Thursday, December 31, 2015

Choosing ONE Word Is Harder than It Sounds

Happy New Year's Eve, friends!

It finally feels like winter here in Chicagoland. There is a pot of New Year's black-eyed peas simmering on the stove. I'm watching the lace curtains ripple against the windows as the furnace blows warm air from the vents below the windows. It felt great to need my ski jacket when I went out this morning to run errands. Wearing shirt sleeves on Christmas day only added insult to the injury of not having a White Christmas. So, finally, as New Year's Day approaches, it is starting to feel like winter.


These last few nights when insomnia has nudged me awake, I've mulled over so many thoughts about the coming new year. Will I make resolutions? Set goals? Choose ONE WORD to inspire me for the year? 

There's always room for improvement in my life, it seems. As much as I try to tell myself I am enough, just as I am, I am very aware that there are things that could use some tweaking. I could eat better. I could do with a morning routine. My haphazard approach to life has fewer negative effects now that I'm retired, but I crave having some rituals in place upon wakening and accomplishing more with the free time available to me. There are more than a few things around the house that could do with a deep cleaning and some serious organizing. There are so many things I want to try: making homemade tortillas, making a slouchy hat from an old sweater, learning how to lay down a thin bead of caulk to do simple maintenance in our bathroom, and finding yummy protein smoothie recipes and batters to whip up in my new Ninja blender...those are just a FEW of the things I want to learn. What to do? What to do?

Resolutions are typically something I have set in place on New Year's Day, and by the middle of the month, I've let them all fall by the wayside. I do like setting goals that I can check off, though.

1. Read the New Testament.
2. Lose 10 pounds.
3. Call my moms once a week.

And so on...but unfortunately, I either do or don't do those things, and if I don't, the anticipated guilt arrives. 

So, the idea of a personal word of the year really appeals to me. I think my biggest regret from 2015 is not making more of each day, which means there were some lackluster weeks which led to some less-than-stellar months. 

In 2014, my word was BRAVE. That was a rough year for me, as my Dad had passed away just before Christmas, and by February, I found myself divorced and alone most of the time. It took bravery to get comfortable with being on my own. It took bravery to evaluate myself, and determine things I needed to improve before I considered meeting new people. It took bravery to put myself out into the dating world again. 

And I'm so glad I did. My husband was the best gift ever that year, and was a wonderful blessing of my bravery. It took courage to meet this wonderful stranger in the Smokies, to trust my instincts about a future with him, and to move 1400 miles away from Utah to start our life together as husband and wife...all within three months from first hello to "I do."

The word that attracted me the most for 2015 was DISCOVERY. There was so much to discover as a new wife in a new state. I enjoyed this last year immensely, but think I may have missed some great opportunities by not being more pro-active.

All things considered, I think I've decided on my word for 2016.


I think if I live each day with intention, I will try more things, accomplish more, and get more out of each day. My INTENTION is to be open to learning new things, to say YES to opportunities to be of service to others and to God, and to focus on my marriage and family relationships.

Living a life of intention appeals to my heart and spirit. I feel so much calmer just knowing that INTENTIONAL is my word for the year. I INTEND to make 2016 the best year yet.

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