Have you come across this concept? As an alternative to (or a guide for) new year's resolutions, you choose one word that represents everything you want your year to be. I'm late to the party as we are well on our way to spring, but this word has been my guide for the past two months:
'Very beautiful or attractive, pleasant or enjoyable', as the Oxford English Dictionary puts it. Delightful, even.
'Lovely' loomed large when I sat and thought about what I wanted my year to be. It came out of nowhere, through the melee of worthiness that had been swirling my head - 'sustainable', 'parenting', 'learning', 'kindness', 'serenity', 'conserve', 'thrift', 'prepare'. I resisted - it sounds so vacuous, trifling, in a year so topsy turvy as this one.
But try as I might I couldn't shake 'lovely' from my mind.
Flowers (freesias!), wilderness, kindness, emerald green, puppies, pumpkins, serenity, quilts, stripped wood, simplicity, jewel colours, vintage pantry cupboards, ducks, kitchen gardens, happy children, words, the Romanian language, 'enough', white space, small houses (small, perfectly formed things in general), homemade preserves...
The mental list of things I find lovely ran on and on, as did the tally of things that I find decidedly unlovely, the things that I turn away from - ostentation, unkindness, cruelty, intolerance, dingy colours, beige, waste, clutter, plastic... One of those lists was more pleasant to focus on than the other.
And so I have my guide for a better life this year - a simpler, greener, lovelier life. The pursuit of loveliness can guide my behaviour, my parenting, my decor, my gardening, my making and mending. For a natural pessimist, it's going to be tough, but rewarding I hope.
What will your word be for 2017?