Apparently, there is a trend in which people choose a word of the year, one that  is meant to represent how they envision their year unfolding. Everybody’s word is unique; it should serve as a compass to guide you toward a personal goal. And apparently, this is nothing new; people have been choosing words of the year for quite some time now.

Weird that I’d never heard of this before, given that I’m a writer. Words are my bread and butter. You’d think I’d be all over this scheme. But nope! Much as with “The Sopranos,” which Tara and I just started watching (tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1999…literally), I’m late to the game.

In fact, when my supervisor Slacked the team a few weeks ago and asked us if we had a word of the year, I replied like a real smart-ass. “I’ve got two,” I told her. “Widows and orphans.

What can I say? I’ve always been a master of the callback.


Once I realized this was a real thing, however, I decided to jump on the bandwagon myself. Better late than never! I mean, Tony Soprano is still a compelling character 20 years after his debut, right?

Without further ado then, my word of the year is…drumroll, please…


It’s not that I plan on being a lazy slug in 2020, but I am going to focus on slowing down. I plan on taking more time to stop and smell the roses. To just “be.” If that sounds all hippy-dippy, sorry-not-sorry. The past couple of years have been rollercoaster rides. To wit:

  • In 2018 I quit my job, packed up all my worldly possessions, and moved halfway across the country.
  • In 2019 I started a job, quit a job, started another job, bought a house, and moved again, all while working on 25-ish freelance blogs a week, every week, for the entire year.

I’m exhausted.

Maybe my word of the year should be “bada-bing!”

My goal for 2020 is to embrace leisure in all its wonderful, carefree forms. I’m already off to a flying start; instead of dashing out a freelance blog every weekday morning before breakfast, I sip coffee and skim through the newspaper. I even changed my alarm to allow me a few extra minutes of sleep every day. There is no painting of walls or unpacking of boxes, but rather, books on Kindle and Tony Soprano. I even hooked up the old PlayStation 2 in the basement and fired up Ratchet & Clank. I haven’t played video games in years.

I mean, it won’t be all fun and games, but there will be a hell of a lot more fun and games than there were last year. Or the year before. We’re heading to Custer for an overnighter this weekend to burn a wooden beetle in effigy and then do a pub crawl, for instance. We also booked a room in Lead for a March weekend, will be traveling to eastern South Dakota in July for a chislic festival, and have a couple of camping trips planned. Best of all, in September, we’re having a family reunion right here in Rapid. I’ve taken the planning reins on that one, but it’s okay: I’ve got time now. This “leisure” thing and I are going to get along just fine.

What’s your personal word of the year?

27 thoughts on “Leisure

  1. I too hadn’t heard of this word of the year thing. I appreciate having learned about widows and orphans from you, though. And now I know what a callback is! Thanks for that. I’ll have to give my word some thought. Four-letter words okay? All that’s coming to mind at the moment. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A couple Blogger’s I follow have done the word of the year thing for a few years now. I’m afraid my word for every year would be ‘Fun.’ Nothing else appeals to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark, I’ve noticed the same thing over the past couple of years that some people are selecting one word for the year. In fact, one of my longtime blogging friends posted about her word for 2020 at the start of January.

    I like the word you chose. Leisure is a good thing because as you shared, it allows you to slow down, smell the roses, and experience the “moment.”

    Personally, I don’t really choose a word each year. But what I try to do is stay present and aware of opportunities that come my way and use them to learn — both positive and challenging. When I was younger, I was always trying to direct my life (which wasn’t at all a bad thing). But as I’ve gotten older, I let my life move me in the direction I need to go.

    We all experience life differently, you know? And for me, right now, my life presents itself to me.

    Have a faaaaaaaaaaaaabulous weekend, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is my first year choosing a word…and probably my last year choosing a word, lol. I’m sure when 2021 rolls around leisure will be a normal part of my life. Still feels novel to me now, but I’m beginning to embrace the whole concept.

      I think you’ve got the right attitude, btw. Just be present and aware of your opportunities. You strike me as a very well-attuned person who always learns from his experiences, good and bad.

      Have yourself a wonderful weekend!


  4. I watched The Sopranos for the first time ever myself, maybe two years ago? Definitely one of the best shows ever. Even my 90-yo Mom got a kick out of it. Especially the one episode…I forget if it involved stomach flu or food poisoning. Haven’t seen her laugh that much before or since.

    I’m familiar with the Word of The Year but have never felt like participating. Not sure why. But I like your choice of leisure. Sounds like you’ve got some fun stuff already lined up, too! Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Playing Ratchet & Clank again sounds like a great idea! (Never played–went for its less popular cousin, Jak & Daxter.)

    Those previous two years sound pretty intense, so leisure it up!

    (No clue about my word yet. I’ll try to make sure it doesn’t become ‘Tomorrow’…)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. For the ninth year in a row, my word is BREATHE, because I still have to tell myself to do it properly. Leisure is an excellent choice.
    Your 2019 was a lot like my 2018. My condolences.

    Liked by 1 person

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