D.L. Mayfield

living in the upside-down kingdom

Filtering by Tag: 2012

one word for 2012: identity

I love/hate the new year: a time to reflect, which often turns melancholy for me, filled with regrets about the past and fears for the future. It doesn't help that I am super crappy at celebrating New Year's, and haven't been up to see midnight for four years running (this year, I watched Sleepless in Seattle by myself, home with the baby while the husband worked a double. It sounds depressing, but I actually enjoyed myself--in bed by 10!).

A lot of my favorite internet writers (I sortof hate the term blogger) are picking on e word to describe the next year. My choice came immediately: identity.

In the still, small spaces of rocking a sick baby for the past week(s), I kept hearing an insistent voice. This is the year I take on the mantle of motherhood, where I embrace that life-altering role. For too long I have been trying to keep things as normal, to push on and find my identity in new careers (teaching, writing). But that isn't what my true identity is.

The next year promises to be a big one. We may or may not be moving overseas; in any case, BIG changes are afoot. I have the year to keep writing for McSweeneys; I have some other secret dreams to work on. And this is the year the baby will turn into the toddler, and for the next season or two I will be the primary caregiver. This gives me a pause, makes me realize how little intentionality I have put into the mothering process up until now (well, it is mostly intuition that gets you through those first sleep-deprived years).

Am I being asked to give up my identity? I think I am. I think I will be asked to stop finding my value in productions or results, no manageable increments to be weighed. My identity will be broadening, with a great big hope that it will be less about me by the end of it.

What is your one word for 2012? I want to know!


What up, 2012?

When I am in a better frame of mind I will prolly do a 2011 recap. Because it was a banner year, and there is something deliciously spiritual in remembering all the graces that have happened to us.  

But as for right now, as I wallow in the post-Christmas sickness for yet another day, I will keep it short.

I wrote this piece for Relevant.com, so I must now adhere to it.

I am going to start slow, and take the month of January off Facebook. Depending on how the month goes, I will assess and see if I can delete it permanently or need to hold on to it for emergencies. The most important bit is this: will I be able to fill that time with good things? Because that is what I am really after.


One of the good things I want in the year 2012 is good books. As usual, I am starting strong (my shelves are filed to bursting right now, as is my head) and I hope I can keep it up. Here is what I have started/plan to start reading this break:

Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller (who wrote Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, one of my all-time favorite memoirs about her growing up in Africa).

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Sharp as a tack, intensly moving memoir about grieving.

The Irrational Season by Madeline L'Engle. L'Engle writes about her struggles being a mother, wife, and professional woman, all the while talking spirituality. Need I say more?

These are the top three. I have a smattering of backups, including some YA fantasy literature (Hugo) and a feel-good book about a dog (oogie). Plus, I bought an awesome book for the hubs for Christmas and can't wait to get my hands on it (The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight).

So here's to getting our brains back in gear, moving and shifting and sorting and questioning. And here's to the Spirit being the one to do all the answers, as we rest and wait and hope in Him.



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