Ever since 2008, I’ve been trying to live by “one little word.” Some of my past words have been:
I can look at each of those words and nearly always remember what was happening in my life when I selected the word. This morning, at the top of the new year, and I didn’t have a word in mind to guide me. (Typically, I know what my word will be and I schedule a blog post ahead of time for the morning of January 1st.) After a lot of thinking, I found my word. Finding it took a circuitous path. Here are the highlights:
Last night, I was reading a Twitter thread from Carly Pildis who is both a writer and the director of community engagement for the ADL. Last year, she took time off from writing so she could have a safe pregnancy. One of the tweets in her thread was this:
This spoke to me. 2022 felt like a year where I wanted to have it all, but didn’t. I’ve had trouble finding my way back to my professional life after a year of homeschooling. There’s a book I want to write, but my writing time often gets squeezed each day. If I’m being honest, I’ve been bitter on the days that I haven’t gotten to the work I need to do. I often feel like I am running an infirmary since my children returned to school. (You know your kids have had a rough go of it when you get on a first-name basis with the PAs at urgent care!) It’s gotten to the point where it’s hard to call myself a writer since I’m not throwing myself into my work like I did before the pandemic began.
Carly’s tweet reminded me that I cannot have it all at once. Right now, in this season of life, I need to be available for my children. BUT, I know I cannot let my children overtake my life to the point where I’m not doing the kind of writing that fuels me.
In a recent Washington Post column (that I read this morning), Monica Hesse wrote:
See? I told you it was a circuitous route to my word. Almost there… I promise!
Despite all of the sacrifices, setbacks, fatigue, and frustrations, I continue to move onward. Most of the time I don’t move onward with intention. I move forward hemming and hawing. I don’t like feeling stuck nor do I like talking about how stuck I’ve felt in recent months. I have to find and keep some momentum to help me move forward. Therefore, the one little word I’ll live by in 2023 is ONWARD. It’s my hope that being intentional about moving onward, both personally and professionally, will help me grow in ways I cannot even imagine as I type this on New Year’s Day.