Friday, January 29, 2021

A Word for 2021

Do you have a focus word for 2021?
Some people like to choose one at the beginning of each year,
a word that captures what they want to achieve
or how they want to improve their lives during the year.
It can be easier and less intimidating than setting up resolutions.

I've never been good with resolutions.
Something usually derails me within a few weeks.
A single word is easier for me to focus on, 
especially if it isn't encumbered with pesky numbers and details. 
So I chose relax for 2021.

I am notoriously bad at relaxing.
Just ask my siblings whose "secret" family name for me is The ADHD One.

Terry works on me periodically, refusing to give me up as a lost cause.
"Relax.  Put your feet up," he suggests as he sinks into the sofa.
I silence him with The Look.
I have a collection of well-used Looks,
and Terry is never confused about which one I'm shooting his way.

So I chose relax for 2021,
determined to channel cats who are notoriously good at relaxing.
Just imagine a sleepy cat stretching out on a couch and slouch into relaxation. 

But every time I let go this year, I don't feel relaxed.
I feel  R  E  L  I  E  F,
a deeper, boneless state of complete repose.

I had no idea that my body had been clenched for over a year,
until the U. S. Presidential Inauguration took place peacefully.
2020 was way too much with the pandemic, isolation,
job losses, economic stress, protests, and insurrection.
When Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. swore Joe Biden in as the 46th president,
the tension I had been holding for ages melted into a puddle of relief.
R  E  L  I  E  F.

I felt relief because we now have a president who takes the pandemic seriously.
425,000 dead Americans and counting is a tragedy that should not have happened.

I felt relief because America's reputation might be restored among our allies.
I'm exhausted from taking flak from family and friends around the world,
from trying to explain the inexplicable.

I felt relief because our county didn't fall into bloody chaos and our institutions held.
I'm still shocked and sickened by the violence at the Capitol.

Beating an Officer

Since then I have continued to feel relief.
For little things:
Relief that my car died in my garage and not in a busy intersection yesterday.
Relief that AAA swapped out an old battery for new in minutes.
Relief that my periodontist found healing, not worsening infection
in my jawbone, when he removed my stitches yesterday.
Relief that there were soft leftovers for dinner in the fridge last night.

And relief for big things:  
Relief that the numbers of Covid sick and dying will start to decrease.
Relief that I'll likely see all my family and friends again.
Relief that I'm scheduled to get my first Covid shot on Sunday!!!!!
And the second three weeks later!!!!!

Maybe this year we'll actually be able to return to my beloved Italy.
I long to have a spritz and lunch at Adriatico Mar,
a locals osteria on the rio di San Pantalon canal in Venice
where Terry and I have spent wonderful hours.

I am relieved to know that owners Francesco and Siri continue
to serve up fine drinks, food, and hospitality despite the pandemic.   

Conversations on the Jetty
Adriatico Mar, Venice, Italy
May 24, 2016
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

I imagine myself comfortably full and relaxing with a glass of wine on the jetty;
but probing deeper, I realize I'm imagining the R E L I E F of making it back,
that Terry and I have survived the Coronavirus and can travel again,
that the world is returning to some semblance of normal,
a world where you can dangle your feet over a Venetian canal
while sipping wine and chatting in the autumn sunshine.

Yup, I think I have to toss out relax
and claim relief as my word for 2021.
I don't even have to focus on it. 
Feeling relief is like being a carefree cat.

Till next time ~
Fundy Blue

On the Bay of Fundy
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



  1. Glad you are feeling relief from your relaxing. Relief is definitely not the word for me this year. I'll go with pray, and lots of it. (Which should be the word every year.)

    1. Hi, Alex! Great word! Pray is something I never have to think about, since I pray frequently: when I wake up, when I go to sleep, and throughout the day. It's become impossible not to pray, Have a great weekend!

  2. That's a great word and a great thing to strive for in 2021! Wishing you much success!

    1. Thanks, Debra! I have great hope for 2021 as a year. I hope that feeling of relief continues for me and spreads throughout the year. I hope you and your Rare One have a great weekend!

  3. Politics does nothing but stress me! Half the country rabidly believes one way, the other the other. Relax to me is the TV off, reading a book, lost in another world!

    1. Definitely a good place to be, Jacqui! I hope you escape into reading a lot this weekend!

  4. I'm going with the focus of the last Wonder Woman movie - the truth. Finding the truth and standing by it. And hoping truth will eventually prevail with our media. (Remember when the news was just what really happened that day?)

    1. Hi, Diane! Truth is a good one! It's sad to live in a world where it's hard to agree on what is true. Have a great weekend, my friend!

    2. Great post Louise, Relaxation is the word in such times,
      Keep well and safe.

    3. Thanks, Yvonne! I hope you are enjoying your weekend. You keep well and safe too!

  5. A cat in bliss can relax without thinking about it lol Relief it is. Hopefully things down there will finally get back under some semblance of control and the orange one will go off and never be heard from again. As for traveling lol save your pennies. Be 2022 before that happens with any degree of safety. At least that's our guess. You may be relieved when we are wrong lol

    1. I so hope you are wrong, Pat! First stop for us will likely be Vegas! We drove to Coors Field (Rockies stadium) this morning to get my fist Covid shot ~ 30 miles each way. I hadn't been that far from home in a year. I've rarely been beyond a three mile radius in a year. Let me out!!!!! 😱 LOL Be safe, my friend!

  6. I think relief is a good word to focus on as it is the end result of relaxing your mind and not worrying about anything. My word of the year is 'faith', the substance of things hoped for, as I have always been a positive thinker and not a negative one.

    1. A lovely word choice, Brenda! I'm usually a positive thinker, unless I tumble into depression which is my genetic curse. I've found myself praying a whole lot for people and our troubled planet this year. I hope we all come out of this having learned something.

  7. Hi Louise! I think that relief is a good reaction, but relax is a good word to inspire you for 2021!! :)

    1. You make a good point, Rain! Right now I'm exhausted, and I'm going to see if I can manage a nap. I'm so jealous of cats!!! It's a rare thing for me to pull off a nap. Hugs to you, my friend!

  8. trump rioters should go to the Guantánamo Bay place they wanted so much

  9. My go to word is "hope" hope is what sustains me. Currently, hoping the pandemic will get under control and I can let out a big sigh of relief. I am with Pat can't see traveling until 2022.

    1. Hi, True! How are you? It's lovely to see you! Hope is such an important word, and we mustn't let go of it. I certainly hope I get to go somewhere this year, but if I don't, that's okay too. After this past 12 months, it's all good. Please take care!

  10. A beautiful post Louise! I think relief and relax are both good! What happened to your jawbone?? Girl, you have to relax and take care of you! Please let us know, how your body took to the covid vaccine! I can't wait to travel! Big Hugs!

  11. A perfect choice, Louise! I think we all need to relax. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and we just have to be patient. Now there's a good for for all of us: patience. xo


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.