Slice of Life – What is My One Word for 2022?

Today’s Slice of Life at TwoWritingTeachers.org, 23 November 2021

Resourceful, inventive, unwasteful, prudent?

Careful, judicious, protective, astute?

Simplicity or stewardship?

What is my goal and focus for 2022? I am in the process of considering what the right word is for my one little word for next year.

It is becoming clearer, but I need a word for it. If there is one.

These past weeks I’ve been sorting through accumulated possessions–too many that we have gathered over eight years. I’m giving things away daily, whenever someone is nearby I hand them an empty bag to fill. We came to this country with nine suitcases, and we are going home with eight. Most of our possessions won’t be traveling to California with us.

So, this process has reminded me that it would have been better to have not accumulated in the first place. I want to be careful, mindful, wise in my next chapter when I will be setting up another home.

Not only that, I want to be resourceful and frugal for the sake of the planet. Instead of buying a new thing, I want to use up, make do, do without, and wear out or repurpose what I already have.

I work hard to do this with food in my kitchen. For instance, when I went to some friends house for breakfast the other day, I ended up with dried pita bread leftovers. I cut them into triangles, baked them and served them yesterday to guests with homemade hummus. It saves money and the planet to eat without wasting and without buying processed foods. I want to continue to get even better. (Have you seen Carleigh Bodrug do this @plantyou?)

Another example…I had saved a new canvas for my 2022 word painting. However, what if, instead of opening another plastic-wrapped package, I use Nawaf’s Dot Day painting from years ago as my canvas? I can write my one word onto the red dot, perhaps? Is it disrespectful of the original artist? Or is it a legit art form?

Anyway, any ideas for a suitable word for 2022 for me?
A new canvas or a revitalized dot painting one of my students made for Dot Day years ago.

21 thoughts on “Slice of Life – What is My One Word for 2022?

  1. Mindful may be the word that you settle on, or purposeful, or… I have been collecting words for next year also, but nowhere near ready to settle on one. I actually LOVE what I did this year where I had one main word and then chose a “helper” word for each month- it has worked well for me.

  2. Denise, I love your intentionality with one word. It’s the same economical
    concept as those suitcases of accumulation. I once read an article where the writer’s goal was to pare down everything she owned to the clothes in her back and ONE shoebox and travel the world. Maybe you were the author! So many words come to mind – but only you will determine what will go in the red dot – and if I had created that artwork I would feel blessed and honored that you chose it as the canvas for the word of your life for 2022.

    1. Thanks, Kim. When I saw your comment, I wrote to my former student on Instagram. Now he’s in grade 9. He answered back with, “Yes I remember it, you can use it and it would actually make me super happy if you do.” đŸ™‚

      I’m looking forward to that word coming to me!

  3. Simplicity came to mind as I read your thoughts. It seems you are trying to keep it simple and in turn, it causes you to be mindful as Erica says. I see this is one of your word ideas at the beginning. Recycling and upcycling to me keeps it simple. Thanks for sharing your thinking. This year, my word was STRUCTURE and so often as I write and plan, I am grateful for first picking a structure to help me. This word has served me well. Thanks for jump-starting my search for my 2022 word.

  4. Denise, I’m so grateful to you for always sharing your feelings, thoughts, your process, and your questions. “Gratitude” has been my one word since 2013, and the words you brought up make me think I might change mine – a lot has happened since 2013! Thank you for sharing – I have a feeling you’ll use that red dot – and perhaps even give that canvas – sharing your word – with someone else. I hope you continue to reflect and enjoy your journeys!! I always appreciate all you share with your readers.

  5. So I’m not the only one thinking about their OLW? Good! I thought it was too early, but I see it isn’t.

    Somehow, when I’m reading books that are related to where I want my life to go, I seem to find my word. For instance, Katherine Center’s book, WHAT YOU WISH FOR, helped me find my word last year. Perhaps reading within the area you’re thinking about will be helpful to you.

  6. You have a fabulous words list to choose from, and better yet, you have such a great mission that leads your OLW choice.

  7. Simplicity, frugality, enough, minimalist, spare, restrained, providence…

    I’ve been thinking about my 2022 word too. I think I know what it’s going to be. I’m not ready to reveal it yet though. đŸ˜€

  8. Denise, You’ve listed many words that could serve you well. I am impressed that you are thinking of it this early. Can you wait until you move back to choose your word? I just thought that, well…maybe….it might come to you when it is meant to at the start of your new life phase. In any case, I really like this part of your post,

    “Not only that, I want to be resourceful and frugal for the sake of the planet. Instead of buying a new thing, I want to use up, make do, do without, and wear out or repurpose what I already have.”

    We are trying to do the same, not buying things we don’t need, thinking twice before spending once, repurposing what we have, and/or giving it away. You reminded me that I have coats I need to give to those more in need of them than I. This is the time of year to do that. I guess I’m trying to say I like the word repurpose for a lot of reasons.

    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Thanks, Carol. Nice idea with the coats. I thought of doing something that I think I heard from my mom, but I never put into practice. When you receive or buy a new something or other, give the old one away. That would really help prevent accumulation.

  9. Denise, I was in such a glum frame of mind when last year dawned that I decided not to choose a word. Then a word chose me: “awe.” It was in a quote, there in my planner, as I turned the page over to the new year. It pointed out that awe made a person more altruistic and invited me to “make awe happen.” I never thought of awe as something you could invoke…but one must always keep the heart and soul and spirit open for it. It is another mighty, transformative force, like love, gratitude, and forgiveness; awe will remain my word for life. I will be most interested to see where your quest leads you, and what word will present itself for the taking!

    1. Fran, that is beautiful. Thank you. I love that “make awe happen.” It’s like my word this year, “gratitude”, with something added, I think.

  10. A week has passed since you wrote this post. Time is flying too fast. I vote for the dot painting. It makes a great backdrop for a OLW. I haven’t even begun to think about next year’s word. Usually when I relax about it, it’ll come to me. Good luck with downsizing.

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