Hitting the Reset Button: Choosing my “Word” for 2021

elaina avalos, live well be well, oneword365, hope

There’s always a spark of hope at the end of each year, as I think about what could be around the corner. That has been true for me every year – except in 2019 – funny enough. At the end of each year, as I dream about a New Year, instead of resolutions I don’t keep, I’ve instead chosen a word for my year. No matter what, by December as I get ready to choose a new word, I see the old word woven throughout my experiences – even if I didn’t initially. For instance, in 2014, my word was intentional. I was anything but intentional that year. Which turned out to be the lesson – on how to be intentional {haha} going forward.

2019 was a year filled with grief and loss. I ended the year on an equally frustrating and challenging note and was fearful about what 2020 would hold. Funny that I went into 2020 fearful and worried about what was around the corner. 2020 didn’t relent. It was hard in different ways than 2019 – nonetheless, still tiring. For a bit of background on just a couple of my struggles – from November 2019 until recently, I applied for jobs in multiple states and in more urban settings here in North Carolina. While I had a few interview opportunities, nothing panned out. Instead, I remained in the same job I’ve had since 2010, though in a different location. For anyone who knows me, I’ve felt ready to not be in that job for quite some time. I’ve sought new opportunities and a new path, for far longer than I care to admit.

I also moved to a small apartment, that I struggle with, since my previous landlords sold the house I rented. After a devastating hurricane {Florence} here in coastal NC, the housing market didn’t recover for quite awhile – and now people are selling like crazy {not renting out their homes – which is common in a military town}. I’m not in a position to buy – nor do I think I want to buy in my current city. So in spite of it being the last place I want to live, I can’t seem to escape job wise. Nor can I get out of this small space and all the fun that comes with living in an apartment. Gosh, that’s all depressing. In other news, my word for 2020 was wellness – for a reason {see all the previously discussed depressing stuff}. This word will stick with me for a long time. My understanding of the depth of this word has transformed many aspects of my life. Or at least has begun to, as I figure out what it truly means to be well and live well. Wellness was the right word for 2020. And after this wild year, I’m even more convinced that wellness is absolutely an inside job.

As I gear up for 2021, a pattern is repeating over and over again as I’ve thought, prayed, and dreamt about the road ahead. I want to hope. I want to have faith that what’s around the corner is exactly what it needs to be. I want to believe that some of my hopes will no longer be deferred. I want to have faith that God is working everything out. After this year, in which so many have struggled, I know people are making jokes about not making wild declarations about 2021 {like this meme} . . .

We’ve collectively lived through {or should I say are living through} the pandemic killing so many needlessly, political upheaval in the U.S., racial injustice {and protests and more violence}, the loss of cultural icons, the crazy weird things that have happened, food and product shortages, massive economic turmoil, and well – I could go on of course. It’s hard to even imagine what hope looks like in 2021. And for me, who questions why a good God allows so much suffering, my faith has more questions than answers, too. I think that’s true for many. I personally feel it’s doubly hard, because 2019 was so very painful.

Which brings me to 2021. I’m hitting the reset button. For the first time, I’ve got two words: hope & faith. My words for 2021 are repeats. Faith was a 2009 or 2010 word. Hope was a little more recently. I feel a bit like hope and faith are butterflies in a cocoon. They’re longing to break out of the chrysalis. I am too. While I am not going to make a big long list of what I plan to accomplish in 2021 and I can’t even imagine what tomorrow will be like, let alone six months from now – I do know that hope & faith are working their way back out.

I don’t know what 2021 holds for me or our crazy world, but I’m clinging to hope & faith.

Are you a New Years resolution person? Or do you pick a word?

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