The Ponder Effect | What do I want to feel in 2019?
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What do I want to feel in 2019?

I was having dinner at the home of a dear, wise friend in those lovely down days between Christmas and New Year’s, and she asked me a question that fully arrested me. It’s a question I have been pondering ever since: How do you want to feel in 2019?

I love this question so much. It frames our approach to the new year in a way that goes to the root of the root of the matter. It’s not about resolving to do this or not do that. It’s not even about setting an intention for ourselves. Peeling the onion back a layer deeper, it penetrates to the core of how we want to inhabit our very own hearts. Knowing that, we can determine how to inhabit our daily lives.


For her, it’s free. She wants to feel free.

For me, I am still wrestling with it. In some ways, I want to feel grounded, which at first seems like the opposite of what she wants, and yet I recognize that being grounded is itself a kind of freedom. There are other things I want to feel: safe, loved, inspired. It’s hard to choose just one, but if I had to boil it down to one thing, it would be: at peace.

This year, in particular, holds a lot of uncertainty for me. School choices for our kids, career choices for my husband and for me, where we live—pretty much all of this is up in the air. For so long, I thought that peace would come when my life circumstances were more conducive to it: when the kids were older or there was more job security or there was more space in our house. I now know: life itself is never—or at least rarely—conducive to peace. There’s always something unknown, always some form of chaos, always a hardship of one kind of another. Here I am struggling to relearn an old truth: peace truly does have to come from within. The question then becomes: How? What intentions and resolutions can I establish for myself that will guide me toward this inner peace (knowing that this is an ongoing journey and I won’t ever “get there” fully)?


What about you? What is it you want to feel in 2019? And then, how will you go about finding that for yourself?

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5 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    January 6, 2019 at 10:30 pm

    I would love to feel it all. Like you, I’m not sure I can narrow it down to just one emotion. The happy, the sad, the peaceful, the busy, the bored, the exhausted…. each feeling comes from things, activities and people I love. One thing I do not want to feel is chaos.

  • Anonymous

    January 6, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    Free, inspired, connected.
    And really all of it. I will feel each emotion as it arises and know that I am also running every decision through the lens of my desired emotions for 2019. Will this help me to feel free? Will this help me to feel inspired and connected? I see this question as a filter much like my values, to help me to make sure that my actions and decisions align with that which I most care about.

  • Anonymous

    January 8, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    I want to feel the opposite of anxious. I’m not sure that is exactly “peace” but more something else. I want to feel settled–too much of life has been up in the air lately. I want to feel rested.

  • Anonymous

    January 10, 2019 at 9:51 am

    I want to feel confident. Confident that I can feel happiness, joy, anger, frustration, disappointment, and fear. Confident that I can feel and recognize all of my feelings and respond to them in the most productive way.

  • Anonymous

    January 10, 2019 at 3:38 pm