Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Word for the Year 2013: Light

Park at Night
It's taken me over two weeks into January to finally settle on a Word for the Year. This is somewhat typical and shouldn't surprise me, and yet it always does.

I knew I wanted a word that would remind me that I want to make a conscious effort to put more positive energy into the world while not denying my Marxist/cynical view of the reasons why much of the world works the way it does. I can be positive without being dishonest.

I think this means being positive and upbeat locally, not globally, but I don't know yet.

Upbeat was a word I dismissed early on. I'm not the cheerleader type. I'm not effusive or gushy about much in life. Positive also seemed to be pushing it quite a bit. I won't be positive about everything and, besides, it sounds a bit pushy, being positive all the time. (A friend suggested Positivity, which if it's even a real word, sounds too much like Positive to me.)

After spending far too much time getting lost in the Mac Dictionary's Thesaurus and getting nowhere, I thought of the word "light." Light had a lot of the characteristics I was looking for, and, even better, it can have more than one meaning, which is something I like in a Word for the Year.

There is the idea of spreading light out in terms of that positive energy I referred to. The Quakers see Light as that part of God within each of us, so there's a personal, spiritual aspect to it as well. Light can also mean not being weighed down by worries and concerns.

Which, of course, is what happened a day or two after settling on Light as my Word. Our only car died, leaving us stranded at home and having to wait until payday to have the money to have the car looked at. Then, once we get an estimate on the repairs, we'll have to decide whether we put the money into the car or try to find another car.

Have you chosen a Word for the Year?  What is it and why did you choose it?

-- Tom