Sometimes, I choose a word of the year. Sometimes, I don’t. It depends on whether a word presents itself to me in the days and weeks leading up to the end of a year.
My 2016 word was ease, which felt both ironic and essential as the year unfolded not at all easefully. In 2011, I chose trust, and in 2012, I chose light. I’m sure there’s some ineffable rationale behind why certain words present themselves to me at certain times (similar, of course, to my belief that there’s a deep-seated logic behind why certain quotes and lyrics run through my mind at certain times).
For the last several days, I’ve been thinking about one word: deliberate.
Deliberate. That’s my word for 2017.
I wish to be deliberate about my love, my time, and my attention in 2017. The truth is I already feel I’m pretty deliberate my choices. I’ve been thinking about this. Am I choosing something easy as it’s already something I do? Is that a cop-out? Maybe. Ease sure wasn’t something I was good at, for example. Arguably, neither are trust or lightness. I do think there’s room for all of us to be more deliberate, though. There are two other words that have been hovering in my mind, so much that I almost chose a triad of words for 2017. Those other two words are gentle and human.
Maybe I want to be a deliberately gentle human in 2017? A gentle, human, deliberate person? All true. I feel less laser-focused on deliberate than I’ve been on other words, but it does keep insistently presenting itself. I was speaking to a dear friend on the last day of 2016 and I mentioned deliberate as a possible word of the year. This was the first time I’ve said this out loud. “It seems so humorless,” I went on, saying that it felt like in some ways like a dull or uninspired choice. Her reaction to the word was different, and that difference was validating to me. Something for me to think about, as I move forward in this new year, is why my impression of deliberate – a word I own as something I am – is boring and lame. What does that say? I’m not sure but I don’t think it’s good.
I will log off the computer now, as a deliberate act of choosing my family.
Do you have a word for this year? If so, what is it? Do you think deliberate is a humorless word? What does it mean that I chose it?