2016 Word of the Year

funI’ve been absent for a couple of weeks – in part due to holiday preparations and celebrations, but also in part to honor the need for self-discovery.

Since mid-December I’ve spent quite a bit of time mulling over my 2016 word and working through Susannah Conway’s Unravelling the Year Ahead. Today I thought I might share how I happened upon the word FUN.

For decades I have focused on productivity. I rate each day by how much I accomplish. A good day means I check many tasks off the list; a bad day means I complete little. I base my personal worth on this efficiency scale, and lately I’ve come to realize this system does not lead to a life of peace and joy. So I decided my word for 2016 needs to combat this flawed focus.

I began to journal using the Word Association tool. I started by looking up the definition of Productive: having the power of producing; generative; creative.

I stopped in my tracks. Productivity and Creativity are connected?! I’ve always assumed these terms were complete opposites: productivity being practical work which must be accomplished first; creativity only allowed when all work is complete.

I have erroneously confused productivity with Busyness  – so I reviewed that definition in the hopes of finding its antidote. Definition: actively and attentively engaged in a work or pastime; not at leisure.

Hmmm… I continued the word association. Leisure: freedom from the demands of work or duty.

When I read duty, it resonated deep within my soul. Duty is how I have lived my life. Each day is ruled by what is expected of me. I am bound by moral, legal, real or imaginary obligations.

Bound is how I feel. Trapped, enslaved, locked up are synonyms that give voice to my struggle. This is what I must overcome in 2016.

wallpaperI thought perhaps Play would be the appropriate word, but I soon realized my definition of play is not quite the same as others. For example, I enjoy research, writing, learning. I like finding a common theme and centering activities around that central idea. What I consider play, others consider work … or boring.

So I went to the thesaurus to review other antonyms for duty and bound: entertainment, fun, pastime, blessing, benefit, free, release, let go, liberate, permit, encourage.

I settled on Fun.

It’s a little scary to admit “fun” will be my focus for the next twelve months. I mean, isn’t it hedonistic to live a life of fun? Doesn’t the Bible warn that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop?

But I keep reminding myself this is only for one year. I’m on sabbatical from the busyness of life. For just one year I will make fun a priority. I even made this wallpaper for my iPhone to remind me of my mission. And if this lifestyle does not agree with me, I can always return to the way things used to be in January, 2017.

 

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10 thoughts on “2016 Word of the Year

  1. So this means that you aren’t going to get upset when I suggest that maybe you aren’t having enough fun??? I do think this might be a word that I can help keep you accountable for. At least we will have “fun” trying. 🙂

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  2. Interesting – the connection between productivity and creativity. Maybe this goes back to Eph 2:10 – We are created as God’s work of art – and so creativity is part of our nature. Great post ! I look forward to hearing about your fun moments.

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  3. I think ‘fun’ is a perfect word. Perfect. Loved your thought process. Enjoy, enjoy, and find the ‘joy’ in the fun. JOY was my word for this year and I am actively seeking it wherever I can find it. Like here. Happy New Year, Molly!! Hope it’s a FUN one!

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  4. Just don’t work too hard at having fun. (Don’t make it a chore.) And really, just because you think things are fun that other people don’t, they’re still fun, aren’t they?

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  5. Pingback: All we need is #OneWord in 2016 | Still Unfinished...

  6. I loved seeing your thought process that led to your choice of “fun”! It kind of reminded me of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. Have you read that? I think it’s great that you’re giving yourself a year of freedom to have fun!

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