I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions. A year is a long time, and really — who knows what October will bring? But I like the idea of thinking ahead or having some sort of game plan for the year. So, instead of a resolution, several years ago I started picking out a New Year’s Word — one single word to direct my thinking for the upcoming 365 days.
The first time I did I, my word was easy. I was over-committed and my life felt way too much like the tail was in charge of the dog. How to stop it? My word for the year was “Simplify,” and it proved helpful. I got into the habit of thinking, “is this something that will simplify my life or complicate it?” If the answer was the latter, then I seriously reconsidered my actions.
I love quilts and applique needlework, and over the years, I’ve inherited finished quilt tops in need to quilting, plus cut out my own blocks and had them in half-finished piles. To make a dent on all these started but unfinished projects, my word during that year was “Finish.” The question I asked myself was “are you starting something new or finishing something old?” It worked! I hand-quilted a five-generation quilt top I’d had in a trunk since my grandmother died. I finished the memory quilt for my son that I made out of flannel receiving blankets we used when he was a baby and backed it with up-cycled blue jeans. Plus there were several other small projects that got done. Finish! It was a good year.
This year I had trouble settling on a word. I did some thinking on paper (a great tip I picked up from Jean Moroney @ Thinking Directions), and had it narrowed down to two: Fortify and Persist. My word is always a verb — something that I can actually DO, and I wanted a word to indicate a desire to shore up current foundations rather than plow new fields. But “persist” seemed to imply a negative (persisting despite adversity), and “fortify” made me think of castle walls and medieval warfare. I opted for “fortify,” then one afternoon a day or two later during my walk, the word “bolster” popped into my head.
Yes, that just might work. Bolster conveys the exact sentiment I want — plus I think it sounds kinda cute. There’s also a added double-meaning to it. As a verb “bolster” is all about fortifying and shoring up, but as a noun, it’s one of those cute tube-shaped pillows (like those in the picture from Pottery Barn) one that increases comfort as you relax. Bolstering up the foundations of my life will (hopefully) bring a sense of comfort during the coming year.
So there you have — this year’s word.