2018, the Year of Less
Once again I find myself at the cusp of a New Year, reflecting on the year past and forging ahead to the days to come. And once again I am searching for my Word-of-the-Year; that one word which best sums up my desire for living life to the fullest in 2018. I’ve seen people posting encouraging words like joy, persevere, and courage. I’ve also seen words popping up such as change, believe, and simply, love. The longer I reflect, however, the more I realize that my word for 2018 is going to be . . . LESS.
But less is counterintuitive. It seems to make more sense to embrace the word more. Most of us live our lives wanting more. We are taught to strive for more – more money equals more power and more friends. We work hard so that we can have more nice things to wear and furnish our homes. We study and keep current on the world around us so that we can have more knowledge. We save so that we can have more money to buy the newest shiny gadget offered by Grommet, or go to the best places Trivago is offering this week. But this year, even though it sounds backward, my desire is to have less.
Less stuff cluttering up my life – For years now, my New Year’s resolutions have included purging things from our basement and garage. Never has this become more urgent to me than in the past year as we helped my Mom downsize from a house to an apartment. I saw nice things that had been lovingly preserved by my parents for sixty-four years; things that no longer held a purpose in any of our lives. Of course there were treasured items we made room for in our lives. But the process made me realize it is time to get rid of things that simply don’t matter anymore, in order to make room for those that truly do.
Less physical baggage – Already in this new year I am making an intentional effort to purge myself of extra weight that prevents me from living the best life I can. I am making fewer unhealthy choices and choosing less of the foods that are weighing me down. Less unhealthy food, less of me. Literally.
Less minutiae – In other words, I’m choosing to let go of the tiny details that simply don’t make a bit of difference in everyday life. Is it more important that I have a few seasonal items scattered throughout the house, or that every room looks like a magazine page? I want people to feel welcomed and appreciated in my home, that’s all. There simply isn’t time to worry about traditions that made sense years ago when life was simpler, or to worry about whether something will turn out perfectly.
Less worry – I choose to depend on God to take care of things in His perfect timing. Worry doesn’t do anything to help a situation, and that time could be better spent in actually making a difference. Charles Spurgeon summed it up perfectly over a century ago : “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” I don’t want to use up today’s strength worrying about a future that may never come.
Less resistance to change – The farther I get down this road of life, the more comfortable I become. But if there is one thing I have become sure of, it’s that things will change. Sometimes change is necessary and wonderful; it’s time to embrace all new possibilities.
Less impatience. Less snarkiness. Less cynicism.
Yes, this year I definitely want less.
What is your word for 2018? I was even able to find a couple of websites to help you find it. Who knew?
Wishing you a wonderful and intentional New Year