Show up anyway

When I was a kid, New Years Eve created a lot of anxiety in me. To be fair, many, many things created (and still create) a lot of anxiety in me. New Years Eve felt different to me every year. It felt like I was supposed to be different. Go to bed one kid on December 31st and wake up a new and improved version of me January 1. I always had a list of things I was going to do completely differently. I was going to practice my piano lesson every day for thirty minutes. I’d keep my room perfectly clean. I was going to watch less television and do more things to make me better for my whole family. Needless to say, when you are nine years old and shooting to completely remake yourself, it doesn’t take long before you’re off track.

Around here, 2018 was a year for the books. And I don’t mean that in a good way, more like a dumpster-fire-inside-of-a-train-wreck sort of way. I struggled a lot. There were bucket-loads of tears, and pain (both physical and mental) and I got knocked on my ass more than once. AND I survived it. Sometimes I even did better than that. Almost surprisingly when I look back at photos and social media posts to jog my memory, a lot of good things happened too. Stunningly kind and generous people showed up in my life. There was a lot raucous laughter. And there was lots of love, humbling amounts of love. So no matter how ready I am to step out of 2018, there is still much I am thankful for.

I am so ready to start a brand new year full of promise and hope and amazing things. Maybe you are too? I have so much I want to accomplish this year- not the least of which is write a lot more, read more, and immerse myself in as much creative action as I can. I have big dreams for personal growth and business growth and well, I’d love to physically grow a few inches but that’s not happening. I guess I’ll have to be satisfied if I just don’t shrink this year. And I am tempted to start ALL. THE. THINGS. in the next couple of days, just like my nine year-old self wanted to. I have, however, learned over the years that that’s not sustainable. So today I am starting with the one little thing that’s not really so little. I’m starting by announcing my word of the year.

I’ve always been a big fan of the word-of-the-year concept. I’ve talked about it in previous years. If you’re interested in my process, I’ve got several blogs you can search here on the site. Sometimes finding my word is long and drawn out. I’ve had years with white boards filled with colorful possibilities for weeks in November and December. I spend days winnowing them down until just one choice remained. I’ve had years where two words pulled back and forth on me like tug of war. I’ve had years where nothing felt right and at the last minute, I thought “just pick something already and move on,” only later to discover I had the perfect word, I just didn’t know it yet.

This year my word found me. That’s the only way I can explain it. Like an abandoned kitten, it showed up at my feet before I was even thinking about starting the process of deciding. It announced itself weeks ago, and let me know I now belonged to it. My word this year is:


I don’t feel powerful. Especially after the tsunami that was 2018. Sometimes I do feel strong, which is often seen as similar. But strong is often a reactive word, isn’t it? It’s how you respond to things happening to you. Powerful feels proactive to me, it’s how you go into a situation or go after something. I’m not great at the powerful thing…yet.

Some of us are showing up to 2019 messy and exhausted and afraid. That’s okay. Some of us are showing up expectant, excited, maybe even optimistic. That’s also okay. We’re here together and we’re going to step into the new year the best way we can muster right now. Not perfect, not with too high of expectations of ourselves, just showing up and putting one foot in front of the other. Let’s do that together, ok?

So, here we go. If you have a word of the year, post it in the comments. I’d love to see where we’re all heading this year.

As always, a special thanks to Christine Kane who introduced me to this process. If you’d like to do it yourself and need some guidance, Christine has a really cool and free worksheet to help you (and you don’t even need to put in your name and contact information). Just go here

1 Comment

  1. Like you, my word chose me…Steadfast. After the roller coaster that was 2018, I need to remember to remain steadfast in my faith in God and in my purpose to always point others to Him, no matter the circumstance. I know you will become your most powerful self in no time.

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