Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 Word of the Year

I changed out my necklace early yesterday morning.

The family was all sleeping after our New Year's Eve late night, and I was alone.

I stared at the shiny newness in the small black box before removing it.

I briefly held 2018 and 2019 in my hand, and in that moment I reflected back on all the changes that came in 2018. Huge unexpected changes and small pivotal moments. My star necklace with my peridot birthstone had become so comfortable, my goals so manageable, and I felt satisfied with my efforts.

But I couldn't fasten the shiny new one around my neck, not just yet.
I feel like this every year when I change my necklace. I spend a long time planning a new word and ordering just the right accessory to focus me for the year. When it arrives, I can hardly wait to remove it from its packaging and fasten it around my neck, but I always force myself to wait until the morning of January first. However, when the actual moment comes to remove its predecessor, the new necklace greets me as a stranger, feels alien and uncomfortable in my hand, and I question this new move forward, hesitating for just a moment before proceeding.

I changed things up this year, choosing gold over silver, and I already question that decision, along with the choice of shorter chain. It doesn't hang quite the same as last year's, and it bumps unfamiliarly against my collarbone. And it feels . . . heavy. What does that mean?

So many questions. But the questions aren't negative or oppressive. They hold mystery and anticipation, a hefty dose of excitement paired with a tinge of fear of this unknown 2019.

The word I chose for 2019 is grow. I want to change this year. I feel the windows of opportunity closing around me, knowing that I have less than nine years with kids still living at home. Then our lives will really change. Brad wants to go on missions after that, and I want to be in that place as well. But right now, I still feel like there are so many things left for me to do and not enough time to do them all. I don't feel almost 50, but I know 50 will come this summer whether I'm ready or not.

I want to do so many things. I want to be the person I always think I am but fall short of so often. I want to be active and healthy. I want to be spiritually strong. I want to serve others. I want to slide into home plate at age 80, knowing I gave life the very best I had in me.

So this year, I'm going to grow. Grow in all areas of my life--in commitment and effort and love and service and spirit.

What does 2019 have in store for me?

I don't know, but I'm ready to find out.

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