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Saturday, January 8, 2022

What is your WOTY for 2022?


Many different organizations around the world declare a Word of the Year for different purposes. Usually it’s the word that has had the greatest impact on the population. The Merriam Webster Word of the Year for 2022 is: VACCINE. In 2021, the word was PANDEMIC.

Well, those words may indeed be the stars of the search engines these days, for many different reasons. But I prefer to choose my own personal Word of the Year each January as a positive guidepost of sorts. It’s my form of New Year’s Resolution.

In the past, I have chosen words like: Present (to remind me to stay focused on the here and now, instead of getting caught up in things that have already happened or worrying about what is to come); Less (as a reminder that I already have more than enough, so why eat / drink / buy more? Except where books are concerned, of course – you can never have too many books); and Listen (another way to stay present and grounded, as I work to develop my grandmothering skills). This year, I have chosen a word that will remind me to make time for my favourite lifelong pastime, because it brings me joy and relieves stress.

As a little girl, I kept a daily journal. I had the traditional kind with the tiny lock and key. Each evening I listed things like what I ate, what I wore, who I saw, who hurt my feelings, and what new song I heard on the radio. Into my teen years I secretly listed the names of the boys I liked, while carefully recording the fashion and hairstyle details of the girls I admired. I didn’t write with any particular goal in mind. I certainly wasn’t planning to publish my journals some day. And yet, I wrote. If not every night, then at least every week, without fail.

Journaling helped to keep my brain organized. It was like a data dump of worries and concerns that allowed me to clear my head so I could sleep soundly. I found it especially helpful when I was a young mother. Sometimes at the end of the year I burned my journals, as a symbol of a hopeful change in direction for the year to come.

Over the years as I took on writing professionally, I let my journaling habit fall by the wayside. This year I have been gifted a brand new journal and I plan to use it. Who knows? Someone might find my notes interesting in the future, after I’m gone. My word of the year is WRITE.


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