Start - Simplistic word I focused on today. And ironically a lot of what I started on was finishing- keeping commitments I've made to myself and others. It felt good to write a big stack of letters and thank you notes, cards of support, sympathy and celebration that I have been carrying around half done. It felt good to stitch up the sides and choose buttons for a bunch of little knitted purses which were only rectangles in 2012. It feels more important that I've started talking more out loud about my personal battle against contempt - in my own spirit, in others' words and actions, and in the policies of our institutions. I've climbed up on my soap box on this one and don't see myself climbing down any time soon. Time to start.
And since I'm starting, it feels good to try something new. My friend Sandi Hand Scranton wrote about choosing a word for the year ahead, to clarify purpose. Thank you Sandi for the thought. Contenders in my mind were attention, resilience, and acceptance. The winner, though is respect, which I see as the opposite of contempt. I want to respect my own needs and limitations and those of others in my life. I want to respect the fact that every...body has a story and I can't know everything about where anyone has come from. I want to respect that at the most basic core level all humans, regardless of gifts and circumstances have equal worth. And I want to learn to speak up respectfully against behavior which is disrespectful. I'd love to hear from the rest of you if you have a "word for the year" what it is and why.