One month into the new year and here I am still debating whether or not to participate in the ‘word of the year’ exercise, by choosing a personal word of the year for 2018. I’ve listened to influencers and bloggers and lifestyle experts talk about this practice for years. It was most likely Gretchen Rubin who first introduced me to the idea back in 2015, and since then it seems to be the cool thing to do. The concept is simple, but in practice it’s actually rather difficult. As you head into a new year, you’re challenged to choose a single word that will serve as the theme for your life. It’s meant to help shape your mindset, focus your priorities, and manage your time and energy for the entire year ahead.
Since 2017 felt like a complete blur (a happy, wonderful blur at that), 2018 feels like as good of year as ever to finally to choose a word of the year.
This year for 2018, my word of the year is ‘support’.
I have no idea how well ‘support’ will work as my word of the year for 2018… but it feels right for now. Each time I found my mind wandering towards a word of the year, it had to do with other people. For the first time in a while… I feel like it’s time to be selfless. Of course, being selfless is something we should all strive to be most all of the time, but truthfully? The last few years have been hard. And heavy. And during multiple seasons of my recent life I’ve had to make hard decisions that at the end of the day were the right thing to do for me. Those decisions have hurt others, and many have been driven by selfishness at their core. But I’m a firm believer and advocate for doing what is best for you… most of the time, and within reason.
2018 feels different.
Major life events are behind me. I met my husband, and my family and friends supported our relationship unconditionally, despite how it started. We got married, and my parents made the whole thing happen. We moved far, far away from friends and family and bought a house in western NY. Saddened and probably somewhat disappointed, both sides of our family have continued to support us and visit often. We had children. We lost Olivia, and our entire community of family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and even strangers poured their time and energy into supporting us. Helping us. Giving to us. As of last year I’m no longer working outside of the home. Instead I’m staying home to be with our daughter: a job I’ve long dreamed of having, and a decision that we did not make quickly or without tons and tons of thought. As I embrace this new role, I recognize the sacrifices and comprises my husband has made to support me staying home, and how much he puts in day-in and day-out to ensure our family is a-okay. He has supported me in this transition *almost* unconditionally 😉
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that for the last 5 or 6 years I’ve focused very much on myself as I navigated major life milestones and hard decisions. I put myself first. Sometimes at the expense of others. But here I am. It’s 2018 and I am finally feeling at peace.
Now it’s time to give back what people have been graciously giving to me for years: support. Selfless, unconditional support.
In a surface level way, it’s easy to translate what I mean by choosing support as my word of the year for 2018.
- I want to support my husband.
- I want to be the best mom I can possibly be.
- I want to be there with an open ear and open heart for family members as they navigate new waters.
- I want to support the friends who have so selflessly supported me through the ups and downs of the past few years.
- I want to support our church. A community that welcomed my family and quickly transformed my viewpoint on religion and the Church.
But what do those things actually look like in practice? I suppose I’ll find out as the year gets underway, but I hope the word ‘support’ helps me make better, kinder, and more deliberate, conscious choices in 2018.
Have you chosen a word of the year for 2018? Or have you participated in this challenge in the past? Share your words with me!