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Each year I pick a word for the year.

Each year by the time it’s time to decide what my word is for the year, it’s like my life decides for me.

2020 was experiment.

I spent the year experimenting with writing articles, penning poems, capturing images and even composing songs. There is actually quite a pile of papers that have added up from this year’s experiments.

2019 was empty.

I lost some weight and purged my house of clutter during the “empty” year.

2021 tells me my word for this year is “release.”

You know how you have a view of what you thought your life was going to look like?

I know there are many of you that can certainly relate to that statement. Especially those of you that never imagined loosing... a child... a husband... a job... good health... special friendship... a marriage... the freedom to travel... the list goes on...

Maybe because I observe life. Maybe because of my age and stage. Maybe because I have a house full of teenagers. Maybe because I have watched and worked with people, in some form, my whole adult life. Maybe because in my work with people I have served in leadership roles. Maybe this is the year where my life is pivoting from what I thought it might look like to what it is actually starting to look like.

I’m sure my mom went through this. I know my grandma went through this. I guess when I lift my head up from looking down at the path I’ve been trodding on... maybe in some ways... all of us end up in places in life that we never anticipated. I suppose sometimes these changes are good. Other times it might feel hard. Other times it might feel impossible. At this point, I realize it doesn’t matter how you feel about it—Life. Still. Shifts.

So being a person with “a passion for the possibilities of life”, I too can shift. I can shift into pursuing new passions. I can shift into seeing the thousand things that ARE before me—Are amazing. Are here. Are happening. Are joining. Are connecting.— so “Release” it is.

Release. I like the way the word release sounds. I like how light the word feels. I like how I can see the word release, from two different angles. The kind of release that puts heavy things down and the kind of release that launches something out into the world.

I am learning how to release some of the words that are making their way through me. I’m learning how to release songs that feel like they need to be sung... if only for myself.

I’m learning how to release my children into their adult lives. At 20, 18, 18, 17, 16, and 13 my primary “momming” window is shrinking quickly. I hear Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song, “Teach Your Children Well” ring through my ears. All I can say is, I tried. I tried to give them the tricky balance between roots and wings. I’ve tried to find that place in the sweet spot between a rock and a pillow. I’ve tried to cast vision and to keep them grounded by helping them learn how to do “real” things. I’ve tried to teach them to live fully utilizing their gifts and talents and to reach out to give care to those that do not have the same opportunities.

At this pivotal age and stage I realize, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

So 2021.

Here I am.

I’m ready to release into all you have to offer.

All the wonder.

All the beauty.

All the joy.

All the sorrows.

All the hopes.

All the unanticipated everything’s.

I’m now ready to enter in

to this new season of release.


Now doesn’t that sound hopeful?


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