It’s time to wrap up my one little word for the year . . .
Well. What an interesting year this has been, word wise! Looking back with a December-perspective adds so much clarity to the year’s word-choice. At first, I didn’t actually understand WHY the word SHIFT popped up for me this year (I thought I did but I didn’t), and I had no idea where it would take me. But late in the year, I had a few “aha!” moments, and I think I “get it” now.
What I realized – and what I couldn’t articulate back in January – is that I had experienced so many personal shifts in my life over the past few years . . . that I didn’t feel like I knew who I WAS anymore. I mean, beginning back in 2016 I had dealt with big, personal, life-changing shifts: my mom died, I quit working, my kids married and moved far away, Tom started his own consulting business, I became the primary point-person for my dad. Then, other events happened that completely rocked my sense of the world . . . Trump was elected, the pandemic arrived, the relentless parade of world outrages never slowed.
It’s been . . . a lot. I was feeling emotionally worn down; I didn’t feel like “me” anymore. I think, at some very deep level, I needed to understand that . . . shift . . . I was feeling. I could sense something had happened to me, but I didn’t understand it. In the words of the Wallflowers . . .
“Man, I ain’t changed but I know I’m not the same . . .”
— The Wallflowers, One Headlight
My word this year . . . was not neat and tidy. But I did manage to get to the very bottom of (what felt like) a very messy closet by the end of the year. It’s been a deeply personal experience for me. Meaningful. Not easy to explain. And certainly not very bloggable. But probably the most intense and growth-oriented one little word experience I’ve ever had. (It was a ‘figure out” word, rather than a “do something” word.)
Although I struggled with (fought with?) this word for the first half of the year, I have a feeling it will be one of those “forever words” for me . . . one I’ll never be “finished” with. That said, I am ready to move forward – with a new word for a new year.
My big take-away lessons from SHIFT:
- Anticipate the shift. Things are shifting all the time. Be open. Be aware. Keep your hand on the gearshift and your foot on the clutch.
- SHIFT = STRENGTH. Being able to shift when we need to is a sign of strength, adaptability, and resilience.
- You really can’t push the river. (It flows by itself.)
- Priorities shift . . . and that’s okay.
- It’s never too late to shift the way you think about things.
Join me tomorrow when I review the ups and downs of my year.
I really enjoyed creating a “shift journal” for myself this year. Here’s a quick little video of me flipping through the pages. You can also find photos of some of my favorite pages in the Field Notes section of this blog.
That is a beautiful book to capture your year of SHIFT.
I’m looking forward to reading about the word you pick for 2023.
Happy New Year to you and Tom.
Well done. Your book is such a beautiful record of the way you are paying attention. Thanks Kym
Challenging words truly help to make sense of the chaotic, the unsettled, the dis-comfort… Release was that word for me… and it still left me with so much to release. Yes, absolutely a work in progress!
May both of our new words bring a lighter and brighter path to wander and explore in 2023! XO
I’m not very good at OLW and I’m also not a journaler, but I can see how much some words really make an impact. Shift has clearly done that for you, and I don’t think that you’ll be leaving it behind any time soon, even as you choose a new word. I have benefited from your lessons with shift and I thank you!
P.S. You’ve got me thinking about (maybe) trying to choose a word for 2023!
Your book is such a beautiful record of your year of “shift”!
I’ve never chosen a word for the year and I haven’t done much journaling in recent years. When I’ve tried keeping a journal in the past, I would start out well and then move to some very dark places and then give up. After reading about what you have learned from your year long journey with”shift”, I wonder if my journaling would go in a more positive direction if I choose a word to focus on? I will be giving this some thought over the next week.
Thanks for sharing!
What a fun peek into your SHIFT(ing) year Kym, I really enjoyed seeing your journal. Now I’m looking forward to learning what your word for 2023 is!
Your experience with shift reminds me of my experience with open. Hard but worth it. That’s a beautiful journal, too.
This is a very thoughtful post Kym. You made a beautiful journal. It is interesting how some words are “do” and others “figure it out.” I was looking back over my list of words and noticed I often alternate with a word that shifts my focus inward and one that propels me outward.
You explored your word thoroughly and figure out that flexibility in attitude and perspective are key. At least, I think that’s part of what you’re saying. The vision journals you keep are always so interesting and uniquely you.
What a journey these past few years have been and how wonderful that the OLW practice/process helped shift important things for you. Also, Kym, I LOVE your journal – what an amazing record of where you’ve been … that I imagine will be a helpful map to guide you going forward, too.
“But probably the most intense and growth-oriented one little word experience I’ve ever had.”
Wow–and that is *really* saying something. After hearing about your one word journey (by way of last year’s ‘conversation’), that’s huge! And exciting. And I would guess energizing and exhausting at times–and maybe even at the SAME time!?
Excited for all the upcoming word reveals. Wishing you a Happy New Year, Kym.