February 6, 2023

WORD OF THE YEAR | 2023.


Staying true to my indecisive self, I had a really hard time settling on my word for 2023. Last year, I cheated and picked two words but this year, I really wanted to find a word that encompassed all of my hopes, goals, and intentions for the coming year. 

I wavered between a few words and my work team even had a connection activity where we discussed and selected words for the year together -- but again, my indecisive self just could not pick one word. 

But when I read through that list later in the afternoon, I found a few words that I scribbled onto a hot pink sticky note for later. Connect, Delight, Be, Gentle, and Bloom.

All four of those words whirled through my mind for the next week and just when I thought I had picked one, a different word would pop into my mind. 

So I took some time to let it simmer and looked up each word in the dictionary as well. 

CONNECT: to become joined; to have or establish rapport; to link together.

DELIGHT: to take great pleasure; to give keen enjoyment; a high degree of gratification or pleasure: joy.

BE: to have identity with; to remain undisturbed; to take place; to come or go.

BLOOM: to produce or yield flowers; a period of flowering; a state or time of freshness, vigor, and beauty; to shine out.

GENTLE: free from harshness, sternness, or violence.

So I let it simmer. I let the words just be in the back of my mind as I continued my daily routine. I let them sit in this draft of a blog post and would come back to it every once in awhile to see if any one word popped out at me. 

And then January came and went and now it's the beginning of February. 

I thought I had to have a word picked out by a certain date (ideally, the beginning of January), but I'm starting to see that that was only a rule I made up in my mind. No one has ever said you had to pick out a word at the start of the new year. No one also said you had to pick one word, either. Or that you can't change your mind one million times over, too. 

But when I looked over the words once more at the end of January, SAVOR popped into my head. 

SAVOR: to give flavor to; to taste or smell with pleasure; to delight in: enjoy. 

Savor provides space for enjoyment and delight. It has a gentle spirit. And it encourages me to sit and just be, to be present in the moment. Savor is also, in cooking terms, like letting flavors bloom - letting them sink in and shine. 

And SAVOR is what I want for this year. I can sense changes coming, just as they did last year in 2022 and I'm eager and hopeful to savor the moments that I have now. Last year, I chose EMBRACE and ENJOY and felt like I embraced a lot of what 2022 held. But I didn't make as much time enjoying - and that's something I want to do more of this year. I tend to get the most anxious when I feel overwhelmed about the future so savoring the moment and finding gratitude are my go-to antidotes. 

Here are my hopes for the upcoming year - how I hope to savor 2023:

Savoring moments with my family. 

Savoring sights and views on hikes.

Savoring the sound of music in the practice stage - not just mastery or perfection.

Savoring time spent with friends.

Savoring puppy kisses and snuggles.

Savoring the feeling of trying something new.

Savoring my food instead of inhaling it.

Savoring the little things.

Savoring the food I cook - because it's a skill I'm always eager to grow in.

So here's to savoring all that 2023 has in store.

© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall