The Watchman

The Watchman

Monday, January 13, 2014

Word of the Year 2014

Each year as the old year ends and the new year begins, the challenge is made to set resolutions, to look for ways to improve and move forward with our lives.

My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world.
Jack Layton 

A few years ago, a friend of mine challenged me that instead of creating a list of goals that could easily be forgotten or dismissed as they become too overwhelming, I should pick one word that I could focus on.  This word could become the focal point of my actions and help me in guiding my children and in all my relationships.

Two years ago I accepted the challenge and chose the word Cherish.  As the year unfolded, I often reflected on this word and learned to slow down and enjoy the moment.  Last year, I chose the word gratitude.  I spent the year trying to identifying ways that I could express gratitude in both word and in action.  I hope that I was quicker to say thank you and more willing to help when asked.  I know I tried, but I find myself in the role of my worst critic, so I often feel that I could have done better.

This leads me to my choice of a word for this year: Optimism.

Optimism is defined as:

1. tendency to expect best: the tendency to believe, expect, or hope that things will turn out well

2. confidence: the attitude of somebody who feels positive or confident

3. doctrine that our world is best: a philosophical doctrine, first proposed by Leibnitz, that ours is the best of all possible worlds.

There is a running joke between Rick and one of our longest friends. (Cindy, please note that I did not say oldest.)  Rick and Cindy often refer to me as Rick's favorite pessimist.  I tend to play the devil's advocate, always looking for what could go wrong.  I find myself always anticipating the worst, planning options for the worst case scenario.  While I still feel it is important to be prepared, I want to change my focus so that I do not think the worst first, but look for the best.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
Helen Keller 

If I learned anything in 2013, it is that if you do not look for the best in a situation, there is a good possibility that you will end up in the corner curled in a fetal possession.  2013 was filled with many experiences for our family that strengthened our faith and trust in our loving Heavenly Father.  My testimony was strengthened as I developed a greater understanding of the need for trials in our lives.  The year ended with my heart full of gratitude for the many blessings our family had received.  This is a feeling I do not want to lose.

So my choice for Word of the Year is to help me carry that feeling of gratitude forward through 2014 and beyond.  As I look for the best, I will have a life that is fuller, richer, more joyful.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome choice and wonderful approach to the old "resolutions". Now I have to get thinking of a word…. :)