In the Beginning There Was the Word. And the Word Was… Powerful

More powerful than a slew of resolutions, choosing one simple word to define you year can make a big difference. At the end of 2016 a friend of mine asked […]

January 1, 2018 // Tracy Shaffer // No Comments //

More powerful than a slew of resolutions, choosing one simple word to define you year can make a big difference. At the end of 2016 a friend of mine asked me what my “word” was. I must have looked at her quizzically. “The word that sums up what you want to guide you through the new year” she continued. “COURAGE” I blurted without thought, that would be my word.  I liked this idea, sharing it with guests at my monthly Card Table gathering, we went around the circle naming our guiding light for 2017. I took this seriously, ordering a stack of temporary tattoos to grace my forearm, lest I forget. One year later I checked in with myself to see how my “word” had influenced my year.

It took courage to say yes when asked if I’d like to take a writing workshop in February and more courage as the process began to unfold. Working with the talented Lisa Jones, I’ve had the joy of exploring a whole new genre, moving from plays to prose. As the classes progressed I discovered that not only am I capable of writing outside of my comfort zone (not that playwrighting is by any means comfortable), but that I have a story to tell; a story of strength, of resilience, of love, of death, of… courage. It takes this same quality to open my Scrivner writing app with some regularity, to expand the chapters, to go deep and to continue the narrative, to see it to fruition.

This year I asked myself some serious questions about my business. How am I doing twelve years into it, do I still enjoy it, what can I do better and how can I grow as a Realtor and businesswoman? Not all the answers pleased me, but each brought clarity, refinement, accountability and ultimately the courage to make a change. After nine good and productive years with Your Castle Real Estate, I’ve decided to join the team at Denver’s Madison & Company Properties. (More on this to come.)  My time at Your Castle has made me a better agent; more confident in my process, more informed on the market, and though I’ll miss the daily with my friends and colleagues, I’m very excited for the new opportunities to create at Madison. Change has most often been good to me.

Exercising courage took me places I might have otherwise said no to if I’d followed fear or habit: the spontaneous yurt weekend, stepping on stage as an actress (my past life) for a producer’s reading in New York City, bicycling through the streets of Amsterdam with the boys, reaching out to make amends in a friendship-gone-sour, telling the truth. Dating.

There have been plenty of other courageous moments over the past twelve months, many of them collective. Millions of women (and men) had the courage to march, to speak out for others, to speak up for themselves, and for many just getting out of bed in a 2017 America has been an act of derring-do. Looking back on the year and forward to the next, understanding the power a word to create perception, action, and to highlight chance, I’ve torn up the list of resolutions, freed myself from the commitment to drink more water, save more money, get more exercise, drink less wine— whoa there, Missy, don’t go too far—I’ve chosen my word for ’18.  TRUST.

I love the abandonment of the word, the giving in and letting go of it; its absolute.  Where faith implies a trust in something outside of oneself for right action, there is in the simplicity of trust, a sense of ownership that appeals to me. I trust my new business venture, trust that the blathering first draft will find its way to cohesion, trust that I will actually drink more water/less wine, trust that my sons will find their way and thrive, trust that democracy will triumph. Even through the din of my own teeth chattering, I choose TRUST.

Last year I didn’t know this word thing was a thing, but apparently it is. I’ve found a nifty site from blogger, Christine Kane, that’s chock full of information about the power the Word-of-the-Year, along with tools to help you discover yours. Click here. And if you are one of those who gathered around my fireplace last year, I’d love to know how your chosen word played out in 2017.

So…So… What’s your word?

Wishing you a very happy new year, I’ll be in touch. Trust me.