Our family banner of hopes and dreams for 2013 — an idea from one of my favorite blogs, the artful parent.

Who knows what the year shall bring? 2012 surprised us with a dog!

And while I remain open to unexpected delights– I also find myself hungry to be intentional about cultivating my own joy and harmony this new year. So I’m choosing a theme.

2013 is for me, The Year of Friendship. How did I come up with my theme? I asked myself what feeds my passion, what gives me energy, and makes it easier to be in my own skin.

And just watched myself over a few weeks. And I realized that time with friends, new and old, is rich soul food.

I know this is kind of an obvious idea– everyone agrees that relationships are a happiness booster. But with little ones I haven’t always prioritized my own friendships. I’ve made mommy friends (with children the same age) and family friends and work friends and satisfied my need for companionship with the folks who naturally filled up my life. And these relationships are a wonderful gift; yet they also have a natural ebb and flow and as routines shift (with a change in jobs or preschools) the connections often recede into the background.

Yet I also have friends who I consider to be my true north and nothing energizes me like time on the phone or in person with one of these ladies (and they are all ladies, with the exception of my husband who is in his own category.) Is there anything more delicious than talking about the deep stuff of life and getting to soak up a friend’s creativity and hard won wisdom?

So I aim to honor these friendships in 2013 and lean into some new friendships which inspire and nurture my authentic self. Not because I should, but because it truly fuels a happier life for me.

Now in another age and stage I might choose a year of silence or a year of creativity or something else. As a wise counselor told me years ago: “we all need to learn the same lessons; we just do it in our own order.”

I’m not sure this is 100% accurate– learning about and sharing the enneagram with others reminds me that there are many (9 to be exact) different ways of being and living in the world. And the lessons we most need to learn are often related to this pattern. But all of us benefit from observing ourselves and noticing what brings us energy– not a quick buzz but rather the slow-burning fuel for a life lived with conscious intent.

What lessons are ripe for the picking in your life?

What theme for 2013 would bring you more joy and energy?

Wishing you a year full of all the good stuff,