What’s Your Word for the New Year?

I love the tradition many people have of choosing a word to hang their new year on. I’m sure I’ve done that in the past, but I forget what I said. Which goes to the practicality of my choosing a theme, but not pasting it on the wall, or on something I see every day.

There are two things that loom large for me in 2020, two verbs that have made themselves significant in the past few months: Sleep and create.

Our Sylvie has no problem getting to bed

My relationship status with sleep: it’s complicated.

There’s this teenager living inside me, and she doesn’t listen very well. She’s rebellious and a little wild, and smart enough to rationalize pretty much anything. If I tell her I want to go to bed every night by 10:30 so I can get up and feel refreshed and take on the day, she says, okay, go ahead. Then at about 10:00 she tells me it’s still early, and if I go to bed at midnight, I can still get up by 8 or 8:30, and that’s plenty early, right? I find it hard to argue with that because it definitely sounds reasonable. So I go to bed at midnight, but have to do ablutions and read a little and it’s 1:00 by the time I shut down. Time management and I have never been easy friends.

But here’s the reality. I’m 25 pounds over the median weight of my BMI, and I’m 57.5 years old. While I do weight-bearing and cardio exercise several times a week, our bodies are not built to adjust to extra weight. Things hurt! You can find lot of articles on sleep’s effects on weight management. Here’s a good overview from Shape Magazine. Sleep keeps our cells functioning efficiently. It doesn’t get any more important than that.

In addition, sleep is great at keeping the brain clean and functioning. Here’s a readable look at the relationship on Bustle (not known for its scholarly articles, but still good). There’s a nasty connection between Alzheimer’s and plaque on the brain that’s exacerbated by poor sleep habits.

SO many good reasons to get better sleep in 2020. My goal is to make friends with sleep. And make it a friendship that the teenager inside me can come to like.

Create is my second word for 2020. For a writer, you’d think it would be self-explanatory. It may be even more complicated than sleep, but more fun when it comes to all the Mes inside me. I’ll write more on that next week.

And speaking of creating, I have some exciting news. THE STRANGER INSIDE, my latest book, is downloadable for $3.99 pretty much everywhere through January 5th! (Just click on “Buy Book” for links to stores. You can read an excerpt there too!)

When I wasn’t reading, writing, or remodeling our house in 2019, I was stitching. Here’s a piece I started over the holidays. It’s a 1970’s era Colonial Williamsburg kit–a detail from an original coverlet. I’m obsessed with finishing it. Shall I make it a pillow? It’s pillow-topper size. Any other ideas?

I think this is a turkey, which makes sense for colonial America. Didn’t Ben Franklin want to make it our national bird?

I’ve been scarce, I know. Your support on social media and at signings has blown me away. Thank you!

Do you have a word or theme for the coming year you want to share? Happiest of New Years to you, my dears.

7 thoughts on “What’s Your Word for the New Year?”

  1. Lucinda says:

    Create and produce. Create I chose for myself. Produce was tacked on by a friend 🙂

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Ooooooh! Tell me what “produce” implies. Does it mean putting what you create out in the world?

  2. J.T. Ellison says:

    My word is Enough. The more I think about it, the deeper it goes. Happy to see you back here today!

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      “Enough” is definitely a deep concept. I am enough is a particularly difficult thing to say/believe. Then, what we have, or want/think we want, our relationships…it’s endless.

  3. You picked two good words. I feel ya on the sleep thing. Next week I’m going to go to bed on time every night for the whole week . . . really, I am! My word this year is “forward.” Gotta make sure I’m not busy spinning my wheels.:-)

    1. Laura Benedict says:

      Forward sounds just right, Priscilla. Growing, learning, headed toward the future. Wishing you lots of good sleep!

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