The coolest thing about having started a one-word-for-the-new-year blog tradition is that eventually, friends start anticipating your one word; friends who have taken on the tradition themselves and are eager to hear the word you’ve chosen for the fresh year ahead as they ready to choose theirs.
I was knee-deep in Christmas preparations when two of my sweet one-word pals wrote, asking if I’d thought up my new word yet. I had not, but just the mention of it sent me thinking, and in no time, the word had arrived.
That’s usually how this thing works. Often, we don’t choose the word, the word chooses us. It’s a mysterious process I can’t pin down to a tee, but when it happens, you just know. The moment this year’s word crept into my consciousness, I got goosebumps. I knew it was the one!
EXPECTATION…(with an exclamation!)
What a lovely word it is. In past years, words have included “pursue,” “ready,” and “joy,” as described here.
Expectation, welcome to the one-word brood!
But just what does expectation look like?
During our recent trip to Bismarck, N.D., to celebrate Christmas with my extended family, we were blessed, after a long stretch of bitterly cold temps, with several days of what felt like nearly tropical, 40-degree weather. This warmth, combined with the Christmas break, sent throngs of children and their parents out to the sledding hills of Bismarck.
By the time this happened, only my youngest two boys and I remained from the Salonen clan in the capitol city. The oldest three and “pa” had headed back to Fargo. But the little guys and I enjoyed our couple days out on the hill, and I had fun capturing images of their excursions on the “slopes.” Many of these images said “expectation” to me.
First, there’s the climb up the hill. There’s nothing that says expectation like having a goal in sight, and taking the steps to walk on toward it. In 2013, I set several goals that sent me hiking uphill. It was exhilarating. (You can find my boys by keeping an eye on the red snowboard…)
Then, once you get to the top – oh glorious day! As you size up the situation, this, too, says expectation.
At times, it can be slightly daunting, for a moment or two.
Nevertheless, the expectation of it all brings excitement of what can be.
The thrill continues once you’re off. Each inch of the ride is new and surprising, taking you places that at times even exceed your expectations as twists and turns appear.
It helps to hook up with a friend when things turn a little uncertain. That way you can share in the expectation. That definitely will be part of my 2014. I’ve always done life better with others nearby to share in the ups and downs of it.
Once you make it down and realize the adventure is still brand new, the day not even half-spent…weee!
While the boys were doing their thing, I stood off to the side with my camera, and something caught my eye. Through the branches of an evergreen, I captured a gal making a snowman. I watched in great expectation of her artistry.
I also caught this guy taking a little break on the hill to sample the snow. Yes, it’s okay to take breaks during an expectant sort of adventure. Sometimes you need fuel as you move through the journey.
I was wooed, too, by the afternoon sun on the snow. It was simple, and absolutely glorious. This said “glad expectation” to me. Another word for this: hope.
The boys were filled with glee, and I was filled up, too. It was the right setting to absorb my new word in wonderment, to start me heading off into 2014 with the knowledge that good things are coming, even though I can’t right now name exactly how it’s all going to go down. Which is, in the end, part of the fun of it all.
Several projects are bursting to completion. We have a son about ready to launch into the world who is leaving us curiously expectant. I have every reason to believe, to expect, that 2014 is going to be a blue-sky-filled sort of year.
Here we go!
What is your word for 2014?