It’s almost May 1. For me, this date signals a shift in my work, in my schedule, in my life cadence. May 1 is the last day of classes (although not the last day of meetings, or grading or exams). But still. It holds out the promise of summer– of beaches and lakes and forests and backyards and decks.
Four months into 2023, it occurred to me to check out my WOTY– word of the year. We at Fit is a Feminist Issue have been posting them for some years now. Here are a few of our posts:
What’s your Word of the Year? Here are ours (2021)
It’s word-of-the-year time again (2022)
Fit Feminists’ 2023 Words of the Year
Mine for the past three years have been these:
- awake in 2021
- creativity in 2022
- allow in 2023
I’m not sure how these words of the year are working out for me. Maybe it’s not my fault, but 2021 now seems like a haze, with transitioning from life and work entirely online to venturing into work and other people’s homes in person. I don’t remember how awake or alert I was.
Creativity is a good word for any year for me, certainly as an aspiration, a reminder of the joys (for me) of making, making new, opening up avenues for novel activity. I love me some novel activity; if you missed last Sunday’s post on my visits to an alpaca farm, float tank and the wackiest massage chair ever, check it out here. I’m not taking issue with my 2022 word, but rather it’s kind of a primary word for me every year. Does that count? I’m not sure how the word-of-the-year authorities would rule on this one.
Which brings us to 2023: Allow. Yeah, no. What possessed me to pick ALLOW as my word? I am sooo not an allowing kind of person. Letting things be, going with the flow, keeping cool– all these are most definitely not descriptors of me. And they also don’t describe how my year has gone so far.
Work life has been turbulent– coming back from sabbatical to a new department chair, hiring a new colleague, and adjusting to the loss of my dear friend and colleague Laura, who died last year. Home life has been fun but busier, with two out-of-town friends staying with me once a week while working in Boston. Active life has been opportunistic and not systematic, which is not an unfamiliar pattern but one that I’m not happy with. All of this points to one thing: I need a new Word of the Year.
Luckily, the internet has lots of suggestions. I checked out this site, and from all the ads, it seemed like her WoTY was Vrbo. Not helpful. This one had 244 options, which is just too many for me.
But you gotta pick sooner or later, so here’s my adjusted Word of the Year: Friend.
Of all the things I do, being friends with people is one of my favorites. Doing things with them, talking with them, helping out from time to time, and even allowing (yeah, I guess that word is somewhat useful) them to help me– all these things are what I consider my life to be about.
Yesterday I had friends over for brunch and then we went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts for their annual Art in Bloom exhibit. Garden clubs around the area are assigned a work of art, and they construct a flowery companion for it. I go often, and it’s always fun. Here’s a selfie of us from yesterday:
Yeah– Friend. That works. I’m shifting words, but I think this is much better.
What about you, friends? Did you pick a word for 2023? Do you remember what it is? How’s it working for you? I’d love to hear how things are going for you and your word.
One thought on “Catherine’s 2023 word of the year: an update”
Very happy to be your friend. And what a great word of the year. I don’t remember mine. That’s not a good sign! I should go back and look.