Happy New Year and My WOTY!

I am going to go to the gym every day.  I am going to lose those pesky ten pounds.  I am going to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.  Yada, yada, yada. You have heard them all before.  Probably even said some of them yourself.  I know I have.

This year, instead of making New Year’s resolutions which will probably only last 9 days, I am taking a different approach.  Instead of adding the weight of things I should be doing for the new year, I am lightening my load and giving up a few things for the new year.  I am letting go of some things that weigh me down and get in the way of living a life of wonder and awe.  Things that I have carried over from my pre-retirement years that do not serve me well. So, for 2023: 

  • I am giving up worry.  I have spent way too many hours of my precious life worrying needlessly about what could happen.  As a nurse, you are trained to consider what is the worst thing that could happen with your patient’s particular diagnosis, and then be prepared to watch for it and respond quickly if necessary.  I seem to carry that over into my personal life.  So, I am giving up the unfounded concerns that weigh me down.  Those “what if’s” that usually never occur. 
  • I am giving up rushing.  When I was busy working, raising a family and balancing a multitude of roles, rushing became my normal.  It was the only way to fit everything in.  But I am retired now with less obligations and responsibilities.  It is time to quit rushing and pushing through life.
  • I am giving up caring what other people think.  Let’s face it, when you are working you have to consider what other people think. It is a necessary work skill. But that desire to fit into the norm still carries into retirement. I don’t like to think that I do this, but I do.  What will someone think if I wear this or if I tell them I can’t do something because I already have too much packed into that week?  I want to honor my authentic self a little more and not be concerned if it does not fit into what others expect of me. 

Of course, I cannot give up the above items entirely.  After all, I am only human… and a mother.  But I am going to make a concentrated effort to let go.  To free myself from these things that take up too much of my brain space.  This will allow more room and awareness in my life for my Word of the Year (WOTY).

Living in awe.

Word of the Year

I really enjoy hearing what other people choose for their WOTY.  I particularly like to hear what motivated them to choose that word, among all of the wonderful words that could guide their year ahead.  So, while I am probably a few years behind the eight ball on doing this, I am picking a WOTY for 2023.   It needed to be something that aligned with what I am giving up for the new year. 

I am choosing the word “awe” for my 2023 word of the year. 

Researchers have actually studied awe and the effect it has on people.  People who experience more awe in their daily lives have better immune health, feel more connected to others, are less stressed and anxious and have a greater sense of well-being.

How do I find more awe in my daily life?  Or, as Regan Olsson described it: awe-spotting. 

  • Get out in nature.  Exhale.
  • Experience life in person and not from a screen.  Be present for your one and only precious life.
  • Spend time with a child.  This one goes without saying. 
  • Extend kindness.  Researchers say that you even experience awe when you see someone doing something kind and unexpected for someone else, such as a young person offering their seat to an elderly man. That means, when we experience a moment of awe by extending a small kindness, we are offering the opportunity for someone else to experience awe just by observing it.
  • Travel.  It doesn’t have to be far but it helps us stop and take in the wonder of new sites, sounds and smells.  Things we often don’t notice if we see them every day.

So, 2023 will be my year of awe spotting. 

Do you have any New Year’s resolutions, or un-resolutions? Are you choosing a WOTY to help you stay focused on what is important to you in the upcoming year? I will keep you posted on my “awe spottings” throughout the year ahead.

Happy New Year and cheers to the retirement years!

19 comments on “Happy New Year and My WOTY!

  1. I love your word of the year “awe”. If we all look for that in everything we do, we will find great joy. My 3 1/2 year old grand daughter finds awe in many simple things such as a colorful leaf that fell to the ground, a snail shell, an acorn, etc. I have taken this lesson from watching her and am in awe of her awe.

    1. I agree, we can learn a lot about living in awe from children. My two young grandchildren have also brought so much awe (and laughter) into our lives. What a great way to say that, “I am in awe of her awe.” Here is to an awe inspiring year!

  2. I have never chosen a WOTY. There is no time like the present! Create. I have the ability but I often do not put my creativity to work. I am going to concentrate on more time creating.

    I appreciate your ideas for letting go, Marian. I too carryover work habits and worry is one. Thank you for the insight.

    1. Hi Karen –

      What a great WOTY! I will be excited to hear what you create this year. Here is to letting go and opening up more space to create!

  3. Just found your blog, I’m very excited to fully explore it! I too am a nurse, a year and a half away from retirement.
    My WOTY for 2023 is “novel”. I will strive to engage in new experiences this year. The years go so fast, I feel that I have good recall of my childhood years when many experiences are novel and those of my kids when they were little but am sometimes shocked to hear stories that my girls tell me describing things in the years after their childhood that they remember and find I have little no memory of ….

    1. Hello Sue –

      I am so glad you found your way to my blog and took the time to share your wonderful WOTY. And a fellow nurse! Not only is “novel” a great way to experience the upcoming year, but new experiences help to slow down our perception of time as well. Double bonus.

    1. Hi Joanne –

      I am so glad you stopped by to say hello. The blog has been a very fun, creative endeavor and a great way to connect with people; both those I know and many new connections too. Happy New Year to you and your family!

  4. I, too, am a retired nurse. I never thought of the worry & feeling the need to rush as a byproduct of the career but it surely is. I often ponder what came first, the attributes or the career choice? Anticipating outcomes and being responsible to remedy them; hurrying from one patient or task to another are typical. After 9 yrs of retirement, I’ve given up the rushing and am still not over the slow mornings with coffee, good blogs, & morning radio. The worry hasn’t been so easy to release although I work on it – not my monkey, not my circus; not the monkey in charge of the bananas; let it go, let it go are mantras on repeat. My WOTY is forward after a year of coasting through a dialed down life of pandemic restrictions. Just like a nurse at the end of a demanding shift, put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on in forward motion.

    1. Hi Mona –

      So fun to hear that you are a retired nurse as well. It was a rewarding and stressful career. Interesting point on which came first. I will have to ponder that one as well.

      What a perfect WOTY after the pandemic restrictions. I hope your forward motion leads you to fun new adventures this year!

  5. I really like the New Year’s word “awe”. Thank you for reminding me to choose to acknowledge and enjoy more awe moments that are so prevalent in my life.

    1. Hi Janie –

      I picked that word because I need “to acknowledge and enjoy more awe moments” in my life as well. We need to get together and go “awe-spotting!” Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog.

    1. Hi Melissa –

      So glad it helped inspire you to do a little awe-spotting! You will have to let me know what you find. Thanks for stopping by my blog.


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