2023 marks the 9th year I’ve kicked off the new year with a word instead of a resolution. Like many others who embrace this “one word 365” practice, I’ve found the experience of identifying a single word over my life more grounding and longer lasting than resolutions.  Except for 2020 (go figure), my words of the year usually make their way to me a few months before the new year arrives.  2023’s word has been confirming its arrival over and over in my life recently. My word for 2023 is PIVOT. 

Pivot is a verb that means to turn or rotate, like a hinge. To an athlete, the ability to pivot is an art form.  When pivoting, you make a shift and change directions. Mechanically, pivot is a point on the end of which something rests or turns. Pivoting is a movement of choice, and it is also a mindset. Interestingly, this is my first movement word.

Pivots are occurring in my parenting, profession, and faith – all key areas of who I am and what I do.  After 25 years of mothering, I am experiencing a pivotal change in this all-consuming, important role in my life. From driving to moving out, all of my kids are experiencing big life moves. While my emotional involvement has not changed, my day-to-day responsibilities in their lives has unquestionably pivoted. Professionally, I have accepted a promotion on my team and will begin 2023 in a new leadership role. This was not a direction I saw coming or necessarily sought, but it is most certainly a shift in direction.  Finally, in my faith, as Tim and I together move deeper into a contemplative expression and practice in our spiritual lives. 

Ignatian spirituality calls us to embrace a way of life “living with one foot raised” ready and willing to respond for sake of mission. For Ignatius and the Jesuits, being ready to respond for sake of mission, meant both following Jesus and responding to the needs of our neighbors. Scripture is filled with pivoting moments or turning points, always pulling us further into holy transformation and into the unknown. Pivoting involves turning to, turning against, turning away, and turning back – pivoting requires staying agile so that we can follow Jesus. 

This year I will continue to follow Jesus, living with one foot raised, embracing and practicing the art form of the pivot so that I may effectively run the race set before me, no matter where it leads.