2018: Passion and Grace

Several writer-friends have referenced finding a Word of the Year; a word that somehow speaks to them and that they use as a keystone to the new year. They choose words like Growth, Embrace, Center; words that can be applied to resolutions, personal growth, work goals, and more.

I love this idea, and immediately began brainstorming words. Of course being me, I can’t seem to narrow it down to just one.

I thought first of the word grace, as it is one of my favorites. It’s interesting that this word pulls me, because when I actually look it up the definition doesn’t really match my intention. But I love it just the same. Strictly speaking, grace is defined as follows:

It isn’t until we get to the 8th meaning that I even get close: “The quality of state of being considerate or thoughtful.” It is this quality that calls to me, and that I strive to embody. To go through life with grace to me means to be gracious in the face of setbacks and victories, to take life with a measure of equilibrium and perspective.

It has been hard, lately, to keep equilibrium and perspective in place. It has been hard not to let my anger calcify into cynicism, instead of letting it burn up in a clean bright flame of activism. It has been seriously hard to live with grace. So that’s one of my words for 2018.

But I can never narrow things down (seriously, don’t ever ask me for my top-ten books…it’s painful), so one word wasn’t enough. Grace isn’t enough. I need something more to drive me through this year. I came up with passion.

Passion is another one where the definition doesn’t necessarily match up with my intentions. Here is the formal definition:

I’m not feeling particularly religious, or much like I need additional suffering. But “a strong liking or desire for or devotion” to something? That’s more like it. I believe that I need to nurture a passion — a strong and deeply committed devotion — for the for the things that matter in my life. A passion for the books I’m writing? A passion for the causes I champion? A passion for creating my best self, family, community, country, and world I possibly can? Heck yeah. Sign me up.

So there you have it: grace and passion. These words will guide me as I try to balance the trifecta of priorities in my life: writing, family, and activism. I will try to use them to steer me toward good choices. Check back this time next year and I’ll tell you how it goes.


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