Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Word of the Year

I'm rather late sharing my word for the year 2014. Why so late? Back in November I already knew that "joy" would be the word for the coming year, and yet I've been reluctant to share it because I didn't want to relinquish "create," my word for 2013.

Choosing a word of the year is an idea I picked up from Susannah Conway. 2013 was the first time I did this, and I can attest to the power of a guiding word. Create was like a giant exclamation mark in front of my eyes; in fact, I had "create" written on the living room wall opposite my spot on the couch until we had our apartment painted in August.

I did create a lot in 2013: I published twelve articles and essays and have many more in the pipeline. I learned how to chainmaille and made three bracelets. I knitted a bunch of scarves and then I finally cracked the code to read American knitting patterns and knitted a hat for my daughter. I revived my sewing skills and made a slipcover for the couch in the boys room, a long overdue project that I am proud to have tackled. And I made a photo book of my daughter's 18 years of life for her 18th birthday, a gigantic undertaking that got me thinking about many more photo books to make.

2013 was indeed a creative year, and I trust its momentum will carry me forward to keep creating. I finally reconciled myself to embracing the new word when I realized that taken together "create" and "joy" make a nice imperative: Create joy!

I chose "joy" because I want to learn more about it, and I want to be more aware of joy and savor it when it happens. I'm fortunate that I have plenty of joy in my life, but creating more won't hurt, and savoring it more won't hurt either. And I want to learn about what joy actually is, especially small joys. I know already that for me it is often found in certain foods, or in silly undertakings like riding the swinging chairs carousel at an amusement park, which is why I chose that Indiana Beach photo as my photo for encapsulating joy. So, without further ado, here's to creating joy!


  1. Ich schliesse mich an, Annette, ohne create aus den Augen zu verlieren. Aber Joy, das ist etwas ganz grundsaetzliches, das ich fuer mein Leben brauche und verstaerken moechte. Danke!!!!

    1. Barbara, eine Partnerin zu haben ist gut. Vor allem, weil "freuen" im Deutschen auch ein Verb ist, das es im Englischen nicht so recht gibt. Auf deutsch kann man sich einfach besser freuen.