Finding the Joy by Patty Blount

Happy 2018 to all!

I don't know about you, but time moves a lot faster for me these days. I know it's all relative, but I feel like life has sped up. I can't believe we're in 2018. Feels like yesterday when we were all buckling down to survive Y2K and somehow, it's eighteen years later. New Year's Eve tends to depress me. I find myself looking back with regret instead of ahead with eagerness.

As is common at this time of year, our attention turns to planning and organizing. There are sales on diet plans, fitness programs, and storage containers for everything from your holiday decorations to your cosmetics. There's this almost universal push to start the year off right. 

Define 'right'.

That's what I've been trying to determine. I don't set resolutions; they're made to be broken. But I do like goals.

I had a goal to write a novel once. I tried over and over and kept failing. Then I broke that goal into steps. And I finally finished an entire book. So that's what I do every year.

Last year, a friend encouraged me to choose a word. Just one word I could use to focus my energies on the coming year.

I chose CONFIDENCE. I spent 2017 doing things that built my confidence back up to normal levels. I'm proud of what I achieved last year so I'm doing it again this year.

In 2018, my word is SPARK.

I love this word. It's a noun - which helps me focus on results. And, it's a verb, which helps me decide which actions to take. I want to do things that spark creative joy and passion in my writing. I want to do the things that generate improved health because I have an autoimmune disease that's ruined my life long enough.

SPARK also means arouse, generate, excite, animate, inspire, trigger.

I want to write stories that inspire readers to stand up for their beliefs. I want to meet new writers I can hopefully inspire to reach their goals.
I want to trigger a desire in my sons to make things happen in their lives instead of waiting passively by for opportunity to knock.
I want to provoke my body into moving more because my rheumatologist says "Motion is the lotion" for my pain-filled joints.

The truth is I probably have a lot more years behind me than I do in front of me. I want to make them all matter.


  1. Great word, Patty, and a great post! Thank you for being the one to share this idea with us to begin with. I like the idea of a word to drive my goals this year much more than the concept of making resolutions.

    1. I thought it was kind of silly at first but it really helped me last year. I hope you find it helpful, too!

    2. This is my first year with the one-word "resolution." I'm loving it.

  2. Spark is an awesome word. Can we share it?

  3. Spark is a great word, Patty! I've been choosing a "word for the year" for several years now, and when it's a good word, it really helps.


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