As my grandson climbed the hill on his new bike, his parents instructed him on the best way to make the climb a little bit easier. His shiny new wheels now had the ability to shift gears; changing the tension ever so slightly in order to make the arduous task that much less difficult. Once he caught onto the process, his mommy reported to me that he was so excited, exclaiming, “This is so much easier!” It was then that I chose my new word for 2021….shift.
Admittedly, I get a nervous twitch every time someone uses the phrase, “new normal.” Ugh! There is a part of me that refuses to accept the things that are going on as normal at all. Nor to accept them as inevitable changes to life as we know it. Normal is comforting. Normal is familiar. Normal is normal. What we experienced in 2020 is none of those things.
However, there are some obvious changes that have to be made in our lives whether we like it or not. I am choosing to refer to those things as shifts. Shifts in thinking, behavior, and emotions. The dictionary defines shift as “a slight change in position, direction, or tendency.” Slight, meaning baby steps; little by little.
Here are some shifts that I imagine happening in my life during 2021:
- A shift toward healthier habits all the way around. Healthier eating, more frequent exercise, and (at least for a little while) continued use of masks and hand sanitizers.
- A shift away from judgement. Judgement toward others who don’t necessarily believe the way I do, or aren’t necessarily shifting in the same direction.
- A shift toward kindness. It never ceases to appall me when I read the ugliness that people post online and even proclaim in person. Regardless of how hard I am already trying to be kind to my fellow man, there is always room for a further shift toward kindness.
- A shift away from throwing up my hands in frustration and ignoring things that are going on around me. No matter how hopeless things seem sometimes, there is always hope that things can change.
- A shift toward more prayer time and Bible study. If ever my eyes have needed to shift more toward heaven, the time is now.
All of the words in the graphic are synonyms that I found for the word shift. All of those words seem to say exactly what I hope to accomplish this year. And hopefully, just as shifting gears helps my precious grandson to ride his bicycle up that arduous hill, making these shifts will make navigating the new year just a little bit easier.
I’d love to hear from you!! What is your word for 2021?