Today, I’m sharing my Word of the Year for 2020!
Have you chosen a word yet? If you haven’t, no worries at all, there is still plenty of time to think about it!
I’ve been choosing a Word of the Year since 2014. It might seem kind of crazy that one word can literally keep you on track for an entire year but it’s true.
In the past, I’ve chosen:
All these words served me well for the season I was in at the time or to help prepare me for the season I was about to grow through.
In 2016, I chose the word “intention” because I wanted to be purposeful with my time and resources.
As a vendor in several different antique malls, none of them in the city I actually lived in, I was constantly on the go searching for treasures to refill my booth spaces.
During that same time, I was painting pieces of furniture for private clients, working on decorating projects, blogging full time and working part time for one of the antique malls.
While I was spread incredibly thin, I was also having the time of my life. It wasn’t perfect but I learned so much.
Everything came crashing down at the end of 2016 though when one of the antique malls I was a vendor at went out of business.
A few days later, I overheard the owner of my second vendor space trashing my painted furniture pieces (my best-selling item) to a shopper.
The week after that the third antique mall closed because the owner found out she had cancer.
In less than a month, all three vendor spaces, a large part of my monthly income and the identity I had built this blog around was gone.
The losses felt completely overwhelming at the time.
But had I not spent months being intentional about cultivating local vendor contacts, learning how to manage my schedule, developing the skills of painting and decorating and being careful with the resources I had been entrusted, it could have been so much worse.
After a bit of prayerful reflection, in 2017, I chose the word “open” for my Word of the Year.
I mean, if there is ever a time to be “open” to new opportunities, it’s when you find yourself at a crossroads, right?
It’s only in hindsight I can see 2017, broke me wide open in the most painful and beautiful ways.
But it was also the year love showed up in so many amazing ways.
Had I not been “open” to experiencing help, friendship, prayers, random acts of kindness, meals from strangers, gentle hugs, family bonding time and unexpected gifts, I would have missed out on a huge life lesson…
…where there is immense loss there is also immense love and grace.
As you can imagine by the time 2018 hit, I knew – that I knew – that I knew, it was going to be the best year ever.
I guess in some strange and prideful way, I thought I had been through enough. I was sure my lessons had all been learned and I was good to go.
My attitude going into the new year was strike up the band, 2018 is going to be a year of restoring what’s been lost!
But sometimes what you want and what you need are not the same things.
What I wanted most, was to get back on track, to stay the course, to shake off the crazy of 2016 and 2017 and to finally have the chance to be consistent.
So, that was my Word of the Year for 2018, consistent.
And for a while, it was.
Then in May of 2018, my bestie S (who also runs our website) had shoulder surgery. We spent a good portion of the summer at physical therapy and doctor’s appointments.
By Labor Day, she good to go and while it took a lot of juggling, I had remained fully committed to my Word of the Year the entire time.
I can clearly remember walking out of the hospital after the last appointment thinking…reset, reboot, reconnect, restore…here we go, fresh start, it’s really going to happen this time.
Operating on Auto-Pilot…
Unfortunately, the bliss of being back on track was short lived because in late October, S suffered a horrible fall which left her unable to use both legs for months.
Never could I have imagined someone who had not even broken a single bone her entire life would require major surgery and hospitalization twice in the same year.
Despite it all, we ended 2018 with grateful hearts for the skilled healthcare providers S had the opportunity to work with and for the outpouring of love, support and encouragement we were freely given when we needed it most.
We were also thankful for the early months in the year when our hope was so fresh, we doggedly laid the groundwork for routine and consistency.
Over time though, without my even noticing it, consistent became code for auto-pilot.
Given the way our season from 2016-2018 had gone, choosing “simplify” as my Word of the Year in 2019 seemed like a no-brainer.
My role as a caregiver stayed in place from the beginning of January until late Summer. By the time I lost my sweet Jelly Bean in early July, I was already numb to everything.
My Word of the Year for 2020…
Which brings me to my Word of the Year for 2020.
Every year, I pray I have a monumental moment of clarity before truly committing to a word and this year was no exception.
Shortly before Thanksgiving, a fellow blogger recommended this faith based podcast to me. I’m constantly looking for podcasts to keep me entertained while on the treadmill, so I was happy to try it out.
The minute I finished listening, I knew it had been given to me for a reason.
I also knew I needed to stop living on auto-pilot and reclaim my life.
The next morning at 430 am, I bought a prayer journal. The day after that I bought Jess Connolly’s book, You Are the Girl for the Job. I’ll leave a link for it below in case you’re interested.
Looking back on the past few years, it’s crazy to think about how many things I let go for so long. I know you can relate if you’ve ever been in a similar situation.
I have a lot of healing to do and I’m finally ready to do it. It’s the reason I chose my own name, CoCo, for my 2020 Word of the Year.
Mountain Tops, Valleys & the Meantime…
I’m sharing this story because I know we’re all at difference places in our lives. Some of you are enjoying mountain top experiences right now and truly, I couldn’t be more excited for you.
I also know there are others having a valley experience where daily life seems so overwhelming you might not even know how you’re going to get through the day much less choose a word to motivate you for an entire year.
I see you.
Maybe you find yourself in the meantime. That space in life where things are so up and down you feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride and you don’t know if it’s realistic to dream a small dream much less a big one.
I see you too.
Finding Joy in the Journey…
While these past few years of choosing a Word of the Year have not been easy, they’ve all been worth it.
If I’ve learned one thing I can to pass along to you, it’s this…
…don’t be afraid to name, claim, believe and receive something that’s important to you.
Even if it turns out messier than what you expect, it doesn’t mean you’re a mess. It just means there’s a message in the mess you need as part of your journey.
There are doors of opportunity opening all around us we just have to have the courage to walk through them!
I’ve learned you can’t predict how a year will turn out or how long you’ll grow through a specific season no matter what you choose as your Word of the Year.
But what I know for sure is if we keep trusting, believing, asking, hoping, praying, receiving and living a purpose filled grateful life we will get where we’re meant to be.
As for me, I’m pressing forward on my journey by taking all the Word of the Year lessons I’ve learned from past years…believe, committed, intention, open, consistent and simplify… to help create a life, a home, and a business I can be proud of and so beyond thankful to have you here on this journey.
I hope you’ll let me support you while you’re on your journey too!
Help Choosing a Word of the Year…
If you need help choosing a Word of the Year, here are a few additional resources to check out:
Additional Resources I’m Using in 2020…
**(Amazon Affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost for you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
Prayer Journal by Mary Square (additional color options available)
Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship by Ruth Cho Simmons
She Reads Truth Bible in Rose Gold (additional color options available)
Keep in mind, Day Spring and other retail outlets like Barnes and Noble also sell these products so be sure to check for online coupons and free shipping deals!
As always, we hope this post has helped. These Celebrating Life posts are hard to write but I know they’re important to share.
Let us know what your choosing as your Word of the Year for 2020 so we can help cheer you on in your journey too!Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.