I love the one-word prompt. After three years, it seems that a single word seems to distinguish itself at the end of the year without much reflection. Perhaps it is habit at this point. There was some small catalyst this year, some snippet from the news that provoked a feeling I had not felt for a while upon hearing the news. Maybe it was the results of the Alabama special election. It took a split second to recognize it. Hope. It feels like cheating to uphold this word for 2018 as it comes with more ease because I was given it. I was given hope when I saw that tiny heartbeat on the monitor. I came with none, certain for confirmation that we would only have this life for six weeks. I was given hope that there was someone growing strongly with utter indifference to the previous night’s gush of blood and my fear. I have opted out of news and politics, allowing myself to focus on our private family world, but after November there was some hope again. People had been working hard while I rested, and candidates were making headway in causes I supported. There are other places hope is breaking through in my life. In work. In our finances. In my practice. Not that I was living in despondence. But my hope was less pronounced. It was incrementally pushing me forward.
This year I think it will be more central.
It is not big and sweeping, like the hope of my young adulthood. It is soft and encouraging. It is not about overturning. It is about the power to learn more, to do things differently, to show up in new ways and in new places. It is about effort, not outcome.
It is pragmatic and structured, not boundless and vague.
As I reflect, I think it is always there for me in some form. Maybe the difference is that this is a year where I can savor its influence.