One Word – 2018

Each year, I mark time with one “word” which serves as a guidepost of sorts. I am not superstitious about the process, but I have been pleasantly surprised to observe patterns in words over the last few years.

As 2017 unfolded, my word: “Wide” manifested in a difficult decision to change career paths. I now find myself alternating between feeling crippled under the question of “what’s next” and dreaming of “what could be.”

This year, therefore, I have settled on the word: “Expect.”

I recognize the complexity of this word, and in exploring its meanings, I note the innate relational and emotional nuances. I also respect that some would rather focus on celebrating the “unexpected.” We have expectations of ourselves and expectations of others. Others, in turn, also have expectations of us.

Meeting expectations can be stressful and overbearing, especially when our priorities are shifted or when we feel pressures from without or within. Met expectations can lead to a proud sense of accomplishment, whereas failing to meet expectations often leads to disappointment and anger. But I am not talking about expectations. I am talking about the verb “To Expect,” which in a general sense bears to mind hope, waiting, reliance – and dare I say “faith.”

The Latin root: “Spectare,” means “to look for.” As we turn the corner from the Christmas season – a season heavily laden with expectation – and look toward the new year, expectations bubble to the surface.

The context of the word “expect” I have chosen to orient myself to is that of anticipation, or possibility.

While I will keep a loose grip on my own expectations, I will also try to keep my eyes focused in gratitude on the great many experiences and opportunities I have been given.

What is your One Word?

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