2012’s Word of the Year


Last year, for the first time, I chose a word for the year. I loved the idea of choosing a word that could help to guide me, consciously and unconsciously, through the year. And I believe that it did.

My word for 2011 was Open and as I looked back on my year I couldn’t help but agree with my friend Heidi that I was certainly open to adventure through the year.  I also think that in 2011 I let my heart lead decisions more than ever before. I chose to seize opportunities, despite feelings of discomfort and insecurity (or sometimes BECAUSE of the discomfort and insecurities they raised). This payed off huge and made for a year that was rich in experiences and friendships.

While last year’s word came to me after just a bit of reflection, when it came time to choose my word for 2012 I was a bit stumped. Fortunately the magic of Twitter brought Amy Palko and her goddess readings into my life (yep, I’m fully embracing the woo woo here and I don’t care who knows it!). Amy sent me a lovely e-mail with my reading and suggested a few words for me to think about.

The word Abundance jumped out at me and while I resisted it at first (it seemed a little arrogant or presumptuous or something to choose Abundance) in the end I realized that it is my perfect word for 2012.

So, Abundance.

And no, I do not plan to make 2012 about an abundance of candy!

There are two main reasons behind choosing Abundance as my word in 2012.

As I’ve written about here and here I have big plans for 2012. Actually it’s a big WANT. The thing with WANTing something this badly is that it can lead to focusing on what I don’t have. The WANT can take over. As I go through this year I want to keep one eye on my hopes and dreams for the future and one on the Abundance that currently exists in my life. I don’t want to get lost in the WANT and lose sight of how rich and full my life is just as it is.

The flip side of Abundance for me is about remembering my priorities this year in the face of many demands on my time and attention. My work situation seems to be changing. In some ways the change is welcome. After 3 years of being quietly sidelined into projects that for the most part were neither very important nor very challenging, my new boss seems to have recognized my skills and wants to put them to use on high-profile and complex projects. While it feels good to stretch a little and to feel valued, I can also feel myself getting consumed by the work. One of the things that the situation over the past three years gave me is the opportunity to discover what I love and who I am apart from my job. I value these lessons and have often said that I must find a way to hold onto them. As interesting as a job can be, I don’t want to go back to living for mine. So this year, in addition to the reminder to Create that adorns my wrist, my word will serve as a reminder to balance my life and remember my priorities in the face of an Abundance of demands and pressures.

What’s your word for 2012 and how do you plan to invite it into your life?

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About Debra Cowie

Debra is a photographer and visual storyteller based in Ottawa, Canada. She is an explorer at heart, whose passion for photography was born in travel and has been carried with her to more than 30 countries so far. Debra is also an avid cook and baker and much of her current work focuses on food styling and photography in her serendipitously beautifully lit kitchen. She has flirted with Polaroid and 35mm film photography but her true love is her DSLR (aka "Boyfriend Mark").
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6 Responses to 2012’s Word of the Year

  1. what a fantastic word and such a great way to balance your wants with what you already have.

  2. anngeedee says:

    My word for last year was Plan. I think it shaped how I looked at things and helped me get in the right frame of mind for the word that chose me for 2012. Build. I tried so hard to find something else, but “build” just wouldn’t be pushed aside. So, I’m embracing it as a challenge and hoping your 2012 word of abundance helps you shine even brighter than before. Cheers to a fulfilling year!

  3. Siobhan Wolf says:

    I love the way you talk, write, about your process. And I love embracing the woo woo! What a great gift to yourself.

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  6. Celina Wyss says:

    I’m all about the woo-woo now girl. 😉 Love your word. Wishing you the very best 2012!~

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