New Year's is not a big holiday around my house but I always find myself doing a lot of thinking about the year that passed and the year ahead. I am not necessarily a big fan of resolutions. I usually forget them or break them a week later. So this year I decided to try out something I've been hearing about: a word of the year. Its sort of a theme you pick for yourself, embodied in a word, that can carry through the year and touch different parts of your life. It's more meaningful than a list of get a new job, lose ten pounds, finish that project, exercise more, clean out the junk drawer, and learn another language.
I started talking about this and auditioning words a few days before New Years. I threw the idea out to two friends and then started a journal page to record all the words we brainstormed about. It wasn't hard to come up with a lot of words, but it is hard to settle on one word I want to live with for the whole year. I can be fickle.
The Webster Dictionary word of the year for 2011 was pragmatic. I'm not sure I need more of sensible and realistic in my life. This word is just too, well, pragmatic for me.
Some words I auditioned and liked were cleanse, play, zesty, make, light, coffee, enjoy, beach, and France. Prioritize, focus, connection, and reinvent also made the list. Several different countries and colors made my list. The word list did not.
I encouraged my boys to try out this idea too. They have all chosen something. My oldest has chosen stand out, inspired by a conversation he recently had with a teacher. My middle son has chosen participation. I'm not sure of the inspiration for that one, he just said it's the right word for him. And my youngest son has chosen shut up. He says its because he talks too much. My husband is trying out the phrase mathematical balance. He says it has something to do with a bunch of Skittles he was eating forming a perfect pyramid but I have a feeling it is more than that.
One of my good friends picked enjoy as her word. I like this word, and it is sure to be fun and enlightening. Another friend is trying to decide between patience and resolve as she is anticipating her oldest son becoming a teenager this year.
Even though the idea is to have just one word, I'm very tempted to add another more whimsical and fun word to my year. Polka dot. OK, it's two more words, but they go together.
Stay tuned for how this theme idea works for us. Happy New Year! And please leave a comment if you have chosen a word for your year, and why.