Finding the Magic in just one word

Every year for the past 10 years or so, maybe longer, I have picked a word of the year.  They have ranged from Wonder, to Grace and Inspire.  Some words work better than others but they always end up serving me in one way or another.

And then there are the words that just open up a whole new perspective for me without any effort on my part.

Everyone asks how I choose my word.  I have no set method, no rules.  Honestly I let it find me which may sound a bit woo woo to some of you but it happens.  I start thinking about it November.  Generally I think about what I want the next year to be about or rather how I want to be for the next 365 days.

This year 2022 I want to be more in the present moment.  Not looking for what is next but right here with whomever I am with and just be present.  A lot of that means putting the phone down,  paying attention, and slowing down.  Even when I am by myself there are so many things to be aware of and experience.

How do I put all of that into one single word?

I tried lots of words out, even phrases and then just let it go.  This is one of the reasons I start in November so I can give my thoughts time to simmer on how to find the word.

Fortunately it didn’t take long.  As do most great ideas it came to me while I was running.  Huffing and puffing along until I got into a rhythm which coincidentally was my word last year ( rhythm) and I still can’t spell it.

I was taking a walk break and taking a few deep breaths to slow down my breathing when it came to me…

DRUMROLL…. and the word is BREATHE.

Okay not that exciting but it worked.  Taking a breath would remind me to slow down, be present, be calm.

And with great deference to Paul Harvey…here is the rest of the story.

My birthday is in early January…the 4th to be exact.  I was four days into the new year when I realized that my word of the year would be expanding for me.  It made my birthday magical.  I was breathing in the magic.   First off it was a sunny beautiful day!  YES!  It was cold but tolerable.  My son and daughters’ family could not join us to celebrate because they were about 70 miles up the road and snowed in.  We only had about an inch while they got 14 inches.  Fortunately they had electricity while many did not.  So it would be a small celebration with our other daughter who is local and granddaughter.   I got my free Starbucks and did a little shopping.  Hubby made me a wonderful cake and we ordered Chinese.  On top of that an international writers group I belong to happened to pick me to chat with after a writing session and sang a very lovely version of Happy Birthday…slow and off key just like my parents used to ( miss them)….but most magical of all was a gift from all my kids.  We each created these separately months before  without the other knowing.   I gave mine to my daughters on Christmas and they gave me mine on my birthday.  It blew me away…the photos tell the whole story.



Yes..the SAME recipe.  They about flipped at Christmas when they opened theirs but kept quiet.  The thing is I have tons of handwritten recipes from my mother and I had a hard time choosing.  I had no idea my mother had written out the same recipe for my daughter.   How magical.

So there you have it.  Just so you know I have a ton of “angst” going on in my life as well.  The usual family drama and my mother’s ongoing dementia and just life in general.  I, however, am choosing to focus on the positive because I have learned that the other stuff will always be there and threatens to hide the really positive.  If I focus on the good, the other stuff is way easier to handle.

Hang on because there are so many wonderful things to breathe in the is year.  Please join me and,  of course, as always, keep triing!  This year I am adding in…breathe in the magic.

Cheers, Jennifer

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