What’s Your Word?

Welcome to the New Year! For some of you, it may feel like you’re skipping into 2023 and for others, it’s more like crawling. Maybe 2022 was a hard year and you’re glad to say good riddance to it. Or maybe you’re revving to go with the endless potential of 2023.

Wherever you find yourself, it is worth slowing down to look back over the previous year in order to move forward with the intentionality you need. My 2022 Word of the Year was “Welcome.” When I look in the rear-view mirror, here are some of the images I see . . .

I welcomed the array of emotions in launching my last child and my only son. So many mixed emotions–from joy in him getting into the college of his choice to the sorrow of not hearing him coming in the front door every day after school. I welcomed all the myriad of emotions surrounding this as well as the additional support I needed from friends who have gone before. I have welcomed what this means for the changes in my marriage of thirty years.

Joy is so closely mingled with the sorrow that oftentimes, I have a hard time telling them apart. Maybe I’m not supposed to. Maybe we’re made to hold both joy and sorrow simultaneously and find peace in not having a clean resolve for one or the other. I guess this is what I welcomed in–somewhat reluctantly… holding so many mixed emotions.

What I have found as I committed to welcome life as it came to me is that it made me stay fully present to the moment. I didn’t miss seeing and experiencing the little stuff. Like the quiet mornings with a cup of tea or stealing a glance at my daughter and son across the Thanksgiving table and smiling simply because of their presence. Or the lingering strolls in the evening with my husband that used to be impossible with kids’ activities keeping us busy each night. I found more of my true self by staying present. Not that I always did it well, but I am grateful for how welcome became an anchoring word for me – a breath prayer to invite in all the goodness and abundance mingled with the grief and sorrow– as I remained poignantly aware of how fast life goes. I don’t want to miss a thing.

So, my new word for 2023?

Patience. I want to cultivate a patient presence to notice what is true and beautiful. To take in what needs to be seen and cared for. To love those in my life even better as I am keenly aware that life is constantly changing. To be patient with the process of change and growth both in myself and in others. I believe focusing on patience will take me deeper into all that I have welcomed in 2022 and attach me even more to the Vine.

What’s your word for the year? I’d love to hear it if you’d care to share with me. Leave a comment below.

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