Happy new year!
It’s become a thing for many people to choose a single word that will be their focus or mantra for the new year. This hasn’t always been a habit of mine. I guess I became aware of the practice a few years ago but didn’t apply it to my own life until recently.
Although I didn’t choose a word for 2017, one quickly revealed itself to me early on: travel. That was the year I turned 50, and I decided that it was time I started visiting people and places that had been on my wish list for too long.
I had originally wanted to travel to Iceland as part of a big birthday trip that year, but I ended up making several mini-trips instead, and it was just as glorious if not more so. It was so much fun, I really kept the trend going well into 2018 with several more trips. Between work and play, I’ll bet I had a dozen or so trips under my belt. The nomad, the wanderer, in me can’t sit still.
Not all those who wander are lost. – J. R. R. Tolkien
Last year, I tried to choose a single word, but in true Silonda style, I chose three: breathe, connect, and nest (see My Intention for 2018)! I really need to work on that following instructions/simplification thing… 🤣
Cue 2019. Somehow January snuck up on me. I don’t know how! For two, solid months I knew I wanted to devote some time to planning and dreaming for the upcoming year, two of my absolute favorite things to do, but I just wasn’t settled enough to pull it off.
Planning and dreaming is important stuff, but I had the overwhelming urge to purge things out of my house instead. What do they say? “Outer order invokes inner calm”? So I’m just telling myself that the physical purging of stuff was needed to proceed on to the inner task of meditation.
Still, the task of choosing a single word to focus on was daunting, which is crazy: it ought to be pure fun!
Through an online friend I came across the Dayspring quiz for your 2019 word of the year, so figured I’d give it a whirl. The questions were Biblically-based, but low and behold (cue the angels on trumpets), they revealed an excellent word for me for 2019: courage.
Courage might be worth 10 Scrabble points but it’s priceless in the game of life, eh?
Why courage, you might ask? I never really thought of myself as a skittish, fraidy-cat type. I’m not meek and never have been but yes, I can be a quiet observer. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to experience the slow building of confidence that comes from sticking your neck out, trying new things, honing a skill, and getting recognition for excellence. Basically, I’m not a confidence newbie.
But like any muscle, it gets weak if you don’t exercise it. That said, I will –
- Catch myself whenever I say, “I can’t do that!” to describe something I’m afraid to do and change it to, “I will do that!”
- Take the time to warmly welcome anyone new in my social or professional circle and help them connect to others, even if I am not the official “host” or MC of that circle. I will summon up the courage to play the role anyway and not concern myself with how that might appear to others.
- Ask myself, “What would courage look like?” in times of uncertainty and then act on it.
- Step up and speak out whenever I see injustice, like racism, sexism, or bullying.
- Lead efforts I feel should be made.
- Share what’s in my heart, in person and this blog.
- Dare to dream bigger than I have before.
- Breathe deeply and remember that I’m batting 1.000 in my ability to get this far in life.
What about you? Have you chosen a word for 2018? What does it mean to you? How did you discover it? And most importantly, how will you use it to influence the year ahead?
Sending you my very best wishes for the seasons ahead. Peace, health, and happiness to you all. ✌🏻❤️