It’s not so surprising, actually, the fact that I’ve decided to have a Word for the Year. It’s just the kind of thing that appeals to me—a focus for my life, a magnetic field, a centering force when I start to drift (and inevitably I will) toward those sparkly edges. I suffer greatly from the Anything Is Possible So Let’s Not Decide Just Yet Syndrome, which means to accomplish anything, I require some serious structure.
This is such a significant truth in my life that I find myself creating rules for the tiniest of tasks. You can listen to this song on your iPod, but only while running on this treadmill. Keep the little bottles of hotel bathroom lotion if you want, but they need to fit in this ziplock bag. Buy that expensive yarn! Just don’t start another project—not even a sample row or two just to see how it knits up—until you finish the socks you were so excited about three months ago. Yes, some life parameters are a very good thing for me.
So the idea of a Word for the Year spoke to my heart the moment I read about it on Winn Collier’s blog a few days ago. He wrote:
For a while, Miska’s had these annual encounters where a word arrives, vivid and undeniable. And continuing: This year, I love Miska’s word. A future year, I could imagine it being mine. But it’s not – and that’s the crucial revelation. You can’t snag another person’s word. You can’t even snag another person’s conviction that you need to have a word …You have to find your own —find your own way, find your own self.
How I love that thought. And having designated January as a month for Do-overs, Rethinks, and What-ifs, if ever a word were going to find me and take root, surely, the time was now. And so I decided to keep watch.
My word arrived unexpectedly, announcing itself to me as I sat in church last Sunday. Some other candidates had already come and gone—flirtatious, appealing, pausing long enough to be considered, but then casually drifting past.
Not this word. It announced itself boldly, pulling up a chair and having a seat right there, undeniably taking up residence.
We stood to sing the Psalm, and my word hung on. Second reading. Prayer. Anthem. (“I’m still he-re!”) And then Dr. Bragan walked to the pulpit and began to preach one of those sermons that seems preached right at you, this one doubly alarming in its gentleness.
Silence, he said.
Find time for quiet.
I sat with my word, unflinching. Face to face, eye to eye.
A still small voice, he said. Make room.
And then he said, and I swear it:
He has a word for you.
And so I smiled, accepting my word. Welcoming it, really, into my busy life. And then I set about thinking of SPACE—physical, emotional, spiritual—and why that need has planted itself so firmly in my soul.
I don’t know the answer yet. I just know it is here to stay.
Has a word found you? If so, I’d love to hear your story. Just leave a comment below or send me an email. Perhaps we’ll start a support group for people and their words.
How is it that you and I who went all through school together, yet weren’t really friends, then drifted apart to only hear fleeting details of each other’s lives seem so in sync decades later? When you talked about making rules for the tiniest of tasks, I got chills. I, too, have to do that. My word for this year is presence. I want to be present in my life instead of watching it float past. I am so happy to reconnect in this way with you.
I know. I know. I know! I felt it when we last saw each other—and don’t you now live in Arizona? A state I have fallen madly in love with?
Love your word. Me, too. I want to notice every little thing. Thanks for a wonderful reminder!
yes , mine is HOPE, for i hope for so many good things for me this year, thank you, peace
What a perfect Word for the Year. Thank you for sharing!
What a good, sturdy, spacious word. I hope it finds you well this year.
Thank you, Winn, for allowing me to share your (Miska’s?) idea. Transformative, I believe!