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One Word

My word for 2023 was hero. It summed up everything I was going through as I moved from my victim mentality to being my own hero. It was my guiding principal as I made my way through the year.

And what a year it was. Sometimes in order to make a quantum leap forward, you have to shift some deep foundations within. And that's exactly what I did. I peeled back the layers so far that I stirred up the muck at the bottom of my deep subconscious. I made some massive changes in my business. And I ended the year with big opportunities (aka challenges) that left me feeling like I was in a forge. You know, where everything is so hot and painful that it melts steel into something wholly new.

It was hard, it was wonderful, and it was exactly what I needed. And now, I'm so ready for something else.

As I considered my one word for 2024, I knew I wanted something that focused on fun, on play. I'm ready to not take myself so seriously. I want that freedom, laughter, and lightness that come from enjoying life.

But I want more than those words encapsulate. Even joy can start to sound hollow when you hear it repeatedly. No, what I'm focusing on this year is that electrified feeling where you're so happy and in love with life that you could cry. The times where life is so beautiful and precious that it feels like your heart could burst wide open at the glory of it all.

And for me, that word is euphoric. I chose the adjective form of this word as opposed to the noun euphoria because my focus is on the feeling inside of me when I'm in this state.

Bright letters saying "one word: Euphoric 2024" glowing over black background with gold sparkles and glowing gold circle.

I've had little snippets of this feeling in recent years, but the last time in my life that I felt it on the regular was a few decades ago in college. Which is interesting because I had some very dark times in college. But there was also a sense of freedom, a belief that my entire life was ahead of me, and a desire to live life to the fullest.

I used to be the kind of person who would raise my hands in the air and scream when I greeted my friends before running up and enveloping them in a huge hug. The kind of person who treated life like one big party and stayed out dancing till dawn.

And then I went to law school and learned how to be "professional" and how to not use so many exclamation points in my emails. How to tamp down my natural enthusiasm for life in order to conform and appear respectable.

In the decades since, I've worked hard to grow my career and my family and get to a place of stability. There have been tears and hard work along the way, but also pleasure and satisfaction. I've gained so much to be grateful for.

And yet I miss that electrified feeling of pure ecstasy. The feeling of just being so unbelievably grateful to be alive has become eclipsed by the worries and stresses that come with responsibility. And somewhere along the way, I became so focused on trying to ensure safety that I lost sight of the beautiful adventure that makes life worth living. It's hard to live life like there's no tomorrow while still planning for the future.

So this year, I'm welcoming that euphoric feeling back into my life. I might go out dancing at dawn or be a little reckless and playful. I'll remind myself to smile all the way down to my liver. Maybe I'll get carried away dancing in a rainstorm and forget to come in for a meeting. Or perhaps I'll throw in some extra exclamation points just to show how excited I am to be responding to your email!!!

Whatever I do, the word euphoric will be my guiding light for the year 2024. What will yours be?

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