Inevitably, the calendar has rolled over and a new year has begun. The dawning of day 1 of 365 causes us all - sentimentalists and cynics alike - to pause, reflect and dare we say it, be hopeful? A metaphorical blank page presents itself and we cannot but put on a brave smile and feel a little positive. It’s a new start. Onwards and upwards…
For poets, writers and artists, the promise of the muse looms. For singles, this is going to be the year (hopefully). For business owners and entrepreneurs, prosperity goals and promotions are strategically outlined. For some couples, could this perhaps be the year when they welcome the much anticipated pitter patter of tiny feet?
Then, of course, there are the quintessential resolutions and new habits we feel urged to make at the start of a new year. And, depending on your personality, the pressure is intense; the lure of self improvement, betterment and a profound resolve call with a loud voice.
But what about a word? (Yes, you read correctly - a word… for the year). Instead of a well articulated resolution that is likely bound up in past failure and guilt, how about choosing just one word for the year? (This is certainly not an innovative concept or original idea - merely a word in season as a helpful suggestion).
If you could choose just one word for this year, what would it be?
It certainly made me think. As I am a writer and a lover of words, this kept me up for much of the night; I had to find just the right word. (After all, I am going to invest in this word for the next 365 days. So, no pressure!).
The concept is actually quite simple and motivational. Choose a word that resonates with you and how you will be able to apply that word to your daily life, priorities, decisions, goals, attitudes and dreams over the course of the year. It can be a verb, a noun, a conjunction, an adjective or an adverb. (You don’t need a dictionary or thesaurus and there is no right or wrong word).
My word? MOMENTS…
As a content writer in my day job and a blog writer in my spare time, words are the air I breathe and I think they are really cool. (Generally Grammarly agrees). I also love reading words written by others. They are the building blocks of sentences, paragraphs and stories; setting us apart from the animal kingdom. (Quick fact: women use an average of 20 000 words a day compared to the 7000 uttered by men).
But, depending on the words chosen and how they are arranged, they have the potential to influence, tear down, inspire, motivate, move us to tears or laughter, or simply to make us pause in wonder.
“When you read a line that is so well-written, you just close the book and stare at the wall for a moment.” -Anonymous
Hence, my word, ‘moments.’ A word full of potential.
Our life stories can certainly be recorded in words, but our living autobiographies - the majority of which will never be written down and published - are made up of moments.
I am not referring to the big milestone defining moments, but the everyday thousands of ordinary moments that tell our stories, change us, grow us, challenge us and become our treasured memories and surprising joys. (Winnie the Pooh understood this: “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most space in your heart.”) Scattered moments that are not meaningless or insignificant, but have the potential to transform opportunities to make a difference and impact the lives of those we come into contact with - moment by moment.
That is my desire for this year - to live in the little moments; to recognise them, seize them and take hold of them. (Apologies to the late Robin Williams and his impassioned “Carpe diem” quote from Dead Poets’ Society ). I will be intentional in trying to be faithful in the little moments of life as I engage with whoever comes across my path.
How will this look? I am not yet completely sure and that is ok. But If I recognise the power of little moments and what it means to steward them well, I will hopefully be in tune to the world around me and pause to engage - even if it is just for a moment. (This is where Eeyore soberly weighs in: “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.”)
It could be a word, a wave or a hug. That is literally the beauty and power of little moment opportunities.
One of my favourite life verses is Ephesians 4:29: “Let no unwholesome talk come out of our mouth, but only that which is helpful and upbuilding and gives grace in the moment.”
My daily endeavour will be to notice that life happens in these ubiquitous and seemingly insignificant moments.
And when I reflect on this year, 365 days from today, it will be the collection of these many little moments that will shine forth in my recollection and a testimony to how they have enriched my life and shifted my focus.
So I will take that walk - perhaps a little slower than usual - and see the world in moments as they pass me by. I will strive to be part of as many of them as possible.
And then, because of my personality, I will also remember that the wonderful thing about moments is that they are always there, and if you happen to miss one, another one is just seconds away.