Word of the Year
Have you decided on a word for 2022? For the past several Januarys I’ve been choosing a word to focus on during the year ahead. I think it helps keep me on track and gives me an anchor when I need to recenter myself. One year, I forgot my word altogether, and that was a less than stellar year… So you see, I think there may be something to it—sort of a ‘you are what you think’ magic?
I’m afraid not to choose a word of the year. I’m mean, who wants to be drifting through an entire year without focus?
I may have done that in 1987, and it was unattractive.😉
This year my word is NURTURE.
I actually believe I began focusing on this word back in September without realizing it.
In September, I had some health issues, specifically recurring stomach problems. I finally decided to take my problem super-seriously and changed my diet in a substantial way.
And it has worked!
As long as I stick to my new food plan, I no longer have the problem. But it took me a good six weeks to get myself on a better path. It’s all about nurturing my insides. My body. Taking care of my health better than before.
When I was a kid, there was a poster in the school lunchroom that said You Are What You Eat. Such a simple statement holds so much truth.
The primary dietary change I’ve made involves adding lots more high fiber foods daily (green vegetables, oatmeal, beans) and very little gluten. Before, I worried about limiting my carbs. Now, I don’t concern myself with that. Instead, I focus on fiber. This has made all the difference for me.
Beyond taking care of myself, this word works for me on many levels.
- I want to be a better caretaker for planet earth and to better understand the interconnectivity of all living things.
- I want to be a better friend and neighbor, nurturing the relationships I have with others.
- I will continue to nurture myself mentally by scrolling past far-right and far-left political posts shared on social media.
- I will continue with my ‘you are what you eat’ plan.
Do you set resolutions for the new year? I always do. I love the idea of it—a fresh, clean start with 365 days ahead to do better, be better.
My resolutions are usually small, do-able things. One year I vowed to drink more water, and I’ve been doing that ever since.
This year feels different for me. This January marks the beginning of the last six months in my fifth decade (Lord willing). The end of my fifties. This seems unbelievable to me. The last two decades went by quickly and busily—oh the blur of life. Time is a slippery thing, isn’t it?
But I digress…
My main resolutions for 2022 are:
- to eat from the freezer and pantry (at least until the freezer is empty and the pantry needs restocking) while following my high fiber diet;
- to do yoga at least twice a week;
- to keep the closets and drawers I’ve cleaned and organized already this year, clean and organized all year;
- to pay better attention to where the things I buy are made (and to buy local and made in the USA);
- to use the products I have before buying more of anything!;
- to get my third book out into the world;
- to do more nature-focused writing;
- to incorporate my word of the year into my everyday routine.
So far, I’ve been doing a great job of cooking from the freezer and pantry. I’ve made more new dishes in the first half of January than I did all last year! It helps that I received an air fryer for Christmas and John got a Breville Smart Oven for his birthday. Both appliances make cooking so much more fun. (Our regular oven has heating issues.)
I try to be mindful that last year was terrible for a lot of people. So many lost family and friends due to illness, including coronavirus. Businesses and schools are still struggling. The country is divided on so many issues. But I’m fortunate to have had a good year in 2021. My family stayed healthy. I wrote another book. We survived the crazy puppy year with Gracie:) We had plenty to eat and are fortunate to live in a part of the country that doesn’t suffer from forest fires or hurricanes. I spoke at lots of book clubs, as well as the Arkansas Library Association annual conference and Arkansas Farm Bureau’s state convention.
My mother lives just down the street from us and she’s healthy. That’s huge!
As we move into 2022, I encourage you to look at the positive and don’t let the negative overtake you. Life can be so sweet, y’all. And, if you choose a word for the new year, I’d love to hear about it. Your resolutions too!
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
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