Word of the Year


Chaos, never ending to do lists, constant demands have taken me away from this space. Writing here for awhile became a chore and just one more thing to take up brain power.

As with every January, there is a refreshing push to start anew.

I want to get back to this space and my free writing. It has been so much for me in the past from my time as a military spouse to my first days as a new mom to learning my way as a professional.

I have missed it and the outlet it provides me.

So here I am putting some thoughts down on the page about how I want to approach the year.


Many people do a word of the year or resolutions. I have done both in the past, but as I have thought about what I want this year to be focused around I couldn’t get two words out of my head. And one of the biggest mantras of “goal setting” is to share with others to keep your accountable, so here we go!

Gratitude and Connection

I am trying to be more grounded  going into this year. My job is very stressful right now. There are a lot of things as a director that they do not prepare you for. There are a lot of challenging months ahead for me, so the gratitude is definitely something that I need as reminder of the great opportunity I have to make an impact.

I am being intentional about my devotions moving forward. I highly recommend the YouVersion app. You can really tailor to what your needs are. And my first day with my most recent plan was already a big reminder about not being grumpy. “Maybe part of my grumbling came from my desire to feel powerful while truly feeling powerless.” I am extremely guilty of this. I think we all fall into the trap of complaining. And seeing this statement about grumbling being that grasping effort to have some power really resonated with a change I need to make internally. My anxiety really ramps up when I feel like I have lost control. I need to stay grounded and humble, and I believe that reminding myself of all the blessings will keep me from circling around the drain in a sense. It will also help me to not just focus on what is happening negatively and being consumed by the toxic nature of those thoughts.


I know I am not perfect though. And just because I put these words out there, doesn’t mean it won’t be work. Just last night I lost it on my kids more than once. I have this unique opportunity to mold them, and I don’t want them to get a sense that I am not happy about the time that we get together. I want to be grateful for their neediness and constant touching because I know these days are numbered where they want to hang on me or find immense joy in playing together. I also need to walk the talk when I tell them about appropriate emotional output. I want to be more mindful about the environment I am building, and I feel that gratitude is the center of that. (This was made even more apparent after this past month with my kids attitude towards presents…but another topic for another day.)

One of my closest friends recommended a gratitude journal for me to take a minute every morning to start my day fresh. This will be so vital in beginning my day with positivity and centering. It is also a good reminder that every day is a new day to forgo the negativity from the day before and move forward instead of sitting in the junk. Thanks Jeannette!

Then we look at Connection.

I will be honest making friends has not been easy for me here. We have lived here for five years, and I would say only recently do I feel like I am starting to create my circle. Having young kids and the fact that we live outside of town has made it hard to really cultivate friendships.

Tom also has gotten our basement to a place where entertaining is a little more feasible. There are so many memories to be made, and we really want to focus on bringing a community together. Now that the kids are a little older and Tom’s job has completely changed, I am hoping for a little more freedom for us to take the time to connect with others. We redesigned the spaces in our house to allow them to be filled with activity, and we hope to do that more and more this year.


I have grand plans at work to increase connections at the college. I won’t bore you with all my ideas, but one that I do want to work on is starting a podcast of sorts for our institutional staff. I want to hit on our stories and show how we are all inter-connected in helping our students write their own stories. This idea is the most scary on my list, but also the one I feel most convicted to carry out. Hearing about people’s stories is what keeps me going to work every day, so I want to find a way to harness that for our institution. My hope is that by creating this platform we can find connections and similarities which in turn create more bridges with our stories instead of continuing silos. (This is me speaking a goal into life…the more people I tell right?)

And of course I want to connect more with this family of mine. Tom changing jobs has turned our world upside down in the best ways. And the kids, while wild, are at such a fun age. We have so many plans to connect as a family, especially with this being the last summer before George is officially in school. We have several trips planned, and we want to start new traditions in our weekly schedules. I know this is the age where I started remembering large chunks of my childhood, and I hope to establish routine opportunities for us to connect.


Lastly, I want to connect more with myself, which is why I want to come back to this blog. This last year, I have gotten lost in what is expected of me and trying to be all the things. Putting my thoughts and feelings out in this blog is a therapeutic thing for me. However, it has been hard since my brain is on overdrive all day, and the last thing I have wanted to do is to get in front of another computer when I get home. I have found though that I miss this outlet and little space I created years ago. I also need to do a better job connecting with my faith, so I want to center myself more with my devotions. My prayer life has been lacking, and connecting my soul again is definitely something I need to focus on. And since I know the stress is only going to come at me with even more fervor in the upcoming months, I need to keep connecting with my core so I can be my best self instead of just trudging along waiting for the next expectation to define me. Through continued prayer and introspection, I hope this connection will just come more naturally.

For me, gratitude and connection will be highly intertwined, and I hope that having these words as my focus will help me to grow but also to remain grounded in my faith and who I am meant to be.


So tell me, what do you want for 2020?

2 thoughts on “Word of the Year

  1. I want positivity. With my son’s diagnosis last year of ALL I really lost my optimistic attitude. Now that I feel I have dealt with that and we have one year of treatment left, I really feel I need to be back to my old self. No more excuses. I love all you ideas. I also downloaded the app. Can’t wait to start using it. Happy fresh start to the new semester. I start back on the 13th. Best Stephanie!

    • I love positivity! I think any parent needs to focus on positive outlooks, but I am sure with how your world has changed, being that ray of sunshine for your sweet boy is needed even more. You got this!

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