Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One little word for 2010: May it be a year filled with Delight

Inspired by my friend Irene Latham, last year I chose a single word as a theme for the new year. My word for 2009 was enjoy. It was a great focal word for me, and having chosen it publicly, I thought of that word a lot more in 2009 than I usually would have. Forming the word in my thoughts was like a call to attention, and it forced me to see the happier side whatever situation I was in. Just thinking "enjoy" made me enjoy life more, and that made my one little word take on a significance I hadn't expected.

For my one little word for 2010, I started mulling over choices early, back in November. I take everything so damn seriously, and of course, this was no different. I actually worried, "What if I choose the wrong one?" Ugh. I amaze myself with my own capacity for melodrama.

Fortunately, I let myself relax into the process of considering individual words. Many words stopped by for an audition: focus, dream, here, play, invent, see. Some even had a callback. But the right word was still out there, until it was literally whispered in my ear one evening in early December. Robert Krulwich, of the amazing podcast Radiolab, mentioned how the word "delighted" is woefully underused. It stuck in my head, and I thought of the word the next day as Esme and Ada were grinning with excitement about their new advent chocolates with star shapes stamped on them. A square of chocolate, not even half an inch wide. It was such a small thing, but clearly it produced so much delight. Exactly.

So delight it is, my one little word for 2010. Krulwich is right to say it's woefully underused. I can't think of the last time I heard someone say, "I'm delighted!"

It feels a little old-fashioned, but it's all the more appealing to me because of it. I think it's hard to use the word delight in a time like ours, where campiness and mockery set the tone all too often. Delight is innocent in that it's unabashed. If you are delighted, it's obvious. It floods out of you, into your expression, your posture, your voice. Such clear expression is a gift, to the person feeling it, and to everyone else around as well.

For 2010, I want to be that person, who delights, who is delightful, who feels unabashedly delighted. I want to be in the presence of people who shed their skin enough to feel that, too, to just be filled with it.

To start, I'm leaving the Christmas tree up a few more days, which is a few days later than we would normally leave it up. Yes, the house is chaotic with decorations and new toys and old toys. The crisp clean feeling of a tidy house is still out of my reach. But the tree, which my husband carefully grew for us over the past four years, and which has a sweet little open spot that is perfect for the big straw stars we hang--ah, the tree is delightful. It sparkles against the snow, and it still fits the room, it still feels right there. Frankly, I am still delighted by it. Choosing delight--it stays. I hope to choose such little delightful things again and again over the next year, and notice that flood of feeling that comes each time. I send those wishes to you, too.

What word will you choose for 2010?

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Judy said...

I'm delighted with your choice of words this year. I just had a moment of delight as I looked on Deb's bridalhood blog. Wow me in my wedding gown again almost 40 years ago!
I have a feeling 2010 will be a year of more new delights to enjoy. Your blog is certainly one of them.. Love to you and the family. Leave the tree up as long as it delights!

Lisa said...

What a lovely thing to do - leaving up the tree! I miss the twinkle of ours.

Delight is such a wonderful word. I've been goofing around on the greyer side of the word spectrum, not in the choosing a word regard, but just thinking about words that I like, words that please me, even if it's in a strange, dark way. I'm really loving ghastly and dreadful. Not pretty words or delightful sentiments, but maybe I'm feeling a tug to write something out of character for me, something in which those two words would make perfect sense?

A word for 2010? I think courage is going to be my word. It leaps out at me. Courage. I'm going to need it and I want to embody it.


*SparkleMirror* Kiln-Fired said...

I must first say that Hubby did a admirable job of raising that tree. What a masterpiece adorned with those ornaments (love the space there to accommodate the large ones).
Delightful is a, well, delightful word, Kirie. I love your picking of a word for the year, sharing how last year's "enjoy" did magic for you.
I must now embark on that journey to my word. Is it too late? Never, of course. Can "spine-tingling" be considered a word for the purposes of this splendid exercise? Well, I guess I can answer my own question again here... Most certainly a YES.
And lastly, but not leastly (?)... I discovered radiolab exactly a year ago this month, have long since downloaded every episode onto my iphone, listened to each at least twice (if not many times more), and am only regretting now that the show is only produced once or twice a month. Gotta love Robert... magnificently creative and ebulient soul that he is. And Jad's not a bad lad himself (the anchor of the two).
Glad we've become acquaited, Kirie, and I wish each of us a spectacularly delightful and spine-tingling 2010.
David *
(I DO use "delightful" quite often... along with many other effervescent words... they always seem to liven the atmosphere)

Angie Muresan said...

Kirie, you make me laugh! I tend to think that I am the only one with a huge capacity for melodrama. I think delight is such a fitting word for you. With your lovely daughters and beautiful house, as well as all the homey things you do and the love you share, you are sure to delight. Happy, delightful 2010!!! Hugs to you!!

La Belette Rouge said...

I am delighted to say that "Celebrate" is my word for 2010. Delightful, like celebrate, seems to bubble like champagne. The more you say it and feel it and say it the more that comes. I love the song by Rosemary Clooney, "It's delovely". She also features the word "delightful" in the wonderful song.

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