my word for 2016

 As it happens, I’m not fully done with my word from last year. There’s still a bit more to do. Children have no interest in your intention to complete your inner and outer work in a neat and tidy timeframe of an exact year. Of course they haven’t. And so the work rolls on. I’m not sure I’m all that fussed about containing it. Things run their course and take the time they’ll take no matter how hard we push. Choosing this word of mine has always been about inspiring and motivating myself, while giving a feeling of being grounded and focused. The word and what it does is bigger than the timeframe.

So ‘space’ continues on for a while. Maybe it continues always. Because the thing that I’ve noticed through these years of holding a guiding word is that they become part of you. On you go and there they still are. 

The impact of ‘space’ has been vast. I see the threads of it running through the entire year. Informing choices I’ve made, giving clarity when I’ve felt lost, breathing life into parts of my self that had been neglected a while, impacting my surroundings, giving an overall sense of more… well, space! To breathe in, to sit in, to be in, to create in. And a little more to come I think.

That feeling of not being finished made me wonder whether I didn’t need a new word. Maybe I’d pick one when I felt the pull of a new guide – but, nope – when I looked, it was just there at my elbow, twinkling at me and waiting to hop on.

My word for 2016 is… (drumroll?)… build.

I was sort-of expecting something a bit more poetic. But this is the one and it is exactly right for now.

The year stretching out ahead of me feels big on many levels. Maybe every new year does? I’m not sure. This year, at some point, my youngest starts kindergarten. For the first time in more than four years (since choosing to stop working and stay at home with my babies) I’ll begin having regular child-free time. Right now I can hardly even imagine that. It’s in the basket marked ‘what other people have but I don’t’. With that time I want (and need) to begin the gradual journey back to some kind of work. A very personal journey, I think, to honour the space I’ve occupied these past years – the pausing of my work and the intense wonder of stay-at-home-mothering – to explore the change in where I find myself now (I love how motherhood changes us) and to settle on a new way to bring what I have to offer into meaningful work. There are many ideas that swim around in my head, which I play with or reject depending on my mood, but I’ve no real clarity over what it’s going to look like yet. Hence, it’s a journey; one that I’m really looking forward to. Plus, alongside all of that, I’ll be continuing my handwork adventure. Such a great adventure and I plan to write about that soon.

So in a year of changes and unknowns, journeys and adventure, ‘build’ feels awesomely solid. A place to come back to. Constructive, strong and purposeful. It’s striding in with a clear head saying ‘ok, we’ve got this’. It acknowledges the foundations of our world, which we’ve worked hard to lay thoughtfully and solidly. It’s inspiring creativity and looking behind all the doors. It appreciates that I don’t know exactly what the result will be, but that brick by brick something good will rise up and form.

In our joint world, there’s a business (my husband’s) to grow. Two special boys to build-up daily. Health and wellbeing habits, friendships, community, inner work – all of these speak to it. And there’s a sense that in everything we do we’re building the family life we choose.

I like that ‘build’ has both roots and the potential to grow and that it’s down to me (in some cases, us) to make it happen. Not a passive year, this. 

A lot to say about this little (big) word. I’m looking forward to writing about it more here.

The pictures are from our new year walk when as family we talk while we walk about all the different kinds of adventure we’d like to have this year. I wrote about last year’s here. I really love how we all hold dear this tradition that’s become so part of us. Our six-year-old’s list of fun for the year ahead is a sight to behold and I’ve no doubt he’ll do it all.

Are you choosing a word too? I love hearing them, so feel free to share in the comments if you’re moved to do so.


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