My daughter Maya came back from school yesterday, carelessly threw her backpack on the couch, and while taking her shoes off without untying the shoelaces asked me- “what is one word that is going to define what you do this year?”


I wanted to tell her to first untie her shoes properly but I refrained, because here she was trying to have an intelligent conversation and the mom in me was worrying about the shoes. So shooing my interruptions away I asked her – “why do you want to know? And how can a word define my whole year?”

She patiently explained to me that her teacher was doing an exercise in the class in which the kids have to choose a word that would define their year.


“hmmm , this still is not convincing. What word did you choose Maya?”

Maya said: “ I choose inquiry.”

“Inquiry? Seriously? What does this mean?

“I am going to be asking a lot of questions, I want to participate and that is why I chose this word. Mom, it’s a good word. Now you choose yours.”


My word for this year is going to be perseverance. I did think deeply, albeit just for a few seconds, but perseverance it is. I am known in my mind’s world to start a lot of things and seldom finish the things. There are canvasses lying in the house with few strokes of red and green since 2009. There are number of short stories still to be wrtitten and I don’t want to even talk about the coursera courses. Yes, perseverance till the end. That’s my word for 2019.


Now it was time to trouble my friends with this important question.

So at a meeting today when all of us were deeply engaged in how to effectively get our community aware of the dangers of addiction, I popped this question. Surprisingly, N and J were excited to answer this.


N said her word for the year is going to be intent. Everything she does, every person she meets this year she is going to ask herself what is her intent in doing these things. I thought it’s pretty neat, and I am going to be checking on her every few months if she is following her word. 🙂


J ‘s word for this year is play. She said she takes things very seriously so her word is going to be play. The word play would come handy especially when she is learning new technology because she is going to say to herself that she is just playing around. She is going to have a child like approach towards doing things.


And of course when I got home after the meeting, I still wanted to trouble some friends with this imminent question. So I logged into my Facebook messenger and asked a few friends.


G promptly replied ambition. G is young, younger to me by a decade at least. God! I am ancient! Her word is ambition, ambition to achieve, ambition to grow and ambition to be better than today. A great word!


SM, the poet and the one who has a way with words had chosen effervesence. She tends to be guarded in social settings, so this year she is going to be vivacious, full of enthusiasm( which in my opinion she is already). I think SM is going to add the fizz in other people’s lives 🙂


A has chosen the word transform for herself. She is going to be transforming herself to everthing better. Even in sticky situations she is going to remember her word transform and will come out of the situation better.


If you haven’t chosen a word for yourself this year, please do so. I promise you this seemingly futile exercise is fulfilling and hopeful.