Choosing a word for 2020 has been a slow process for me. There were many I could have chosen and almost did. Yet they didn’t seem to fill the bill, so to speak.
Simultaneously, I started my word search and reading Leeana Tankersley‘s book. Tankersley’s book, The Brave Practice of Releasing Hurt & Receiving Rest, guides us through her personal transformation. Within the first pages of her book, Tankersley recalls four words from the Rule of St. Benedict:
Always we begin again.
I picked up my highlighter and read on. The words Tankersley wrote I soaked up like a sponge. Were her words speaking to me? Was it some higher power? Maybe, on both counts.
Recently I had met with a therapist who insisted I did not want to go back to the person I was in 2016 when I fell. He confidently promised that he was certain that I wanted to leave that person behind. That I needed to find the person I had “evolved into over the last four years.”
What he didn’t understand is that it is as though I left behind a lot over the past four years. There’s a manuscript lying in my studio untouched. I have ideas for two other books, one of which was “in utero” back in 2017. My volunteer work disappeared due to my inability to carry out the job description. My life as a wife and mother has changed in many ways.
I felt like I had lost my former self. I want to recapture my former self. The self I was when I left home on the evening of January 24, 2016.
Those four words, “[a]lways we begin again,” were like the lyrics to a favorite song—they stuck in my mind. But four words do not constitute a word for 2020. They constitute a phrase. Who has heard of a phrase for the year?
Off I headed to grab a dictionary and thesaurus and sort out these four wonderful words. But on my way, I found my word.
I stopped and brought up the subject to Bob, my handy husband. During our talk, he told me a story about a gift he received in church the Sunday before.
I didn’t attend worship that Sunday and missed that week’s children’s time. In the course of their special time, each child received a star that had a word written on it. There were extra stars, and the children shared them with members of the congregation. Bob received a star with the word “renewal” written on it (the link is to the root word, “renew”).
Bob believed that the word he received was meant for me. He brought it home to me. And I pondered this word with thought and heart, plus a quick glance at the dictionary and thesaurus.
That’s the history of my word search for 2020. Renewal seems to be the right choice for me. With four years behind me now plus the first anniversary of my surgery around the corner, I am ready to begin again. I am ready to renew my life as I enjoyed, lived, and loved it on the evening of January 24, 2016. I have lots of catching up to do “[a]s [I] begin again” with my renewal—the wife, mother, writer, blogger, and more!
Featured image attribution: Myriam Zilles from Pixabay