front of you.

Change is inevitable. But it’s the only way to get things done.

One word to describe 2010? Change.

I’ve been through dramatic changes this year – I’ve made decisions that have shaped me into who I am today. Those close to me know that today I am a totally different person than I was a year ago. For the first time, I’m happy – both personally and professionally. With a new marriage and a new business, it’s amazing to think where I was and where I am.

It just goes to show that a lot can happen in a year, a month, even a day. Change is constant. For better or worse things are always changing around us. It goes back to that old saying, “When life gives you waves, surf”. I honestly can’t stand that line, but it’s been posted at a local burrito shop here in Nashville (of all places) and finally it hits home and rings true.

A year ago I didn’t think I had the capacity to make the choices I’ve made this year. I thought what I’m doing right now was totally impossible. I wasn’t thinking about surfing, I was thinking about putting my floaties on and staying afloat while the waves crashed over me.

Accept change. Embrace it. Surfing isn’t my thing, but maybe it’s yours. The key is to find your “thing” and, metaphorically speaking, start riding waves.

Looking ahead to next year.

Next year, I want to be summarized by one word: Growth. I want to grow my business, grow my marriage, grow my writing. I want to continue pursuing what’s ahead of me, while trying new things to experimenting with new ideas.

Because without constant growth and learning – without the screw ups and the successes – you’re just spinning your wheels. You’re back to wearing floaties and accepting wherever the tide takes you.

How would you define your year in one word? What one word do you want to use to describe the year ahead?

(Photo c/o jillandisaac)


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31 Responses
  • Nailah Reply

    Great post, Matt! I can completely identify with your themes of change and growth as I also got married and started a new business this year. You’re so right – change can be uncomfortable and unexpected but the best thing to do is embrace it and enjoy the ride. Looking forward to reading the rest of your #Reverb10 posts!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Nailah – I think a lot of folks went with “Change” as their word to describe 2010 and it brings up something I’ve been thinking a lot about – how we all continue to inspire one another. With so many “surfers” out there doing great things, it’s all the more inspirational for me to stand up on the board and try that much harder myself.

      Looking forward to reading your #Reverb10 posts as well! Cheers!

  • Jen Reply

    I hope to answer your questions in my own post later today. My only complaint about #reverb10 so far is that they don’t send the prompts the night before so I can write the post for the morning.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I hear ya, Jen. I’m an early riser, though and wrote this first thing in the morning. I’m challenging myself to “shoot from the hip” a bit and write what comes to mind first, rather than worrying about “crafting” a post and editing myself. I think the entire concept of #reverb10 is to get personal and reflective, and that’s best done when you say what first comes to mind.

  • Anyes Reply

    You are so right Matt “change ” could definitely be a word describing 2010 for me as well, but more than change, it was *discovery*. I ldiscovered a lot about myself throughout this whole year.
    I am still searching for next year’s word…and reading your post just reminded me 2010 is almost over, so I need to put my thinking cap on ;-) Thank you

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      My pleasure, Anyes. Where the heck did this year go? “Discovery” is a great word to describe this year, I’m right there with you. I discovered things I never thought I would be capable of – at least not at the ripe (young) age of 25. :)

    • Crysta Reply

      Oh, I love “discovery” – how apt and perfect!

  • Habbala Reply

    Change is Constant. So true. And the better we learn to go with it, the better. Cheers to your growth in 2011!

  • tara - scoutie girl Reply

    Ah, I do so love change! It seems to me it’s something you have to learn to live with – so why not enjoy it.

    Change is what makes life exciting & unpredictable – it keeps things fresh when they threaten to get stale. Have a positive outlook on change means you’re always one step ahead of the game.

    Hm, wonder if I could fit a few more cliches in there…

    Anyhow, thanks for a thoughtful #reverb10 post!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I have a feeling #reverb10, with it’s theme of reflection, is going to be chock full of cliches. This is the time of year to pull those out of the woodwork – but I promise to limit my use of surfing cliches from here on out. Everyone gets one “surfing analogy” pass – maybe I shouldn’t have played that card on day 1 :)

  • Jaime Reply

    Growth is a fantastic word to take into the new year. Here’s to riding the waves in 2011! :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I’m fortunate enough to have “settled” a bit so I can focus on growth instead of simply taking the “waves” as they come. Hopefully 2011 will involve a little more strategic approach, not that I’m complaining about where 2010 has taken me.

  • Pat Chiappa Reply

    ‘Flexibility’ is the word I’d use to describe the past year – and likely for 2011. There were/are so many things to adjust to – not just personally, but in terms of the external world – ie: work, technology, politics and the economy.

    In regards to change, Habbala wrote, “we better learn to go with change” and I would add, “whether we like it or not.” Since change generally accompanies growth, we might do well to prepare for the growing pains that change can bring.

    In addition, how about we work towards embracing change – seeing it not as a scary thing, but as exciting and dare I say – fun.

    I’ll approach the changes coming in 2011 by being flexible; retooling plans, adjusting my actions, and opening my mind to new approaches and ideas.

    This life journey we are on is an amazing, thrilling ride – hang on!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Yep. Change isn’t an option – it’s going to happen “whether we like it or not” – it’s about embracing that change, and thriving within it, instead of resisting the inevitable. Cheers!

  • Kate Reply

    I actually thought about using “change” as my description for 2010, but then I thought about it more and realized that with change, comes growth (well, hopefully for most people). So, that was my word.

    And then I read this and realized that my word is also your word. Weird?

    Looking forward to reading more of your #reverb10 posts!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I stole all your words, eh? Sorry about that. Just this once, I’ll let you use them too.

  • Linda Reply

    Have you read Who Moved My Cheese? This is the more eloquent and less ‘cheesy’ way of encouraging people to embrace change. :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Ouch. come on, though, “Who Moved My Cheese?”….”cheesy”… We’re both full of gems today, huh?

  • Renee Reply

    Growth is my 2011 word, too. I think it embodies the idea that we like where we are but we want everything in our lives to flourish.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      I like your 2010 word, “forward”. That’s something I feel like I’ve been doing nonstop this year. Before 2010, I often felt like the wheels were moving but I wasn’t really going anywhere – but this year it’s been quite the contrary. The wheels have been moving forward at lightning speed, and I’ve just been doing everything I can to keep up!

      Looking forward to more #reverb10 goodness from you!

  • Crysta Reply

    Great post, Matt. Change is so pervasive at this stage in our lives, and it’s so fitting. I like your approach to it – and I especially like setting yourself up for growth in 2011. That’s the spirit! Looking forward to your #reverb10 posts!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks, Crysta. 2011 is going to be a good one! Looking forward to your #reverb10 posts as well!

  • Doug Shaw Reply

    Nice. I’m taking flow as my 2011 word. Appreciate you helping me focus on this Matt.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      My pleasure, Doug. All of the energy from those participating in #reverb10 is inspiring. Cheers!

  • Sara Reply

    Matt,
    Change and Growth are both great and important words. I love them both. I’m in a place where I haven’t written or engaged much at all online in a long time and I’m feeling very much isolated. I think my goal for the next year is to remind myself how to do all of that and do it well: create, engage, analyze, and move on.
    Time to get going!

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Isolation isn’t such a bag thing, though – so often we get caught up in a very “social” world that we forget to take time for ourselves. Creating, engaging, analyzing – it all sounds good to me! God speed!

  • Jackie Paulson Reply

    Change makes us Focus and become aware of what we need to do or become. My goal for this year is on the way to being done as I am in the Personal Excellence blog and bought the book to get my Focus Clear. Bless you.

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Thanks for coming by, Jackie and best of luck in 2011!

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