Have you ever chosen a word for your year? A word to serve as touchstone, ballast, gateway to meditation or the like? A few years ago, some of my writer pals started the practice. That year, I coopted a word that a lot of folks selected – fearless. As in: be fearless in writing that shitty first draft. Be fearless in entering the Golden Heart. Be fearless in your queries and your pitches and the pursuit of your dreams. It helped me to frame my questions: am I doing xx or not doing xx out of fear? Knowing the answer to that didn’t always have an impact on my actions, but it sure provided a keen understanding of how I moved through the world.
Fearless was a good word.
The next year, my boss announced his retirement and the word I landed upon was change. I had a bead with the word hanging from my cell – word of the year as phone bling! When one friend caught sight of the bead, she asked me why I thought I needed to change. For me, for that span of time (in this case, I kept the word for a couple of years), my WOTY helped me remember simply that change is inevitable. Change happens. Change in and of itself is neither positive nor negative. It just is. But how I react to change? That’s on me.
Last fall, I laid out a few scenarios of what the months from September through December could look like as we said goodbye to the old boss and welcomed the new. I didn’t like the one where I used pizza and adult beverages as stress relief. That nightmare vision helped me make a change of my own – and to date, I’ve lost around sixty-five pounds.
Yay for change!
When this year rolled around, I knew it was time for a new word. I have a tendency to hibernate from the world. I think a little of that is okay – gotta recharge the old batteries, right? But the more I hibernate, the harder it is for me to snap out of stasis.
So after a lot of deliberation, I chose engaged. Engaged in writing. Engaged in healthy living. Engaged in the warp and weft of my life and the lives of my friends and family. Now I can ask myself: does xx keep me engaged with my dreams/goals/hopes/life? The answer may not always be yes. But the answer will always inform my next decision.
Engaged in self-awareness!
All words are on the table. I think the only rule is: choose a word that resonates with you. My mom picked kind, because she’d like to be kinder to herself this year. One writing friend opted for simplify. My runner-up word this year was dance.
So what’s your word of the year?