Word for 2021

I’m not a New Year’s Resolution maker but…I am a goal maker.  I am a thinker.  I am someone who likes to examine where I’ve been and to see if that is still the course I want to be on.  So, with the coming of 2021, I took time to look and see where I was and where I want to be.

I know a lot of people pick a word of the year and focus on that.  I’ll be honest.  I previously thought that was dumb.  This year, after giving my life a big “look and see”, I saw that most everything I wanted to work on had a similar theme and that theme was CONNECTION.

I feel like in 2020 I did a lot better on staying connected with people.  I think we had to work harder at it.  I’ve made a real commitment to read every single blog post, every single time and I did that.  Years ago I used to skim the comments.  Now I read with understanding.  I read with focus and I read with the purpose of trying to put the pieces of my blog readers together.  I’m so happy I have.  I have felt so much more connected to blog readers.  I’ve started to put together more names with current comments and previous comments.  For example, Lisa lives in Alaska and lost her spouse.  I recognize her email address in the comments and know it’s her.  Carol lives in Florida, quilts for LWR, and was an interior designer.  I know many more too.  It really helps me understand where they are coming from when they comment.  It’s been GREAT!  I will keep doing that.  It’s made me feel more connected.

I also sent out a lot more mail.  My goal is to send out a lot of mail this year as well.  I remember as a kid my sister and mom would write letters back and forth.  I remember lovingly reading those letters.  I loved anticipating letters.  I want to write more and more notes and cards.  Our daughter Kayla has made a goal in the past to send out 365 pieces of mail in a year.  I doubt I will send 365 and I won’t make an official number that I want to send…but Hmm…I wonder if I could increase what I send now.  I sure think I could.  I’m adding that to my goal list…Connect through the mail.

Speaking of mail…wow!  You all have been flooding my mailbox with strips of Halloween fabric.  THANKS SO MUCH!!

I appreciate the time you take to make a connection with me.  I can feel the love.  You are so sweet.

I want others to feel that same sweet connection…so more mail for me in 2021.

My heart is absolutely full every time I spend time with family.  Here’s a picture of Kalissa with Jasper and Kayla holding Gannon…I want to spend more time with them all.  I love it when they all come and visit me but I want to do better with visiting them too.

Kayla and Jasper were here over break for several days.  We had so much fun doing normal things…mostly just hanging out.  I had childcare kids here two of the days but I took one day off from childcare.  I need to do that more.  I want to do that more and being I recognized it as a priority, I didn’t even feel guilty about it.

One of the things that Kayla and I were talking about while she was here was crafting.  She said since Jasper’s been born, she hasn’t had the time to knit and crochet like she used to.  I told her how it was when she was little and for me, I struggled with having time for crafting and that I had missed that.  I went on to say more that life is really about seasons.  Whoever coined the phrase “season of our lives” was so right.  I told her after the kids got older, I could craft again, and surely, she would too.  I told her to enjoy this season.  The crochet season will come again.

As the kids all left on New Years Day after the last one went out the door, I sighed a big sigh.  Whew!  I lived through it all.  The house was quiet again.  There was a mess to clean, but it was quiet.

It reminded me that I too was going through a season of life.  All of these grandbabies are little.  Scotty is the oldest and he is five.  We’ll have nine grandkids under five after Kelli has her twins.  This is my season to chase after them, help with diapers and bottles as soon that season will be gone.    Carver isn’t always going to want to give me red paper plates.


Read the story HERE if you missed that.

I need to work to make the connections with my grandkids and my own kids as adults NOW.  This time is going to pass way too soon.  Time to make a quilt or clean the house can wait.  The times of teasing Gannon and saying, “Are you Mommy’s boy or Grandma’s boy?” will come to an end.  I need to soak it in now.  I need to work on those connections.

There is one more place I want to work on connections at.  Adults.  Ugh.  In my life behind the computer, I’m an introvert.  I know, many of you won’t believe that…but I do best right here behind the computer.  I don’t do “friends” well.  I’m terrible at “stopping by”.  I feel awkward going to things and without Kramer, my husband who passed away, I’m even worse.  I love getting company.  I love it when people drop by…I’m terrible when it means me going out the door and initiating the connection.  I want to work to get a little better at all of that.  With covid, it’s been easy to not try as covid put many restrictions on us and encouraged us not to try.  I want to get more creative and make the connections anyway…even if it’s only by mail.  I know I can do better in this department!  Connections like this are important too!

So…2021 for me, is the year for better and increased connections.  I want to continue to connect with blog readers and increase my connections through the mail.  I want to prioritize connections with my family and work to be better connected through friends.  All of it comes back to the word CONNECTIONS.  It’s my goal for 2021.

Do you have a resolution, goal, or focus word for 2021?  We’d all love to hear about it!!

33 thoughts on “Word for 2021

  1. Sandra Fleming

    Have been making a lot of changes the past few weeks as face even more changes in the coming year. One of the changes is writing down a dream so it becomes a goal so I wrote down a word for 2021 and putting it out there for accountability. The word is “positive”. In the events and restrictions and ideas that lay ahead and as I look back on 2020 I am going to try to find the positive.
    I have been reading your blog for several years now even though I haven’t done much quilting but enjoy hearing about your family, seeing the outstanding work you show, and feeling a part of your extended family. My very best wishes for you and yours.

    Reply
  2. Kathy Rockey

    I, too, am an introvert, but a number of years ago for Christmas I gave a friend who was mom to my kids’ friends one of those free 2 year pocket calendars. It had a note that I would like to get to know her better and if I didn’t schedule it, it was never going to happen. I asked her to sit down with me and pick one day every month to meet somewhere for coffee, tea, go for a walk or something. She was so flattered that I asked her, and since then it has grown to 4 ladies and sometimes our daughters. We call ourselves the
    “drinking buddies”, although it never involves alcohol. We just took time sharing what was going on in our lives, getting to know each other better, sometimes asking for help or prayer support, sometimes giving one another advice, occasionally a kick in the pants. We have weathered quite a few life crises and many celebrations. Now one of us usually shoots out a group text when we have a free day or need a “session”, and often not all of us can make it. There’s a study somewhere that says if you are depressed and go see a therapist every week for 6 months, you will be better, and if you talk to a caring friend every week for 6 months, you will also be better. Friends are cheaper! and more fun than therapy! I encourage you to reach out, maybe someone at church or in the neighborhood. It might only be a phone call, but we had driveway meetings when the weather was nice, and there are a couple places that have outdoor seating. It’s been the best thing I ever did for myself, and I wish I had done it a lot sooner.

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  3. Judith Fairchild

    Jo, you’re right about connections. I made a decision to reach out to family and friends through FB because we age scattered all over the 50 states. I’ve got fb family down to the cousins’ grand children . Learning about them a ND sharing this bits of news has been fun. My church family has reached out to me, that is so satisfying to see them in their he’s and enjoy the fellowship. Plus old friends that I had lost contact with. So I think I’ll adopt your word for this year. Connection is in!

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  4. Brenda in SC

    Jo, what a wonderful post. Well, add me to the introvert list as well. I don’t do well getting out and meeting others, although hubby says when I am out, I am the Belle of the ball. Well, I just don’t feel that way. I want to feel better about me this year. So, “INSPIRE” is my word for 2021. Whether it be me, family, friends or complete strangers. I want to be able to inspire. All last year, I was in such a funk because of health issues and this Covid mess that I was so uninspired to do anything. But Keto and OMAD (one meal a day), fasting and collectively, we have lost 50 pounds in 7 weeks. So, we have INSPIRED to be healthier and learn to eat to live instead of living to eat.
    I inspire to do some applique quilting and embroidery quilting this year and to definitely go through my stash and share what I no longer need.
    Here is to a better 2021 for everyone!

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  5. Judy

    I wholeheartedly agree. My husband is in a wheel chair and he doesn’t go anywhere but I go to the store and occasionally go to the library. My neighbors are really good and nice people and I want to know them better. Your suggestion of mailing letters or cards to people resonates with me. I have many friends that I have lost touch with because I was too “busy”. I realize this is my season to reach out to people and get to know them better. I am an introvert but I do have to force myself to be more open to people. Your blog has gotten me thinking…

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  6. Stearns Carol

    Thank you for the acknowledgement Jo! My word for 2021 is health. in 2017 I love 34 pounds and have slowly gained back 24. I want to lose that 24 and maybe an additional ten. It might take me all year but it is a real effort and I am dedicated to it. I think I’m going to start blogging again regularly. Blogging is an effort and you do quite well at it, connecting with others.

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  7. Julia Wood

    Wonderful post! I agree about the seasons of life. We had our first grandchild this year and we keep her while her parents work. Yes, my quilting has slowed down. But I want to focus on her while she is young and that makes this a wonderful ‘season’. There will be time for more quilting. I still sew before she arrives in the morning, after she leaves, and I do a lot of hand piecing in the evening. I’m so lucky to have the opportunity to spend so much time with her.

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  8. Jill Klop

    Interesting post! I enjoy staying home and 2020 wasn’t too tough for me in that I didn’t mind staying home and sewing or doing cross stitch. I volunteer in 3 groups and I do that to help out but also to keep me from staying home too much!

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  9. Cody

    Jo I read your blog daily, I seldom comment, but you have inspired me to get more creative, and to also let go of my thoughts of having to make sure my quilts are perfect , that all of my colors need to match etc, etc.
    The scrap quilts that you make are truly wonderful. In 2021, I cleaned up my craft room and went through my stash and started the size bin system, I haven’t quite organized it into colors yet…while doing this I decided to make a scrap quilt. I used the pattern called Hillbilly’s Puzzle a cutie pattern by Quilt Basket.
    I used 90% scraps and I did buy a solid to tie it all together, and I had a blast, I loved it, it was the most fun
    that I have had making a quilt in a long time. I gave that quilt to my granddaughter for Christmas,now I can’t wait to do it again in 2021. So Creativity in all aspects of my life is what I am aiming for in 2021.

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  10. Hedy

    My word for the year is THINK. We have just bought a house that needed remodeling and I need to think carefully about what we do to make it our home. My hubby has Alzheimer’s and isn’t too bad yet but I need to think carefully about everything before making any decisions. I’ve never had a problem with this before but I think I need to be very careful now. I like your word ‘connection’ and I think I could use that word too.

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  11. Pat Major

    I also am an introvert. I have a few friends I saw regularly before Covid, but I don’t feel as though we have a deep connection. I would like to work on that or expand my circle of friends. It is harder to do as you get older. I think my word could be transition. Hubby has just retired, he is working part time yet to bridge the transition to his replacement. This is definitely a year of transitions for us. He used to travel frequently for work, of course he has been working home since March. We are planning some changes to our home to make it more usable to age in place. Also since he was on the road more than home I was more or less responsible for everything at home. We are working out are areas of expertise so share the load. It will be an interesting year for all of us.

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  12. ChristieB

    Great word! As a blogger you are already a queen of connection! How many followers do you have that you connect with two times a day! I have chosen the word: Joyful. I am going to choose to be joyful and find joy in all circumstances. For example: yesterday I drove my husband 25 miles to an Urgent Care, which they told us when we got there that they really couldn’t do anything for him; but we found joy in the situation because it got us up and out of the house, and we are joyful that there is nothing seriously wrong with my husband. Thanks for your wonderful blog! HUGS… and stitches

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  13. Carla

    I am a goal maker year round which isn’t always a good thing. I do try to focus up in January though. I want to focus on my health, both physically and spiritually, this year. I have a large family and their needs are many and varied. If I’m not in good form it’s all too easy to fall short of being who God has intended me to be. I will continue my goal to decrease “stuff” in my life which I know helps me focus on the more important things. And I will get out to the Lake more often. This summer was weird and I missed out on my water/ refreshing time. Thanks again for being a friend to so many of us! Blessings.

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  14. Kim J LeMere

    What a great idea to pick a word. My husband spent a great deal of his working life traveling or working really long hours, so I was along for so much of it, raising children alone, vacations with just the kids etc. When the kids got older and when they left home, I learned to go to things on my own. I have attended concerts, taking trips, seen movies and I go out to eat alone. I don’t mind being my own company but I also find it easy to reach out to others to spend time with. So during the pandemic I call a friend and we sit out side and have coffee. We have a small book club (4 ladies) in my neighborhood and we chat outside about the current book. My husband is now retired and he longs to just be home and I understand that so I still do lots of things on my own and somethings we do together. He loves to walk our town and see the different yards, so this year I choose “more time with him” as my goal. Happy 2021 Jo

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  15. Susan

    Jo, I loved seeing all the envelopes of Halloween fabric that you have received. Mine may be in your mailbox today. Will you show us a picture of all of the fabric strips before you cut them up, please? I can’t imagine how your quilt will look, it will be a big surprise!

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  16. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Reading this post and the comments has pushed me to choose a word for myself. Having lost 8 loved ones in 15 months (since September 2019), cherish is going to be my word this year. I am going to cherish and nourish the relationships I have with family and friends. It has been so easy this year to just stay home but I feel better, both physically and emotionally, if I get out of the house for more than just grocery pick up!! I’m an introverted extrovert!! Get me with people and I’m an extrovert, but I’m just as happy to stay home alone (or with hubby). Your priorities are totally in order and the quilt being hand-delivered after the wedding craziness will be a wonderful way to connect with the bride and groom!!

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    1. Rosie Westerhold

      Introverted extrovert!!! That describes me to a T. I never quite knew how to put “me” into words. I LOVE to stay home after having worked for so many years of my life. I was always busy working, just trying to survive the every day “stuff.” I commuted for 10 years about 45 miles each way. When I finally got home, I wanted to just stay there, especially in the winter when it was cold and dark. I had to “make” myself go out in the evening to quilt-related activities. It was just so easy to stay home, but I really, REALLY tried to go places even when I was uncomfortable doing so.

      I retired 5 years ago, and just enjoy “being” at home. However, because of all the isolation as a result of Covid, I was bordering on BIG depression. I had to drag myself off the couch and to my quilting space. It was such a mess, however, that I didn’t enjoy being in the space I used to love. I decided to just go out there and sew for 15 minutes and then clean/organize/touch fabric for 15 minutes as well. Once I got started sewing, the hum of the machine and pushing fabric through the machine did its magic. It was just GETTING to the machine which seemed to take forever. UGH.

      My routine changed in September when my husband was diagnosed with AFIB and congestive heart failure. My life consisted of taking him to medical appointments, going with him and participating in Cardiac Rehab, learning how to cook “natural,” learning how to read labels, learning how to cook without salt but with more flavor. Didn’t leave much time for actual sewing. I finally dragged out an English Paper Piecing project, and am getting closer to putting all the pieces together. That partially saved my sanity. And I started finishing some of the tops I’ve pieced in the past few years. I was able to completely finish a Quilt of Valor plus 5 Cuddle Quilts for my local quilt guild between November 10 and December 5. Go ME!!!

      Then my routine changed again. Hubby was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer on December 23. WOW!!! And I just lost him on Monday, January 4. So now I’m trying to figure out the “new normal.” I am now a widow, and will face life on my own again. I used to be PAINFULLY shy when I was younger. I can be very outgoing and gregarious when I’m around people that I know. But, when I’m around people I don’t know well, I revert to that shy person. I’m just as happy to listen and “observe” what is happening around me. I don’t need to be the center of attention. I don’t LIKE to be the center of attention. I am happy to be in the background.

      The Cardiac Rehab that hubby and I attended consisted of an hour of cardio exercise followed by an hour or so of education. We pushed each other to go at our designated time 3 times/week. There were days I didn’t want to go, and days he didn’t want to go. But, we went because we pushed each other to go. I can’t tell you how much better I feel now than when I first started to attend in September. I’ve lost a little weight, I’m eating better, I can focus on quilting more some days. I KNOW there was a reason for all of this. I could NEVER have physically been able to walk from the parking lot at the hospital to the temporary “security entrance,” and then wind my way back to the main hospital, and then up to ICU without huffing and puffing and sweating and being out of breath. The positive was that the Cardiac Rehab got me in better physical shape so that I could handle all the walking I needed to do in the last week without passing out. The negative was that I lost the love of my life after 40 years of marriage. I had to make the hardest decision of my entire life a few days ago, but I am at peace with what needed to be done because I had the support of my entire family.

      I am very sad right now, but am hoping that introverted extrovert will show herself again soon. I so miss seeing all my quilting buddies. We used to sew together twice/month. We haven’t been able to do that since March. We have been Zooming on our regularly scheduled meeting dates. We still have lunch together, but we are each in our separate places. It really is nice to see one another, even if we can’t physically be together. These wonderful women are the sisters I never had. We range in age from mid-30s to over 80. We have been together as a “group” since 1991. We are so close that we can almost finish each other’s sentences,, and we know each other so well. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, yet we are a unified group. Well, MOST of the time, anyway.

      All of this to say that I think my word for the year will be JOY. I have been trying to see the positive in all of the negative around me. I see light at the end of this gloomy tunnel we have all experienced since last March because of Covid.I see connections happening again. I can see a glimpse of beauty and hope in the world around me. I can see so much quilting in my future.

      So, thank you, Jo, for continuing to write your blog. I look forward to seeing what you and your wonderful family have been doing. I enjoy reading about your quilting and cross stitch projects. And, most of all, I enjoy reading ALL of the comments from people everywhere. Thank you for connecting us all.

      Reply
      1. Jo Post author

        Oh No…I am so Rosie. What a hard year for you with all of the covid and now most importantly your husband’s passing. Loss is so hard and I can’t imagine going through the grief with covid and limited contact with people. I am so happy to hear that you’ve taken the focus from caring for your husband and put it on caring for yourself. That is just where it needs to be. Take care and thanks for being a loyal blog reader. Email me anytime. Jo

        Reply
        1. Rosie Westerhold

          I have been thinking of you lots since I am now on a parallel journey with you, Jo. I don’t have the large family that you have. It’s just me right with my brother and sister-in-law 45 miles away, and our daughter and family in MN, 7.5 hours away. I have to learn all the things I never had to do for 40 years. Things will sure be different, that’s for sure. I am trying to be positive, and not dwell on the negative right now. Life STINKS for me right now, but it will get better, I have faith. And I will have JOY in living to my own beat.

          Reply
  17. Sheila in WI

    Thanks for this post, Jo. I love your word for the year. I have picked a word for the last 9- 10 years and like it much better than a resolution. It just seems to help me grow more as a person. My word this year is empty. I want to empty myself of preconceived ideas about what might happen and be open to new ideas, people and events. Best wishes for 2021!

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  18. LaNan Eldridge

    Enjoyed reading your post. I’d say my word is organization….from my sewing, to my closets and my mind!! I’m a list maker and it always feels good to throw the list away when it’s finished. With organization comes free time for family and myself. When I was a social worker I was always with people and now that I’m retired it feels good to be more on the introvert side and it feels good!! So this year was a true test of coping with being an introvert and I think I’m doing fine! Happy new year Jo!

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  19. Dottie

    My word is Bliss. It was all the rage a few years ago, or maybe more than a few years ago. Lol. Some big changes coming and I want to make sure its making me happy, not because it pleases someone else. Enjoy this new year. Old problems wont go away quickly but the fresh start will give us a new vigor to face them.

    Reply
  20. MaureenHP

    My word for 2021 is Gratitude. In January 2020 I was diagnosed with both breast and thyroid cancer. I am so grateful for the specific answers to prayer, for the many family members, friends and my church family for the many ways they walking through this year with me. As I finish treatment in the next couple months, I want to focus on continuing to practice gratitude for both the large and especially for the everyday things.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Oh Maureen you’ve had to navigate a lot in the last year. I’m sorry it was hard. I think Gratitude is the perfect word!!

      Reply
  21. Rachel Summy

    “Seasons of Life” describes the passing of time perfectly! I know when our kids were young my mom often told me, these are your kids “good old days.” I didn’t understand until we had grandkids and see them growing up so quickly! So tell our daughters the same…these are your kids “good old days” moments!! Happy 2021 and connections are good for everyone!

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  22. Miss Daisy

    The picture of you and your daughter sitting has got to feel like looking in the mirror , she looks just like you , even wears her hair the same . I don’t think I’ve ever seen a child resemble the parent so , Amazing

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  23. Tama

    Another great post. Thanks, Jo. My word for 2021 is patience. It’s always been an opportunity for me then in 2020 it became a real struggle. Looking forward to better days ahead with patience in the forefront of my intentions.

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  24. Mary B

    I think I’ll borrow your word “connections”. I recently fractured my hip (boy does that ever put a damper on sewing….and just about everything else). But, around the same time I received an email from my niece. She was sewing fleece t-shirts for her dogs & needed some advice. We do everything by email since she’s in New Jersey and I’m in Florida. Since I’ve re-connected with her, we’ve had some wonderful email conversations. She also ventured out of her comfort zone and made me a table runner for Christmas. Needless to say, I’m very proud of her!

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  25. Lori L Douglas

    You are truly living, my friend! Not feeling guilty taking time for yourself and you family. After going through many seasons of life, we learn how precious each are. They don’t last long… enjoy!
    Savoir the time well spent connecting. That is what life is about… sharing love with others.
    Glad we reconnected and I look forward to our next visit!

    Reply
  26. Cindy

    Happy New Year Jo. I like the word “seasons”. In 5 days it will be one year since my husband passed. My whole family has had to endure the loss of him. Another family membered diagnosed with pancreatic cancer so I do not think 2021 will lessen our losses. However, the word seasons is making me think how each day since my husband passed I asked God for a good, gentle, and a productive day. He has done so. I’ve learned many things in 2020 and I would like to add that each day brought new “seasonings” to my life. Of course we would rather have our loved ones with us, but our lives are to be lived and we can do it in a positive way. I so agree with you on spending quality time with loved ones. I do not have grandkids but I am hopeful I will one day and I will embrace them and love them. You are a source of inspiration to me and I so enjoy reading your blog. You will never know how many people you have inspired and touched. I hope you received my Halloween scraps and I am looking forward to seeing the end result! Blessings to you.

    Reply
    1. Jo Post author

      Cindy, you sound like a strong lady. Thanks for sharing your journey. Thoughts and prayers to you as you enter another year without your husband.

      Reply

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