Yes, it’s March already and I’m just now posting my Word of the Year.
It makes sense, though, given how hectic and disorganized life has been feeling lately! I actually started this post back in January, but then we all got covid. Womp, womp.
Between all the childcare inconsistency (see also: snow days, covid closures and quarantine, Riese needing to leave school right after lunch every day now because she had been acting out a lot in the afternoons, our planned summer camp getting cancelled so I’ve been scrambling to find another option and everything is waitlisted or for older kids, etc. etc.).
I am counting my blessings because I know we have a lot to be thankful for, and have it easy compared to many. AND I’m also trying to allow myself to feel how I feel right now – burned out – without guilt or judgement.
Anyway, that brings me to writing a Word of the Year post in March.
Posts like this require some spaciousness and time for introspection and that has unsurprisingly been really hard to find lately.
Let’s do this.
Something I enjoy doing (and reading about on other blogs) is choosing an intention, or a word, to guide my year.
I was trying to remember what I chose for 2021 and searching around on the blog for the post… and realized that I never actually chose one last January!
See also: pregnancy + pandemic… not the greatest combo for being super insightful, clearly.
The year went by slowly in some ways (especially the end of pregnancy, oof… and those early newborn sleepless nights) but in other ways it felt like I blinked and 2021 was over.
Did that year even happen?! Where does the time go?
As a parent I feel like I constantly want time to either speed up or slow down. It’s a work in progress for me to stay in the moment and just be right where I am.
In January of 2020, the only other year I’ve officially written about a “word of the year” on the blog, I was feeling really energized and ready to make some big moves with the blogging portion of my career.
Photography credit: Rachel EH Photography
I chose the word “Growth” that year, and shortly after writing that blog post I hired a virtual team member to help me behind the scenes of my business.
Taylor, the contractor I hired back in February 2020, has been working with me ever since, and I’m happy to report we’ve made HUGE strides with the blog since then.
Not only did I launch my newly designed site in early 2020, but I also got all my recipes into a consistent format for said redesign launch, and then Taylor has spent a lot of her time every week working on updating and optimizing my old recipe blog posts so that people can actually find them when searching for relevant terms on Google.
The health of the blog in general is much better than it was when we first started the process and I’m proud! It feels like a massive accomplishment.
Photography credit: Rachel EH Photography
2022 Word of the Year
I’ve been thinking a lot about what word might resonate the most for me this year.
It’s certainly not “growth,” like it was in 2020 – I feel so far away from the energetic and expansive person who wrote that post.
What has felt more right this year is something that will ground me and allow me to get back to feeling more stable.
My mental health has not been great the past 2 years, to be honest. I know I’m not alone in that.
Between the pandemic, pregnancy and postpartum, extreme sleep deprivation for many months (until we finally hired a sleep coach in December), and super hectic days, it has just felt like a lot.
(Again, cue me trying not to feel guilty because I really do know we have it so good comparatively.)
I often find myself missing the person who wrote that post in 2020.
I miss feeling excited and energized and passionate, and like I have the space mentally and logistically to take more than 30 seconds to think about things, be strategic, get in a flow, and come up with ideas.
I have felt glimmers of that start to come back in the past few months, as we’ve gotten more sleep in particular, and as I’ve started exercising more and getting back into running again. But it’s definitely still a work in progress.
So – given all that, I’ve decided my 2022 Word of the Year is:
I went back and forth between Recalibrate and Rejuvenate, and ultimately I found Rejuvenate felt a little more upbeat than I’m ready for. Recalibrate feels like what I need right now.
The definition of recalibrate is to change the way you do or think about something, and I want to determine how to make my/the kid’s days feel less hectic and rushed and more ease-filled, intentional and mindful.
The word recalibrate also makes me think of small tweaks that will add up to something big. Nothing overwhelming, just little adjustments here and there that together end up making a difference overall.
There’s a lot of good in my life, and I want to free up some mental space to better be able to see that. I don’t need a whole life overhaul, I just need a bit of reconfiguring. You know?
It’s just so easy to lose that sense of mindful flow in the day with all the kid chaos.
I want to slow down, focus on bringing more fun back into my days (both with and without the kids), and just generally figure out how to feel more like myself again – the version of me that is excited and passionate and not so easily overwhelmed.
I will say that one good thing that came out of the pandemic is that I’m a lot more intentional about what I add into my days now.
I’m better at protecting my time, and only saying yes or initiating things that I feel will really positively impact the day.
When thinking about whether to say yes to something or add it to the calendar, I often ask myself: “Will this add stress to my/our day or reduce it?”
Meaning – will this feel stressful logistically or be too much? Will the payoff in terms of it bringing joy or fun to me/the family be worth it?
And if not, is there a version of it that makes more sense (e.g. only some of the family goes vs. the whole family), or does it just make sense to say no?
I’m curious – do you set a word of the year? And if so, what is your word of the year for 2022?
I’d love if you shared!