My Word for 2018

30 Dec

This year my grandfather passed away, suddenly and unexpectedly.

In a lot of ways, this has defined my year. The shock. The trip home. The shifting of priorities, of family dynamics.

A deeper understanding of grace.

I presented at a church workshop the week after the funeral and my final slide was my grandfather dancing at my wedding.

I talked about grace and how when someone passes away you can see their life clearly–the highs, the lows, the reality of the human experience.

And yet, with my grandfather’s death, my main takeaway, the biggest feeling I was left with was simply love.

A friend said,

God smooths over the rough places in our life and resurfaces us with love.

I saw this firsthand this year.

I saw grace in action.

I think my word this year is adult.

I’m growing older. My first grandparent has passed away. That’s a thing that starts happening now, I guess.

People I love age and struggle and shift.

I am aging and struggling and shifting.

I went to the grocery store every week this year.

Can you believe it?

A few years ago I was going to the grocery store once a quarter, at best. Every time I pushed my two carts out to the parking lot, an employee would ask if I was throwing a dinner party, or perhaps a medium-sized wedding.

No, no. I would say.

No, no.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in adulthood it is this:

You must go to the grocery store weekly if you want to eat well at all.

I’m sorry. To all my younger readers still on the quarterly plan, I’m so sorry for this news.

I hate the grocery store.

And yet.

This year, I went every week.

My word for this year is adult “I think” because I couldn’t come up with a better one. It’s as close as I could get to what this year was about.

I considered responsibility.

That’s a nice sort-of synonym?

We adopted Dolly this year.

We are responsible for a 5 lb living, breathing squeaky toy who crawls on my lap first thing in the mornings and flops and meeps for attention.

Rob suggested motherhood was the word for the year but I told him that was too far.

Too far.

And yet.

There was a shift.

A gaining of responsibility, of adulthood.

This year was the year of Dolly.

Recently Facebook popped up with the picture I shared back in February when we adopted our little marshmallow fluff.

I announced “Rob and I are parents! Meet Dolly Purrton!”

My grandfather commented, as he always did. He was the King of Comments.

“What a happy family!”

This year I didn’t move!

Two consecutive years in the same apartment, baby!

Since I came to LA in 2012 I’ve lived in five different places.

This year I didn’t move and I lived in an apartment that is functional and decorated and furnished.

This is the year of adult, after all.

This year I stayed at the same job!

Two consecutive years at the same place of work, baby!

Not that this makes one an adult.

A lot of really adult people I know freelance or shift with the wind. Change income-sources like I change mumus.

But for me it was a sort of settling down and settling in.

I love my job.

I am incredibly grateful I have it.

And I stayed there.

The last time I sat down and had a real conversation with my grandfather was fall of 2017.

I shared my shiny, new wedding pictures with him and my grandmother.

Here you are dancing

Here you are again

My grandparents dancing was a highlight of my wedding. It was a highlight all weddings they ever attended. The two of them would dance in any situation. Music came on? There they were in the middle of it all. Smiling. Cha-cha-ing. Glowing.

At my wedding, my grandpa did complicated footwork to You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift, jumping and leaping, landing it all as the crowd cheered.

At his funeral, we played this footage on a loop.

2018 was the year of adult.

It was the year I started to craft in a real way.

The year I announced I was Mormon on the internet.

Both of those feel adult to me.

The embracing of who I am, who I have always been. The owning of it. The return to the core.

2018 was the year of therapy.

The year I started most conversations with, “My therapist says.”

My therapist says she’s seen me change this year. Start on a path. A path towards what, is the question. That’s the word I’m looking for.

Is it responsibility? Honesty? Dolly? Grief? Crafting? Therapy?

I think my word this year is adult.

At least, that’s what I’m going with for now.

To read the obituary I wrote for my grandfather, click here.

 

PS: My words for 2017201620152014, 2013 and 2012

Bookmark and Share

One Response to “My Word for 2018”

  1. Fiona January 2, 2019 at 1:42 pm #

    Yay I’ve been looking forward to this 🙂
    My word of the year is New. I stayed in the same house and job but it feels like a lot of new things happened this year. I visited new places. made new [really good] friends (noteworthy at our age!) and started a new business. As with most new things, it was all a bit awkward and unrefined, but also full of hope. And hope is the most optimistic, faith-filled thing 🙂

Leave a Reply