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  • Writer's picturePat Birnie

I thought, I mulled, I wavered, I decided!

Do you choose a "word of the year"? I kind of like the idea, as it gives us a simple focus on a area where we can do a little better. As I have shared before, I don't like or make New Year's resolutions. I used to as a teenager, and perhaps as a young, very immature 20-something (believe me, I matured late...I cringe at some of my behaviour in my 20's) but oops, I digress.


A few years back I started choosing a word to define a theme for the year, focusing on an area I wanted to improve. One time it was kindness -- I know I can be a little argumentative. I came across the phrase "when given the choice over whether to be right or to be kind, always choose kindness" and it really resonated with me. Now, I don't believe I was ever intentionally unkind, but I wasted a lot of energy on proving myself right. No more. I am far from 100% on this but I know I have improved significantly. And guess what? I makes my life easier as well to ask myself ....does it really matter? (funny thing about this is that I've learned that I'm wrong more often than not!)


One year my word was strength -- not emotional, but physical. I think I'll keep that as a secondary word as I continue to struggle with consistency when it comes to strength work. Well, looks like that one will be an ongoing goal/struggle for me!


I was contemplating a word for this year and came across the image below. It certainly resonated with me. Many of us have experienced some dark periods this year; what a wonderful thought to turn our faces to the light. This to me means gratitude for what I have and experiencing joy in the moment. Those have booth been my theme words in the past.




I mulled it over and of course I googled...'how to choose a word for the year'. Did you know the Oxford word of the year for 2023 was Rizz. Being an old lady I had to look that one up. It comes from charisma, lovely but no thanks. The Merriam Webster word for 2023 was "authentic". This is a word that just seems so overused and, well, inauthentic. I definitely need to continue searching for my own. I found an article on Liz Rider's website. She is a health coach I follow and admire. Check out the article if you are looking for your own inspiration! She has a wonderful list of suggested words which I scanned, and "connect" jumped right out at me. This past year was a challenging one with some loss. I mentioned in a previous blog that my eldest sister died unexpectedly. There was another loss of a very young friend, not terribly close to me but still heartbreaking. Other "dark" things are looming but are not my story to tell.


I realized that every time I have lost someone, I felt a tremendous amount of regret. I should have been there more. I should have called more. I should have made more time. Maybe this is a normal emotion, (or perhaps others are better than me) but I don't like it. It is however, a very personal thing isn't it? We and only we can judge our actions. I started working on this connecting more late last year. I am resolving that I will take the time to check on and do more for people that I care about, people that are alone or perhaps lonely, for those that struggle. I commit to reporting back on this later this year!


Oh, of course that "strength thing" is still hanging over me. What the heck is my problem? I have to force and debate with myself every single day as I procrastinate on doing some muscle work. Every. Single. Day. So, I will proofread, hit sent and I'm off do do some pushups, squats, core & back work. I promise.


Do you have a "word" for the year? If yes, I'd love to hear what it is and how you choose it.


Have a wonderful start to 2024 my friends, and thank you for being you. hugs, Pat

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Life of a Doctor's Wife
Life of a Doctor's Wife
Jan 11

This is a fantastic word for the year! It's one that is top of mind for me, as well. I don't always choose a word of the year, but sometimes a word chooses me (in 2021 it was "light"; in 2022, it was "forward"; nothing surfaced for 2023). This year the word is "value." I have been mulling it over for awhile now and am still figuring out how to honor it in all the various sectors of my life. I loved reading how you chose your word!

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Pat Birnie
Pat Birnie
Jan 11
Replying to

Thank you Suzanne. Your feedback means a lot to me. From reading your blog for so many years, I recognize that you and I are VERY different Light would be perfect for you. I’ll be interested to see how “value” plays out.

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busybeesuzblog
Jan 08

Pat, I've never had a word of the year, or made resolutions. Maybe this is where I'm failing? Who knows. HA!

RIZZ? I've never heard of that and I'm also gonna say: NO.

You are not alone in the feeling of guilt for not reaching out, connecting with our family/friends. We all get so busy and there are times that I don't want to be near another human...just want some alone time. So I do feel guilty about that.

Funny, my daughter (Lauren) told me that her word for the year is Unbothered. HA! I can only hope to be unbothered this coming year.

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Pat Birnie
Pat Birnie
Jan 11
Replying to

I really try not to feel guilty - not at this age! However I know that at some point connecting won’t be an option. I am fortunate to have a full life but others are not so lucky. Sometimes a phone call is just what someone needs.

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