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.


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. 🙂


  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.


  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!


  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?


  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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