2023 OLW

This month Margaret Simon asks us to reflect on the one little word we have chosen to guide us through 2023. Thank you, Margaret, for hosting this first spiritual journey Thursday of 2023.

I have been mulling over what my guiding word for 2023 should be. Many words have been swimming around in my head only to continue on their way. Try as I might none stayed with me long enough to be a guiding light.

Other years one grounding word just popped out at me saying it will be my guide for the year. This year not so. It is not like I haven’t spent enough time thinking about it. I thought that even if I could come up with several options I could then try to narrow the list. That didn’t happen.

There are certainly enough sites out there offering inspirational words. I admit I tried going to a few for inspiration. No luck. What I felt I needed wasn’t to be found in those lists.

Then a light went on. Why was I not content? Why was I looking for more? Was I trying too hard? Maybe I was trying to find a word that I felt might impress others when they heard it. Definitely not a way to pick a guiding word.

I thought some more. What did I want my word to do? Was I trying to make it more than what it should be which is a guiding principle for me in the coming year?

After auditioning and rejecting several possibilities it hit me. My guide for this year will be try.

I will try to be a better person.

I will try to accept others as they are.

I will try to keep learning as an integral part of my life.

I will try to be there for others in whatever capacity I’m needed.

I will try to be thankful for whatever life sends my way.

I will try to be an active and contributing member of the group’s to which I belong.

I will try to accept God’s plan for me knowing that He knows better than I what is good for me.If

Will I be successful in all of these? I don’t know. What I do know is that I will try.



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24 responses to “2023 OLW

  1. Trish

    “Was I trying too hard? Maybe I was trying to find a word that I felt might impress others when they heard it.” This is so honest, and crafted, using the very word that you settled upon in its less-than-spiritually-productive way first. It’s funny, you’ve made me think about two little words that seem conjoined in a way I hadn’t considered before: try and yet. Maybe it’s just me, but they seem to share a relationship, small but essential. All the best in your journey.

    • I admit that “yet” was also in the running for my OLW. Yes, there is a relationship between try and yet. There is much yet to be done if I give it a try.

  2. haitiruth

    Great word, and I like your list of things you try to do!

  3. I love that your OLW is all about doing the best we can. It inspires effort, but also offers forgiveness when we don’t get it right. Thank you!

  4. Linda Mitchell

    Try is a wonderful word. The part about any word chosen is that it we learn so much over the next year. I look forward to seeing where ‘TRY’ leads you. Onward!

  5. I feel that it opens up many possibilities but still gives leeway if some things don’t work out.

  6. That is a good word. And words should just come to us. Then they will always be with us.
    We are in West Bengal for a vacation. We were in Shantiniketan from 1st to 4th. On 6th we came to Sunderbans. Today we are going to Calcutta and will return home on the 13th. Regards

  7. Congrats on a great word. Try was my OLW in 2019. “I will try to be a better person” reminds me of a quote I adopted the year it was my word: “Try a little harder to be a little better.”
    I totally understand having a hard time choosing your word. That’s happened to me many times. When I read your post, I thought you might choose content. That’s been on my list before.
    Happy journeying with your word!

  8. I admire the goals you are aiming for in every sentence here with “try”. I especially appreciate that you followed your wondering “Will I be successful in all of these?” with the resolve to try. There is peace to be found in the effort and also in forgiving oneself for falling short…try, and try again, as the old saying goes. Strength and blessing to you throughout this new year!

    • That you. Sometimes we are our hardest critics and we don’t take failure well. I am hoping I can tell myself that even though things didn’t turn out as I had planned at least I have it a shot and tried my best.

      • Many of us ARE our own worst critics. Forgiveness of self comes harder than any other. Lessons and gifts lie in the trying…perhaps especially when the trying becomes overcoming setbacks! There’s peace to be found in that. Onward…

  9. Isn’t it often the case that sometimes we try too hard, and just when we ease up a bit, that something finds us. I hear “longing” in your post, too, Bob. I am reminded that our longing is a sign of reaching out for God – the only Truth/Peace that will fill us. “Try” feels to me like arms that will reach out (active) and remain open (passive) so that which is all-Truth, all-Peace has a chance to find us.

  10. I agree with you that so often we try so hard that we fail to see what is right in front of us. Thank you gor your insight.

  11. I can’t resist! Did you read Pearls Before Swine today?

  12. kareneastlund4898

    Sometimes a word dogs us until we notice it. I think you will find a good path with “try.” Thanks, and many blessings for a good year.

  13. Bob, January has flown by and I am still trying to catch up with SJT, Slicers, and Poetry Friday friends. Try is a great word and without thinking I used it above. When life interrupts try comes charging in to help retrace steps as a way to move forward. That is what you did in your “try” thoughts for 2023. This purposeful thought: “I will try to be thankful for whatever life sends my way,” is something that I am focusing on as I latch on to the word “be” as my guide. I did not see your slice for today yet but I broke my habit of sliding into the end-of-Tuesday slot for writing. Happy New Year.

    • Carol, the one thing I like about “try” is that if I don’t succeed or get to something I wanted to I don’t need to beat myself up for not completing that task. At least I tried and sometimes that is just enough. Life does get busy and unexpected side trips happen. Self forgiveness is important just as trying is.

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