We are in the last days of 2013. I remember vividly the beginning days of 2013. For the first five, I was crumpled up in a tightly wound ball of despair in the middle of my bed. That despair turned to anger and eventually I gave up and succumbed to apathy. My motto for 2013 went something like, “Everyone can suck it.” That theme had many crude variations, just ask my husband and my friends.
I don’t need to go into the whys of this despair and anger. I think we all know that life inexplicably hands us emotions we don’t know what to do with or circumstances beyond our control, and we just short-circuit for a while.
But a sliver of caring eventually peaked through that apathy, and I began dealing with these emotions, mostly through words. By assigning words to the feelings, I made slow sense of them. The original theme of “Suck It 2013” morphed into better, more productive words, changing and developing over the course of the year.
I posted strings of words about food, recipes, and restaurants. I sent Facebook messages to friends, filling them in on my everyday life and looking forward to their words in return. I logged thousands of text messages, communicating the mundane (“Pick up half and half please”) and the important (“The Little Mermaid was just released on Blu-Ray”). I wrote local magazine articles, honest guest posts and assigned words to heavy topics like infertility and domestic violence.
I love words. I love to say them, shorten them, invent them, and especially to write them. I can try to wax eloquent using thousands of flowery words, but I’ve noticed that most of the time, fewer words are better. Sometimes all it takes is one, single word.
To me, a one-word resolution for 2014 seems much more manageable and profound than a list of items to complete or tasks to attend to. Now I just have to pick my word, which requires some thought.
Simplify is a good, solid word and something I really want to do. But it doesn’t say enough.
Create is a word that seems like a cliché but shouldn’t be. It’s a word that sparks my interest and makes my fingers itch to create a recipe or put words on paper. But still, to create is sometimes an insular, individualized activity, and in 2014 I’d like to do more than get lost in my own projects.
Sacrifice is the word that comes to my mind most clearly. Yet, there’s something so serious, so austere about it, and I want to lighten up in 2014 (I’m sure you’d all appreciate that, too). Since I can’t quite find the right word, I’m going to use one I heard just this morning at church: difference-making. My older brother gave a talk about Matthew 25 that aligned perfectly with my thoughts on this year and the next. Making a difference does require sacrifice, which I’m apprehensively and excitedly willing to do, but I know from experience that making a difference (even a tiny one) is also life-giving and spirit-awakening.
So, 2014, let’s figure out what difference-making means together, shall we? (Oh, and, 2013, I’m sorry you got stuck with the “suck it” theme so early on, but you made up for it with the re-release of The Little Mermaid. Thanks for that.)
What do you think of New Year’s Resolutions? Do you make them, keep them, or break them? What would your One-Word Resolution be?