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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

What's in a Word? IWSG January 2023

Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of  Alex Cavanaugh.  To find other contributors, click here. Thank you to this month’s co-hosts:
 Jemima Pett, Debs Carey, Kim Lajevardi, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and T. Powell Coltrin.

January 4 question - Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year?

The fear of over-promising and under-delivering means I’m not keen on resolutions. The first word to hit me was “complete” because I want to get done already with my current project. As a goal, it’s achievable. I finally figured out the backstory and motivation for one of my primary characters, the lack of which was making the story one dimensional. I’m pretty sure I can plug that in and get myself to the finish line of a decent draft soon, so maybe “complete” as a word for the year isn’t challenging enough.

Perhaps the word could be “decide.”

While still working at the job I’ve had for 11 years, I’ve qualified to retire a bit early with my little pension and lifetime medical insurance intact. While it’s nice to know I can go when I want, I worry I’ll fall into a slump if I don’t have a reason to get up five days a week. When you’ve been a part of a couple for thirty-five years and then you’re not, it takes time figure out how to navigate alone. Throw in two years of Covid isolation and you can understand why I may be behind the curve. I’m still trying to discover who I am without my wingman. Work offers a steadying influence. 

That said, I envy my retired friends who can do things on their own schedules. One is taking a trip to Australia. Another takes a pottery class. A third loves her poetry group and travels when she wants. Yet another friend has begun a photography business. She shoots and sells the most stunning pictures. I’d like to accompany her a time or two. 

While scary, when I decide to retire, I think I’ll find the time to explore things that bring me closer to the next iteration of me. 

Huh. It's official. 

My word of the year will be “onward.”

Happy New Year to all.


Jemima Pett said...

Your idea is close to mine. But our situations are very different in that I'm way ahead of you. I was already used to getting up to... feed the guinea pigs. Seriously, sometimes I wonder whether it's worth getting out of bed and then somebody 'wheeks' at me from the other room.

When I first retired I had to have an annual plan of things to do. Then I discovered the writer in me. So yes, take the time to think about what you want to do, and where your social life will be without work. Pre-planning retirement is important. They even run courses for it in the UK!

Good luck and have a happy 'decisive' new year :)


Bish Denham said...

Life is nothing but one change after another. I know you will find your way through and settle into the "new" iteration" of yourself that best suits the moment.

May 2023 also bring you peace.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I still work too, but I only work part-time now. It gives some structure to my days, which is harder to figure out since I lost my husband like you. You might want to transition to retiring by cutting back your hours. I'm glad you're moving onward and trying to figure it all out. Me too. It's a journey.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

There is no doubt in my mind that you will figure this out and you will move onward AND upward into amazing things. :)

Jan Morrison said...

Onward is a great word. These words of the year are to be aspirational I suppose, maybe a reminder of what we need at the time, but not a noose. I have felt a bit asunder of late, not sure how I want my days to be. After a couple of years of draconian scheduling I want to have some ease. So tricky getting the balance right. I do write better when it is around other obligations - but I am neither retired or not retired. I have not had a "straight job" for several years, but those were always interspersed with my private practice and other side-hustles. Ron and I say we aren't retiring because we both have always been somewhat there already. It is definitely a mind-set that needs to be reckoned with. I like that you've figured out your plot snarl and cannot wait to see what emerges. Much love dear person...

Nick Wilford said...

Onward! That's the only way to go. Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll do it well. I'm sure having your time up open up without work is exciting but also a little daunting.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love how you found your word.
I ended up with a bunch of them grouped together, but the more I think about it, it's really all built on one foundation.

Diane Burton said...

Great word. Those of us who are retired can tell you when you have all the time in the world, you don't get as much done. It sounds like you need/want that job as a way to stay organized. Good luck. Wishing you the best in 2023.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

That is a great word. I love retirement. Though I've spent a lot of my time in the last five years watching my granddaughter, it was wonderful to have that time with her. You'll wonder how you ever had time to work.

Steph W. said...

That is a tough decision, but I'm sure it will feel right when it is time to make it!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I LOVE being retired. I'm a structured person (too much at times) so I do get done what I need to. I knew it was time to retire from the school district I worked for.


Joanne said...

Onward is very positive. You'll get it right. I've been retired a year and it took a teensy bit to get my groove. I kept feeling that I had to be "doing stuff." Nah - you can just BE. And that frees up the soul.
I love retirement and doing what I want when I want. I'm healthier and calmer. You'll be fine when you take the step. Until then, enjoy. Complete your words. Snap a photo. Sip some tea. Just breathe. You'll be okay and we blog friends are along for the ride. All good!

Michelle Wallace said...

Hi Liza
I've never had a 'word of the year'. But I believe in perseverance. So maybe that will be my ongoing word for years to come.
All the best for 2023!

mshatch said...

Oh, lucky you! I can't wait to retire! Hope your 2023 is filled with lots of good words :)