A Word for the New Year

Posted on Dec 30, 2011 by 6 Comments
A Word for the New Year

I’m not big on traditional traditions for New Year’s.  Well, I’m lying.  I do love me some New Year’s Black Eyed Peas!  And I’m not talking music unless, of course, you count breaking wind as playing a “wind” instrument (ha!).

Anyway…for the last dozen years I’ve been convincing my family to partake in a New Year’s tradition that started as a whim but has ended up as something we look forward to.  It’s easy.  It takes no prep time.  You need no supplies, ingredients or even skills.

In a word, it’s a word.

As you sit around – eating or drinking or laughing or crying, it doesn’t matter – you choose a word for the coming year.  The word isn’t a resolution as much as it’s an intention.  A guiding framework.  A lens through which to see.

At first, I popped the question on my family one New Year’s dinner and as we sat eating we each chose the word that popped into our heads.  No prep.  No obsessing.  No filters.

Last year I chose the word (or words) carpe diem.  I knew that my husband and I were going to travel through Europe for an extended time and I wanted my year to be filled with the verve of being open to the whim of the moment.  For me, the moment would dictate how the day/week/month/year unfurled.  It helped, too, because as I wandered around Mallorca, Spain, stumbling over my Spanglish, I remembered that moment by moment things change.  I’d either correctly ask the wine merchant for a good white wine to accompany my salmon dinner or I’d inadvertently tell him I needed a drink for church services (true story).  Unfortunately, with my pronunciation, you can guess which one came out of my mouth.

But no matter!  I made an ass of myself and I didn’t care!  I was living my word.  Seizing the day.  I could have easily stood mute, pointing to a bottle of wine and waving Euro around with no clue how much to hand over.  But no.  I opened my mouth.  I let the words fall out.

Along the way, I learned a new definition of carpe diem.  It’s Latin for get on the crazy train.  Soooooooooo.

This year…I’ve had enough carpe diem.

This year…my word is…

Wait wait wait.  I can’t tell you my word before New Year’s Eve!?!  I’ve been thinking about it, yes, but until it comes out of my mouth I don’t know if it’s the right word or not.  Kinda like when I named my girls.  I knew what I was thinking, but until the baby was born, no name was decided on.   (Did you do this or is it further evidence that I actually live aboard the crazy train, regardless of what year it is?)

So this is what I’m gonna do.  I’m gonna tweet out my word on New Year’s Eve.  So follow me and stay tuned.  AND!  If you wanna play along, you can tweet out yours, too.  Reply or retweet to mine with yours.  Or just tweet as you see fit.  C’mon!  It’d be fun to know all of your intentions.

Oh, and if you want a great dish for New Year’s Day, check out this authenic black eyed peas recipe.  I make them like Red Beans and Rice – a New Orleans staple – and simply treat the black eyed peas like kidney beans.  There may be purists out there who think black eyed peas should taste like dirt pellets.  I’M NOT ONE OF THEM!  So I cream my peas like I cream my beans, by boiling them then cooking them forever.

Happy New Year!  See you next year ;-)

photo credit: gliuoo

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Posted in: Mommy Stuff
kate

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Comments

  • Penny W.

    Now I’m curious about your word! Oh, maybe that will be MY word — “curious”. As in, I should try to stay engaged in whatever I’m doing, whatever is going on around me, to open my mind more and ask questions and enjoy the mystery of not knowing what lies in my future. Yup, I think I have it – thanks!

  • Wendy

    I was literally just in the kitchen at work talking about this idea — picking a word for the year. My friend landed on health and well-being. And I think I need two too: thrive and simplify. I don’t tweet so I hope you come back and tell me and Penny.

  • http://www.sexyshoesexpert.com Silke

    What a neat idea! We are leaving for a belated Christmas get together with my husbands family in a few minutes. I will bring this up during dinner later, should be interesting. Thanks and have a very happy New Year.

  • http://villy-k.blogspot.com/ Villy K

    I love your story and the fact that you actually applied your word into your every day life! I don`t like when you have a new year`s resolution or in that case a word and you are only excited for the first week of January and then you just keep carry “the last year habits”.

  • http://www.adventuresinbabywearing.com Adventures In Babywearing

    We ate black eyed peas today. A friend of mine chooses a word every year and she chose “fearless.” I have no idea what I’d choose. I keep wanting to say “quiet.”

    Steph

  • kate

    @Wendy – thrive and simplify, I love it. I chose ‘appreciation’ because I’m feeling the need to just slow down a bit and appreciate where I am. I want this year to be about appreciating the every day with my girls, to watch them grow and really soak it all in. Even with myself, I feel like I can relax into me some, to appreciate that I am who I am and I do what I do. I think that we all can get so wrapped up in striving that we can forget to simply be. So, appreciation for me is about being. About not wanting. About giving.

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