It’s February 16, so we’re technically still in the beginning of the year. Right? Not too late for some “New Year’s-esque” posts.
Last year in 2021 my word was PEACE. I had picked that obviously very mid-pandemic- end of 2020/ early 2021. But for me, that choice wasn’t really about the pandemic specifically or making peace with all of that. It was more about working on finding peace in stressful situations, often where I might be lacking control, and just accepting things as they are without becoming anxious or stressed or frantic.
I wrote a whole recap on how I did using that word as my 2021 mantra back on New Year’s Eve! Find that here.
On a related note- I recently saw a great example of what acceptance means (kind of the same idea I was aiming for with my concept of peace- just calmly accepting things as they are, without overly emotional reactions). It was something like:
What is Acceptance?
I don’t like rain. I wish it weren’t raining. My day would be better if it weren’t raining. Everything is ruined. It’s always like this. Why does it always have to rain on a day I really want it to be sunny?
I spent quite a long time thinking about my 2022 word, and I finally landed on focus.
This whole idea of a “word of the year” is so personal. I’ve read about many other people’s words of the year, and the range is so wide! What feels right for one person is totally wrong for another.
Deciding on a word
For me, at first I was feeling a very strong pull to the idea of “getting back on the horse”, if you will. I was tired of that BLAH feeling of 2020- 2021…the feeling that became all too par for the course during the pandemic. (Being all out of sorts, lacking routine, everything up in the air, a sense of confusion/chaos…which was constantly leading me to give myself a free pass every time I turned around.)
There was a globally wide undertone, I think, and frequent messages everywhere of the idea to “give yourself more grace”. “These are hard times.” “Just get through it.” “Don’t over-extend yourself right now- this is a stressful time.”
And all of that is/was true!!
But as I considered 2022, I was personally feeling like, “ARGH, ENOUGH!! Enough. I want to get back to life as I knew it. I want to hold myself to certain standards. I have those standards for a reason! They aren’t arbitrary- they make my life better when I meet them. I don’t want any more free passes.”
So, then I was considering words like “commitment” or “persevere” or things like that.
However, those didn’t feel quite right either. Because the truth is, life ISN’T totally back to normal yet. Things are still weird, in some ways, and there are days that I’ll still probably need to be forgiving with myself, or show myself “grace”. It’s a lot to navigate- for everyone, but especially for parents.
What am I really looking for??
Eventually, I realized that what I’m really seeking is a sense of FOCUS. And I don’t mean just “focusing on my work” or minimizing distractions, though that plays a role in it.
I think I’m yearning for a certain clarity in my life. As in, being clear about what I want and taking clear steps to accomplish it. Doing one thing at a time! Putting my full focus and energy into whatever I’m doing at the moment. Staying focused on why I said I would do something (e.g. I feel better when I stick to my workout routine) and using that as motivation to follow through. Respecting boundaries and plans that I’ve made.
I like this word because it can be applied to pretty much all facets of my life! It goes hand in hand with my last pre-pandemic word of the year, which was intentionality. Pretty similar, but a bit more…focused! 🙂
So, word of 2022= focus! About 6-7 weeks in now and I think it’s going pretty well. I find myself turning to it when I’m tempted to pull away from work to….do something else. Or if I’m spending time with the kids, and I am tempted to grab my phone, I’ve been finding the word “focus” flitting through my head. Focus on them! Focus on this moment.
The word of the year thing is never about perfection; it’s just supposed to be a little extra guiding force, a little voice in the back of your head. I think even just coming up with it is a fun exercise!
If you chose a word, how’s it going so far?
I am grateful for some yummy veggie enchiladas I made last night! Made the sauce from scratch and everything. They were a big hit! Asher rated them a 9.7/10. 😆