A couple of years ago, Jude, one of my local writer friends, invited me to her solstice gathering. She had been holding these for many years. I was honored to be asked, and as an introvert, a little nervous about meeting and interacting with new people. I set an intention to extend myself beyond my comfort zone and reach out. On my half hour drive home, I patted myself on the back for my new behavior and for the connections I made.

At the winter solstice, Jude asks us to share our word for the year. My word for 2016 was “JOY.” For 2017, I chose the word “OPPORTUNITY.” My word for 2018 is “THRIVE.” Then she gives us a reminder to position in a prominent place in our home as a prompt to be on the lookout for evidence of our word materializing.

The major OPPORTUNITY that manifested for me in 2017 was being gifted by April with her expertise to publish A Long Awakening to Grace.

I choose THRIVE for 2018 because I have never been satisfied with calling myself a survivor. I want to do more in life than survive. I want to THRIVE. And now that I’ve accomplished what a high school classmate referred to as “the greatest achievement of my life,” what’s next? It will be hard to top 2017.

In November and over the holidays, while we have been experiencing frigid weather and I wasn’t feeling well enough to go out, I made use of this time with a major cleaning out the old. My office is reorganized and I have a pile of papers and records I no longer need (I tend to be a pack rat) waiting for the recycle bin. I already feel lighter and love how much more accessible my new office arrangement is.

It occurred to me that letting go of this old stuff is a part of making way for the new … the new that promises to fulfill my intention to THRIVE. I still have more I want to do, but I am well on my way. And seeing these actions as my commitment to THRIVING in 2018 increases my enthusiasm and curiosity. It will be interesting to see how THRIVE materializes despite whatever rejections and disappointments as a writer and author may come my way. (Rejections and disappointments come with the territory and we THRIVE when we keep plugging away and noticing the gifts we receive despite them.)

To celebrate these surprises and gifts, I’m going to record everyone of them as a celebration in my THRIVE journal.

If you are willing to share, I’d love to hear your word for 2018 and how you are preparing to live into it?


  • Loved your blog. It has never occurred to me to pick a word and watch for its occurance in my life, but I like the concept. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Ani

    May you THRIVE in all ways 2018!
    Loved your piece.
    My word for this year is equanimity! I also want “play” and I think they can co-exist and enhance each other

    • I agree, Ani, You’ve been wanting more time for play for a long time and have finally found a way to carve it out for yourself. I just know this will lead to manifesting equanimity. It is a great word and, that, along with serenity, are two of my growth challenges as an Enneagram 1 and 4. Look forward to hearing all about what you are doing this year to play. I have some plans up my sleeve, too.

  • Carol J. Alexander

    Linda – Thrive! Best word for 2018! Joy and Opportunity offered the possibility for thriving. Many blessings!


  • Cindi

    My word for 2018 is CHANGE. Love this idea.

  • Carol J. Alexander

    I appreciate your word for this year – change. A fitting word for me, too. At this point in my life the best word for this year of 2018 is FOCUS. Follow the plan. DO IT. Even though this sounds a lot like am Amway statement for the year, there is great merit for someone like me that can get scattered easily. The focus for me is: 1) complete the memoir I started in 2015; 2) Write Stewardship messages for HCC Currents & TWATC; 3) complete two items for in-house plus – ADVENT for 2018 & LENT for 2019. I spent 30 hours last week organizing my office – and have started on the PLAN this week. Pray!

    • The offertory prayer you wrote for Sunday’s service was lovely. I’ve been spending a lot of time getting my office and materials organized and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning out. Have stacks of paper to recycle. It helps to do what you just did, tell someone what your plans for the week are and then let them know what you accomplished. I find if I don’t write it down, I don’t remember and things get lost. Focus is a great word.

      • Carol J. Alexander

        Thanks for your good words. I started yesterday organizing my memoir temporarily called Journey–BLOOM. I find it both satisfying and painful to remember some events and the feelings that were felt then–and come up again now,It seems, with even more trauma, as they are reviewed one more time. Thanks for A LONG AWAKENING TO GRACE–powerful, poignant.

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