Hey, friends! Is everyone staying warm and enjoying this (hopefully) last stretch of winter? February can be a surprisingly long month for one that actually has fewer days, but I’m starting to see changes coming… a stretch of days above freezing, a few more precious minutes of daylight, and things starting to appear on the calendar in the not-too-far-away spring months.

It’s also a time where we reevaluate after the month of resolution. Did you set New Years resolutions? Are you still following them? Are you crushing your goals, or did you readjust, or scrap them altogether? February can really be a month of realism in that way.

I didn’t set resolutions this year, and I didn’t get around to choosing a word of the year… mainly because I wasn’t sure what I wanted it to be. But now, I think I know.

From the files of “better late than never,” my 2022 Word of the Year is…

REINVENTION

I debated on this one, because it isn’t a word that really rolls off the tongue. It even looks a little weird to me spelled out above. But maybe that’s okay, because this a word where you have to put a little work in for it!

Dictionary.com defines “reinvent” as follows:

  • to invent again or anew, especially without knowing that the invention already exists.
  • to remake or make over, as in a different form: At 60, he reinvented himself as a volunteer. We have an opportunity to reinvent government.
  • to bring back; revive: to reinvent trust and accountability.

All three of those similar definitions apply to my use of the word. I’ve had a lot of changes in my life, the biggest being that I’ve become an empty nester in the past year. (My son is at university less than an hour away and we see him regularly… but day to day, things have changed dramatically.) It’s a time when parenting and support is still vital, and when we communicate frequently, but when many of the hands-on parenting responsibilities have been drastically cut back.

Since I was a mostly stay at home mom for most of his life (with periods of part time work and homeschooling, and a heavy dose of school volunteer roles), it’s more than the emotions of moving on to the next stage for our family… it also feels as though I’ve retired from a full time job. So I’m at a point where I’m asking: What’s next? How do I focus my newfound abundance of time and energy? And what do I want the rest of my life to look like?

So, a year of REINVENTION means I’m staring all those questions right in the face. I’m exploring new interests, rekindling friendships, and considering what “work” might look like now. And as the year goes on, I plan to share some of this journey.

Is anyone else out there on a path of reinvention? What does it look like for you? And what have you so far found out about yourself? I’d love to connect, especially if you’re an empty nester in this stage.

Thanks for reading, and wish me luck as I press forward to this time of exploration and renewal!

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