Words are like a kaleidoscope of language, ever-changing in meaning, sound, nuance; yet meaningful to me. My decades old “mantra” has been “words are powerful.” Certain words make me laugh, question, recall, and can influence every relationship and mood.  


In welcoming this New Year, I’m focusing on a new way of entering 2022. I’m looking at 2022 through the wide angle lens of possibilities. My website master at Groundwork Promotions  is calling it the Year of Evolution. That’s exciting! 

My friend Mona shared Susanna Conway ideas to choose your word for 2022. She’s not the only one. There are tribes, groups, folks, publications sifting through thoughts, feelings, hopes, intentions to choose a word for this year that embodies a personal hope, optimism, strength, wisdom. This inspiring guide for a word find reminded me of the year I redefined “sweet.” It became a treasure-not feeding the hunger of my soul with sweet food or too much sugar, but finding the sweetness that is inherent in me, and in you too. Keeping that word in mind, or on a post-it, can shift a thought. Try it. Choose a word that makes you smile or feel strong, courageous, etc. 


Last year my personal catchphrase was realizing and defining what the “new normal” would be, which I latched onto from media and other writers. In retrospect it was weighted with wishing for the old normal to return. When I examined the whole concept of the old normal, it held much to be desired.  

It’s all too easy to see pandemic living as a narrow tunnel with a very small light at the end. It seems like settling for what is, even if “what is” lacked some very key elements. We now have some reference points- 2020, 2021. Yes, we’ve learned scientific facts and seen/been a part of events that cast all of us as characters of history in the making. I have had to accept some restrictive changes which I choose to see as safety measures. But settle? Maybe too confining. Life is too short to wander around in the past. 


Turn that tube of life’s kaleidoscope a little and see a different design. Amanda Gorman’s  2022 “New Day’s Lyric” resonates with me. She said, “So let us not return to what was normal, but reach toward what is next.”

I’m releasing the “new normal” and keeping the new. No baggage. No expectations ( that’s a hard one), an etch-a-sketch beginning. Maybe a new hobby.

I recently started crafting greeting cards from the 1000’s of photos I’ve accrued and supplies from Stampin’ Up.

Maybe a new Zoom group is out there- storytelling, yoga- it’s all there with zero miles to commute.

Writing with a different focus. Since my mild stroke in August 2021 I’ve been journaling the changes, differences, progress (yes), and challenges my brain is experiencing. That takes me through a gamut of emotions and aha’s. 


So dear friends, Happy New Year 2022! My word is New. I’m placing it into the kaleidoscope of hope, joy, harmony, strength and… It’ll be interesting to discover what my view will be when someone asks, “What’s new?”

What will your word be?

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She’s retired from professional writing gigs after 30 years of teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. In retirement she writes to inspire, to connect with folks, and for the pure enjoyment of it. Ethel enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Zoom gatherings, and anywhere there’s a mic.