My 2018 Word


Last year my word was “commit.” It was a year of saying ‘yes’ and meaning it. We finally made our move from Washington, DC back to my beloved Midwest – committing to the type of lifestyle we value most. We bought a house (unexpectedly, I’ll admit) – committing to staying in one place more than a year, which was a pretty big step for us since we’ve moved almost every year we’ve been married. We opened a business – committing to seeing an idea completely through to its fruition instead of giving up half way. I left full-time 9-5 work and started working for myself – a commitment to who I am and my actual working style (not the style others say I should have or I think I should have).

I also thought a lot about commitment in the small areas of my life. I tried to commit to growing my hair out (it’s been in a pixie cut my whole adult life). However, instead of succeeding with a cute mid-length bob as I hoped, my commitment showed me that I really hate the time and effort it takes to fix longer hair and I fell back in love with my pixie. Alex and I committed to a “month of health,” which helped reframe my perspective on eating healthy. After finally shaking off the mental and emotional baggage of “leaving” academia and quitting my 9-5 work schedule, I committed to fun. I started reading with gusto again and beat my all-time book record (57 books!) and I re-joined our former Ultimate frisbee community with a vengeance.

In short, my year of commitment was a rousing success. I feel happier, healthier, and more alive. Which is why, for 2018, I need to SLOW THE HECK DOWN.

I was too successful at committing – I can’t take it anymore!

I’m a planner and a dreamer, so a year of committing was just what I needed to push myself into this new stage of our lives. But we did so many things, acquired so many things, and started so many things that I really have no idea what is going on in my life right at this moment.

So my word for 2018 is contemplation. I want to contemplate in every sense of the word. I want to take some time to look around my life and re-examine everything I’m doing, both big and small. I want to say ‘no’ more. I want to spend time not multi-tasking and being quiet. I want to go back and figure out if the systems and organization I threw together in our new house and our new business actually make sense. I want to find God again in the hubbub. I want to STOP the hubbub, for heaven’s sake!

We bought everything we possibly could this year (a house, a car, a business, even solar panels). I have no idea what state our finances are in. (Speaking of solar panels – I have no idea how ours work because we had to frantically install them before the end of 2017 because of new laws in Indiana and I really didn’t have time to understand that while we were opening the business.) We struggled to find a new church and I have no idea what state my spiritual life is in. I have no idea what state my sock drawer, kitchen pantry, knitting supplies, or clothes are in. I need to take stock of my life.

It’s time to slow down, calm down, and live in the present. So for 2018 – I’m going to CONTEMPLATE.

What's your word for 2018? Did you choose a word for 2017 or set annual goals? How did they work out?