Welcome to 2023! Another spin around the glowing orb complete, here we are. A fresh new year with nary a blemish…or rather, nary a blemish until yesterday’s fustercluck of congressional proportions. At least no one shat in the House chamber
that we can see. I’m rather tired of living in unprecedented times and could really go for some sub-precedented. Anti-precedented. I WOULD LIKE SOME RELIABLY SOOTHING CALM IS WHAT I AM SAYING HERE. Alas.
But as I was staring down the turn of the calendar page last month my thoughts once again went to my word of the year. I’ve chosen a word every year but one for the last decade. 2019 I was an over-achiever and went with three.
2017 no word this year because reasons
2019 intention/evolution/subtle arrogance
2021 “be in service to your future self”
Notice there’s no link for 2022. That’s because there’s no post on my word for 2022, because I wrote nearly nothing in 2022. Did I reinvent myself? Ehhhhh….yes in some areas, absolutely-not-wrapped-in-hysterical-laughter in others.
Some years I have a better relationship with my word than others; 2011, 2019, 2021 all come to mind. Other years it ranges from meh to I have a word? 2022 definitely fell into the I have a word? category. So when I started to tumble words around ye olde cranium to see what resonated (feel free to make your favorite resonating = empty head quip) I was looking for something with which I could have a long term relationship. Not a summer lyrical fling, not a one-night word stand, but something that would walk with me through this LEGO firewalk that is Life In The Current Times.
Stretch was almost immediately my word. Physically, emotionally, mentally, socially…I need to stretch past my comfort zone in every possible way. I mentioned stretch to my therapist and she was alarmed that I’d stretch to do more and more as that’s my usual M.O. No, it’s Opposite Day here; stretch into the discomfort of not always doing something or feeling like I should be doing something or feeling guilty that I’m not doing something. To get through the last handful of years I’ve hunkered down into a metaphorical fetal position and I’m nearly frozen there; see lack of writing the last couple of years. It’s going to hurt, but it’s time to stretch. Because if I don’t? I’ll calcify worse than the emails in my inbox.
So boom thought I had my word and boom no I didn’t. Habits kept shouting at me. As much as my 2022 word evaporated from my thoughts (reinvent, Jen, it was reinvent) habits walked in, looked around in disgust, and started planning a
revolution renovation. I kept explaining that I had a word and wouldn’t you like to go now but all I heard in response was HA! and the shuffling of blueprints. Many, many blueprints. I caught a glimpse of a couple, was impressed, and made room for habits at the table.
Done, right? WRONG! Why have one dog when you can have two, and why have two words when you could go for the hat trick? Two felt incomplete. Stretch, habits, and…??? Only one word could join the other two to complete The Word Trifecta. Consistency. While I’ve long laugh-cried that the only thing consistent about my kid was his inconsistency, consistency has truly been a huge challenge my whole life. I struggle to remain consistent in nearly everything I do. Flute, writing, physical activity, you get the idea. Maintaining consistency so that habits can form and strengthen is something that has long eluded me.
Stretch. Habits. Consistency.
What are my plans for the words this year? Mainly to push through my comfort zone and expand it. More writing, including fiction. (That I’m sharing this on a writer blog hop is definitely pushing through my comfort zone). Resist the urge to stay small and comfortable in life; I have a milestone birthday later this year and I’ve been contemplating my next act. Lifestyle changes and more physical activity so I can enjoy my next act. And figuring it all out as I go.
I’ve had good luck with three words in the past, though you gotta admit subtle arrogance was hella funnier. Welcome to 2023: stretch, shake it out, let’s do this.
I wrote this for a blog hop, something I haven’t done in million years in Internet Time. I’ve missed the blogging communities of old and when I found this on Mastodon (a post for another day) I threw myself on it and gave it a bear hug. I figure it’ll quit struggling sometime mid-February.