Thursday, January 13, 2022

At a loss for words


Happy New Year, I guess. It’s hard to imagine, at this point, what this year will bring and frankly I don’t have the mental energy to put on my optimistic face and conjure thoughts of “better times ahead” or other such positive thoughts. I’m not feeling especially pessimistic, just deeply uncertain and resigned to taking 2022 a day at a time. For more than 10 years I have made a small ritual of choosing a word for the New Year. This started in an online group I belonged to and I liked the idea of an aspirational word, rather than resolutions to aspire to. I chose my word, then made a tiny banner to hang on my studio wall as a reminder. Here are some from recent years.

Oh, how na├»ve I was to choose “hope” for 2021, considering how hopeless I was feeling by the end. I pondered an appropriate word for for 2022 and nothing was right. Who can even plan? Giving it an upbeat word seems like dare. Giving it a pessimistic word is too depressing. I think 2022 will have to earn its own word and maybe I’ll figure out by December. Maybe not. Maybe 2022 will be the indefinable year that we just group in with 20 and 21 as “those awful pandemic years” when we look back at it. 

My “almost word” for 2022 is “alignment.”  This quote resonated:

When the basis for your actions is inner alignment with the present moment, your 
actions become empowered by the intelligence of life itself.
-Elkhart Tolle

I think a key to getting through all this is that alignment with the present moment—doing what needs to be done when there is danger, finding joy when the opportunity arises, being fully engaged in the present and resisting the urge to live in the past or the future. But that’s our job, not an inspiring word of the year. So here we go into a New Year, What'ya got for us 2022?  What's your word?


  1. I've had something of the same dilemma this year! Then I realized I just wanted to continue with last year's word, which is 'accept.' Which feels at this point like it may become permanent...

  2. I like the idea of creating a banner with my focus word. I wish I had done this in previous years, but I can always start now. My 2022 word is Embrace.

  3. I like the idea of creating a banner with my focus word. I wish I had done this in previous years, but I can always start now. My 2022 word is Embrace.

  4. Hello Terry, long time no see. Barbara shared your post and I came to check it out.I'm with you on feeling insecure and lost. My moods swing between feeling that 'I can do this' to 'why bother'. You choice of the word Hope for 2021 is not a naive choice, we all need to hope. It made me think of this quote from Emily Dickinson - “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”

  5. Terri, you have beautifully expressed this moment in time. I, too, have chosen words for many years but couldn't come up with one for this year. And didn't have the energy to even try. But on Epiphany Sunday, I received a random "star word" from my church and it was FOCUS, which made me laugh when I saw it. It's not hopeful or pessimistic, it's neutral, an observation word. And you would not believe how often it has popped up. I think a neutral word will reach out to you too. BTW, I love love love your little banners!