my word for 2015

i still remember at the end of 2008, visiting my friend kim out in michigan, and her telling me all about the concept of choosing a word for the year.

this was long before i knew it was "a thing," long before i'd heard of the term "one little word," long before i'd seen the hashtag #olw.

the whole idea made such sense to me.
rather than form a list of resolution after resolution, long forgotten by the time february rolls around, choose one simple word as your "resolution" for the new year.
whereas an ongoing litany of goals soon becomes overwhelming and oft becomes neglected, focusing and directing one's attention to one word proves to be attainable. reachable. and for me, life-changing.

my word for 2009 was calm.

2010's word was simplify.  or gentle.
because i'm terrible about keeping a journal, and because 2010 was five years ago, my fuzzy memory can't quite recall which one i chose.  i know simplify was in the running for 2009's word, which makes me think i may have chosen it for 2010.  

2011 was perspective.
my hubby and i went to california in the summer of 2011 and an artist on the beach did this driftwood wood-burning for me using only the sun and a magnifying glass.

2012 was moderation
in my journal, on january 1, 2012, next to moderation, i wrote, "confessions of an over-achiever."
of note: in this same january 1 journal entry--you know, the one where i just declared moderation as my word for the year?--in this very same journal entry i have a list of no fewer than three daily social media assignments for myself.  
uhmmmmm, yes.  i may have needed some moderation. 
still do.
also of note: my last journal entry in 2012 was april 27th.  i try, people. i really try.  why can't i keep a journal??

2013 was grace.
in my january 1, 2013 entry {because, of course i have plenty of january 1 entries}, i wrote this: 
grace--His grace on me and showing His grace through me.
an affirmation and a challenge to action.
i still love those words.
farm girl paints was kind enough to make me a cuff with my word on it...and my hubby bought me that gorgeous necklace for my birthday {also in january} that year.

2014 was relationship.
though the point of the practice is to focus on one word, 2014 found me thinking on a short phrase more often than just a single word--relationship over responsibility.
i'm sure this phrase could be taken and twisted a hundred different ways in a hundred different {and unflattering} lights, so let me tell you what it meant to me.
i believe the people of the world could be divided into two groups of thought--those who are responsibility-focused, and those who are relationship-focused.  some may do better than others at balancing the two, but i truly believe that each of us has a 51%, a definite lean, no matter how slight.
i'm a responsibility-focused person.  through and through.  all the way.  for me, it isn't 51% responsibility, 49% relationship.  it's more like 75/25...or possibly even 80/20.  it's not a lean.  it's a full-fledged imbalance.
2014 was all about closing that gap.
it wasn't about neglecting my responsibilities or shirking my duties.
it was about remembering and considering the relationships in my life and not making them play second-fiddle to my responsibilities.  
this year, i also added another word cuff from farm girl paints...and a sweet hand-stitched hoop as a birthday gift from my oldest girl.

i posted this image to instagram earlier this week...
purposely blurred on that day, so as not to give away my "secret," this image shows the result of hours and hours of thought given to my word for 2015.
throughout most of november and december each year, i'm mulling over word choices for the following year.  considering each one, weighing the need for it in my life, discarding those that don't fit, and reevaluating all over again.
for several weeks, i was convinced that 2015's word would be believe.  and while believe is a powerful word and the meaning that it holds for me is great in depth, it just didn't contain what i needed for the coming year.  eliminating it was hard, as it sent me back to the drawing board, so to speak.
and then, last sunday on the way to church, it finally came to me.
i'd had the concept, the fleshing-out, the "what this looks like to me" in my mind for days and days, unable to unravel the exact word that would be a fitting label.
and then, just like that, i had it.

my word for 2015 is intentional.
{...more to come}


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