As I type this, the new year is almost here. We are just days away from ringing in 2016.
Once again, standing on the cusp of a new year brings on the discussion regarding setting resolutions and goals.
For me, the days following Christmas becomes a time to pick a new a word (or two) that will represent the upcoming year.
In a way, the word becomes a verbal roadmap to what's ahead. It becomes my word to focus on, to ponder and well, to use as it presents itself as life happens.
I started this practice in 2007, with the adoption of wonder as my very first word. During the year, seek emerged as a guiding word, because of a job change and new life opportunities.
Other words followed including simplicity and joy (2008), dream and hope (2009), half-full and see (2010), new and renew (2011), rest and sabbath (2012), imagine and rejoice (2013) and laugh and love (2014).
Obviously, most years, I've had two words. It seems as if something presents itself mid-year, as a guiding word of importance.
My only defense is, well, I like words.
Usually, I pick the word at the beginning of the year. However in 2015, my "one little word" did not present itself to me until early July. I found them as I tried to deal with a life that included a plethora of crazy wedding preparations and the unexpected death of the Lawman's daughter.
Those two words - grace and dignity - have become almost a mantra as I closed out the year, as I've tried to extend the meaning of the words throughout my life regardless of the situation.
As this year ends, life is different. Let's face it. I'm different.
This is the first year - in my 43 years of existence - I'm facing Jan. 1 married. My world, and perception of it, has changed. I'm no longer a "me" but instead a "we."
Even after five months, I'm still learning to grasp that new reality. I have to remind myself that I'm not walking through life alone. I have someone I can rely on and trust. Someone who is with me for better and for worse. Someone who is part of my life in a rich way.
I've thought a lot about what word will become my road map in 2016. I know I want this year to become one where I intentionally focus on things outside of the newsroom.
I want to create a life, together with the Lawman, which is full and rich.
A life that includes more than just eating, sleeping and working. A life that is full of meaning, creates memories and is filled with a plethora of emotions.
So with that in mind, my word for 2016 is "be."
I want to be in love, be fulfilled, be happy, be alive. I simply want to be.
I want to find out what it means to be present in life, rather than simply existing.
The question, to mangle Shakespeare, is not IF I want "to be or not to be." The answer is, instead is, simply I want to "be."
I want to live a life that no longer just occupies space and takes up air.
I want to find ways I can be available to friends and family - even if it means I turn off my phone.
I want to be connected with The Lawman, because I'm learning that my presence, means more than presents in the long run.
I want to be a person of faith. I want my faith, and ultimately my relationship with God, to be stronger on Dec. 31, 2016.
So, for 2016, I want to "be."
It's kind of fun to stand on the edge of a new year and see it as a blank canvas waiting to be filled. It's exciting, scary and well, an amazing opportunity, all wrapped up in 365 days.
Here's to 2016. May it bring joy, happiness, peace and all that you desire to you and yours.
Kaylea M. Hutson-Miller is the managing editor of The Grove Sun. Have an idea for a column or story? She can be reached at email@example.com or 918-786-2228.