The older I get, the faster the years go…so it makes sense that 2022 flew by in a blink. In comparison with previous years, this was a really, really good one, though it was not without its challenges. My word for the year was PERSEVERE, which I chose with the intention to “just keep going” no matter what curveballs came my way. As has been my practice for the past several years, I didn’t set any big, lofty goals; rather, I wanted to focus on living my word without any extra stress (because my regular daily life brings more than enough of that!).
And persevere I (we) did. In February, my mother-in-law was in a near-fatal car accident, and spent almost two months in the hospital. This was a scary and stressful time for our whole family, but especially my husband, who had to deal with many logistics on top of worrying about his mom’s recovery. Thankfully, she did make a full recovery, and we were all able to celebrate together with a family vacation on Grand Cayman Island.
This past fall, I persevered through an incredibly challenging semester of graduate school. Over the summer, I changed my concentration from clinical mental health counseling to marriage, couples and family counseling, which necessitated taking an extra course. So I tackled 4 total courses (3 of which were very heavy on reading and assignments) in addition to a new graduate assistantship—on top of running my businesses and being a mom—and came out of the semester with As across the board. I am pretty darn proud of that achievement.
In addition to our Cayman Island vacation, we traveled more than we have in a long time: Disney World, Newport Beach, Chicago, Marco Island, Aruba, West Palm Beach, and many, many soccer tournaments all over Illinois and Missouri. We persevered through some crazy travel snafus and lots of homework on airplanes and in hotel rooms.
Travel is really important to my family, and we already have several trips planned for 2023. In fact, we are kicking off the year with a trek to Costa Rica in celebration of my husband’s 40th birthday. Our travel plans, in addition to my year ahead of clinical fieldwork as a counselor, inspired my word for the year: VENTURESOME.
I never considered myself to be a particularly bold, risk-taking person (despite my decision to leave a comfortable full-time job with cushy benefits in order to pursue self-employment at age 27) until 2021, when I took the plunge into a (second) graduate program to become a counselor. That took guts, but I know that I will need even more courage, confidence and tenacity as I enter this new field as a practitioner in 2023. I’ll start my practicum in January, and then begin a year-long internship in the summer.
2023 is also the year I enter a new decade: I turn 40 (?!?!?!) in June. I want to be venturesome, rather than reluctant, as I leave my 30s behind. There is so much to be excited about in the year ahead, and I don’t want to waste one minute feeling some type of way about my age.
This is my 8th time sharing my “Word of the Year” with you (take a trip down memory lane to 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016), and it has become one of my very favorite traditions. Do you have a word for 2023? I would love to hear it, or whatever plans/goals/intentions you have for the next twelve months. In the meantime, I wish you a very happy New Year!!!