Word of the Year for 2011

As I wrote about yesterday, I have begun choosing a word for the year rather than deal with resolutions that would fall flat quickly.

Choosing a word for the coming year proved a bit more difficult for me than in the past. I have a baby due near the end of January which makes it hard for me to envision exactly what my year will look like.

Obviously there will be a new little loved one in my happy little family and I know it will impact our daily lives dramatically, but it’s hard to fathom what that means until it actually happens. So when it came time to start looking ahead for what I want in 2011, I was having trouble pinning it down.

While on the phone with a very dear friend last week, I mentioned my word of the year conundrum and said I may just carry “shine” with me from this year right on through to next year, but that I didn’t feel it was quite right.

Let me say here that there is absolutely nothing that can take the place of a friend who thoroughly understands you and can help light the way when you’re lost. And my friend did just that.

As I talked to her about my need to prepare myself for new motherhood, being able to care for my family and also make sure I don’t lose myself along the way, she suggested the word she saw for me: “nurture.”

I thought about it. I rolled it around on my tongue a little. I let my imagination conjure images and definitions. The more I thought about the word “nurture,” the more I felt both at peace and energized by its possibilities.

So I’m going with it. Because this year I want to nurture my little baby boy when he gets here. I want to continue to nurture my husband and my stepson. Equally important, I want to nurture myself, my desires, my creativity, my quiet time. I want to continue writing because that’s where I get my focus and my drive.

The dictionary defines “nurture” as follows…

  1. to feed and protect: to nurture one’s offspring.
  2. to support and encourage, as during the period of training or development; foster: to nurture promising musicians.
  3. to bring up; train; educate.

It’s the second definition that really hits home for me: “to support and encourage.” That’s what I want to do for myself, my family, my friends, my acquaintances, and my home in 2011.

What will you choose for your word of the year?

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