One Word

Of course I love words. Love to play with them, find out what they mean, love to set them on the page and shift them around in circles until they find their perfect resting place, love to mull them over in my mind and rub them gently together until they nestle perfectly within the phrase. So how do I choose One Word to set the tone for an entire year?

People do it, though. Every year about this time the blogosphere is rife with writers and thinkers and creative types, choosing their One Word to guide them through the next 365 days.

Last year, blogger Ali Edwards wrote that she started thinking about her one word in November and December, "listening, looking, and being open to the possibilities." Writer and journaler Quinn McDonald advises choosing a word that "will build you up and support you, a good chewy word that will last the whole year long." Photographer and writer Susannah Conway has even created a free e-WorkBook to help you find your perfect word for 2012.

And what do you do with your word once you find one? "You live with it, invite it into your life, let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads," Edwards advises. It's a word that "sets an intention, creates a verbal amulet," writes McDonald. "It could even be a word you hold in your heart." Whatever the word might be, "it should give you a guiding light when the way gets murky," Conway asserts. "And you know the way always gets murky."

In years past, I've written about our church's Ephiphany Sunday service, which we call Star Sunday. It's the day we each choose a paper star with one word written on it, a word that reflects a spiritual idea that could become manifest in our lives during the coming year. I love Star Sunday, and always eagerly anticipate what my word will be. But this year I wanted to be more intentional about the process, wanted to choose a word of my own and see how my given word might work together with my chosen word, what paths they might lead me on for 2012.

I'll let you in on a secret- I've already chosen my One Word. It came to me quite suddenly on the airplane the other day while we flew here to Dallas to spend Christmas with our family. (I don't know about you, but I've discovered I do some of my best creative thinking on airplanes.) The minute I thought of it, I knew it was the Word for me.

I'm not going to tell you what it is just yet. I'm waiting until I get my Star word on January 8, and then we'll see how those words mesh.

Until then, if you're choosing One Word for next year start thinking about it so you can share it with me, okay?