In contemplating what word I'd like to be my "word of the year" for 2014, I realize that there's a word I need to lose even more than a word I need to gain.
Surprisingly, the word I need to get rid of is one that I've already seen many people embrace as their word for the year. It's a word that gets bandied about as an ideal, and it's one that I myself have tried to attain. Honestly, it sounds like a great idea.
My UNword for 2014? Balance.
Now why would I want to get rid of such a nice idea? Isn't it the key to success, the secret to a happy life? Shouldn't I be striving for more of it??
No. I don't think so.
Because real life isn't balanced. Day to day, week to week, season to season--sometimes we're relaxed; other times we're rushed. Sometimes we're snowed under with work; other times we have an excess of leisure. Sometimes we have good amounts of work time and rest time; other times it's all we can do to snatch a moment of respite.
Honestly, striving for balance sounds more like walking a tightrope or working with a chemical equation than living a real life. Who wants life to be like that?
So instead of balance this year, I'm going for another word: rhythm.
God created the world with natural rhythms--the rising and setting of the sun, the ebb and flow of the tides, the passage of the seasons. Our bodies have natural rhythms, too--the beat of our hearts, the pulse of our blood flowing through our veins, the rise and fall of our breaths.
Instead of a delicate balancing act or a difficult chemical equation, the idea of rhythm brings to my mind thoughts of music. Sometimes we waltz through our days with ease. Sometimes we must put on our boots and march. Sometimes we sing the blues. But whatever the background music, we make it through if we learn to keep time.
Too often I've struggled against the beat, trying to superimpose some kind of artificial "balance" into my days rather than going with the flow of the music of my life. I've wanted to control my circumstances. I've resisted the leadership of others, wanting to march to the beat of my own drummer--and I've often ended up out of step.
So this year I'm giving up on balance and working instead on rhythm. And I figure that, with God as the conductor of the symphony, I can trust that the soundtrack of my life will be good.
How about you? Do you have a word for 2014? How about an UNword?