by Elliott Kronenfeld

For those that have been reading my blog posts for a while, you will recall that I start every year off, not with a set of resolutions, but with a word of the year.  I do not make resolutions because as soon as you miss the mark once, you have failed.  I will go to the gym 3 times each week becomes the source of self-shaming, frustration, and guilt as soon as you do not make the mark (and I venture, that moment usually comes before the end of February.)  Instead, I choose a word that becomes a perspective to set context for the different journeys I will take for the year. I have been doing this for nearly two decades and each year the word becomes ingrained into my being and collectively, they have become the lexicon of my life.  Words such as intention, curiosity, bravery, and flight have pushed me to achieve more, understand with greater clarity, and sort out confusion that fills my every day. Each of these words remain as powerful to me as they did the moment I chose them. This year, I add a new word:  Frame.

I chose frame for several reasons. Thinking through that is ahead of me in my professional, personal, physical, emotional, and spiritual lives I realized that a frame is required. I think of my body’s frame and my relationship to it. Much like the frame of the building I sit in now, the frame is built early in the development process to provide a solid sense of stability. It determines how the shape of what is to come is possible. It is rigid and does not change. It is what holds my body… and this building up against the forces that act upon it resulting in resiliency and survival.

However, I also think of frame of mind. A perspective. Something that does change regularly and must adapt to new information, situations, and opportunities. It allows for survival of the fittest and allows me to remain open to an ever-evolving existence.

I think of photography and videography. A good eye means paying attention to what is in the frame and what is not. Being able to edit when something does not add intrinsic value to the story you are telling. A sharp eye looks for, not only the main focus of the image, but also the minor contributing factors that make an image meaningful, being sure to edit out that which is distracting. 

I am also mindful of the frames we put on art and finished images. The frame is the last thing we add. It signifies that we are complete. Once art is framed, we no longer work on it. We accept it as whole, sharing the piece with any viewer that comes across it, allowing them to make their own judgments and impressions.

So, this year the word is frame.  It is created early in the process and ends the process. It is rigid and unyielding and flexible and adaptable. It is about editing in and out so perspective is intentional. 

What is your word?

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