I have really been thinking about my focus word for 2024! Words that I have nurtured in the past several years have focused on nourishment, joy, resilience. All great words. I think I’ve said before that I love four letter words and how they feel rolling out of my mouth. Hope is one of those words, but as I got to thinking for this year, I had no idea what word was going to call my name.
As I was driving down the street the other day, I began querying the street signs for a message. Court? Uh, no. Walnut? Not inspiring. Ocean? Well, an amazing thought but not sure how I could implement that word given that I live about 3.5 hours away from the ocean. Garden? Hmmmm. I don’t have a green thumb. But then I got to thinking of what gardeners do. They grow plants and trees. Yes. They water them. Yes. What else do they do? They tend.
I got to thinking about that word "tend". It is a twofer. BOGO! Tend means to take care. It is also an amazing root word for many other inspiring words. Think stretch! Extend. You can extend yourself outside of your comfort zone and stretch to being a person you never thought you could be. You can extend your hand to a fellow human. To help them. To encourage them. To walk shoulder to shoulder with them through their struggles and their achievements.
Intend. Again. To stretch. To have a plan or purpose. What is your life’s purpose? Intend could also be a word that is an easy out. Well, in 2023, I intended to be present and relax, but I was not able to achieve my purpose. So, then the script is flipped. I intend to tend to myself and others. I intend to be kind. I intend to be gracious. I intend to be hopeful. But the bottom line for me is that I will "tender" some wages on that. I will challenge myself and honor myself. I will tend to my needs and those of others.
And then, there is attend. Will I be present? Will I be attentive? Will I be available?
So, yes, my word is tend, but it is so much more than that. It is way more than a twofer. It is my 2024 intention. Something I will attend to every day. What is your focus word for 2024?
"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today." - Dale Carnegie