Word of the Year – Connect

I recently attended a party where, for some reason, I felt free to be myself.  I had great conversations about homeschooling and books and writing and cheese.  I did not put on the “reserved and quiet” persona I often adopt in an attempt not to offend anyone.  And it felt good.  As I drove home, it struck me that although I had just met a few of those people, they had a better sense of who I am from that one event than do many people who I have seen on a weekly basis for years.  At some point I got out of the habit of really connecting with people, and I feel this as a lack–a lack of real friendships, a lack of community, a lack of the support people can only give if they know the real you.

As I thought through goals for 2013 I realized that this theme of connection was the common denominator to nearly everything I had on my list.  I feel strongly that 2013 needs to be a year when I focus on connecting–with God, my family, and with friends and neighbors.

Taking a cue from Gretchen Rubin, I made a short (for me, anyway) list of resolutions that tie specific actions to the overall theme word connect.  Some relate to my spiritual life, some to my marriage, some to my children, some to my work, and some to my friends and community.  Instead of just saying “I want to make 2013 about connecting” I made a list of concrete, attainable steps I can take on a daily or weekly basis that will hopefully, by year’s end, have resulted in growth and connection.

My word of the year in 2012 was “brilliant,” in the sense of striking, multi-faceted, bold, and glittering.  In hindsight, I’m not sure that’s how things turned out.  As the year happened, I had some major shifts in plans, changes in circumstances, adjustment of attitudes, and overhauling of goals.  I’m not disappointed in the year, and there were small pockets of brilliant moments, but if I had to remember 2012 by a word it would probably be “re-evaluate” rather than “brilliant.”

And that’s OK.  As Johanna wrote helpfully about not being a slave to our goals, it’s all right to take stock and change goals midstream.  I also love this quote I read on Keren’s blog:

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.  –Neil Gaiman

In 2013 I’m probably going to make mistakes as I push toward connecting.  I’ll change my goals and change my mind and hopefully grow in the process.  I love that life is not static, and that we can always count on curve balls.  And I love that we don’t have to fear change and risk, because God is sovereign and He has our best in mind.

If you distill your goals into a word of the year, what did you choose for 2013? Here’s to a wonderful, challenging, connected year no matter what your goals!

6 thoughts on “Word of the Year – Connect

  1. The word the Lord has impressed on me for 2013 is Beloved. I have been meditating on what it means to be my Beloved’s and for my Beloved to be mine and what my life could look like if I lived out this reality, if I lived loved. Spurgeon has some excellent sermons online that God is using to shape my thinking about this. I pray that He would bear this fruit in my life.

  2. Sounds like a party I went to recently. 🙂 It was nourishing company for sure. All too rare. Can’t wait for next book club (only hoping I get through the rest of Old Curiosity Shop in time!!!).

    I normally name my years in reverse, but this time, I’ve been feeling a nudge to name 2013 “cheerful,” as in “God loves a cheerful giver.” I’ve found myself too often stressed and slipping into sternness in my parenting role lately and I want to get back to that Spirit-led, cheerful giving that spurred me on as a new mom. I hope to write more on this soon after it marinates a bit.

    1. That’s a great resolution, Darcy. I have a hard time with getting stressed out and barking commands in parenting too. Several of my “connect” resolutions are designed to remind me to slow down and really connect meaningfully with the children in small, fun ways rather than just in big picture, grand scheme ways.

  3. I totally know what you mean. I’ve found that with moving a lot I’ve had to force myself to be real and open with people because it’s so much work when you know you’ll be moving in a couple of years anyway.
    My word for this year is to be present. I’ve had such a hard time this year being overly distracted doing too many things at once. (the problem of multi-tasking). I want to focus more on whatever it is I’m doing at the moment.

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