I read the book “One Word That Will Change Your Life” after an awesome Christmas book exchange with my siblings and it has quickly become an annual tradition for me to pick a “word of the year”. In 2020 (my word of the year year) my word was “joy” and in 2021 my word of the year was “keep going”. Both of these words served me well and as I reviewed my 2020 word of the year and 2021 word of the year at the end of the year, I was shocked by the word’s timeliness. It’s like my gut knew exactly what I needed to anchor me throughout the upcoming year before I even stepped foot into it.
My word of the year for 2022
This year my word of the year feels like it has an edge in comparison to years past. “Joy” and “keep going” are both things I would hang on my wall and wear on my chest stitched into a cozy crewneck sweatshirt, but this year, this word, is tougher. It has grit. It’s not flowery or tattoo-worthy. I love that it will challenge me in a completely new way and I can’t wait to see what storms or situations this word helps me tackle with humility and strength.
This year my word of the year is “discomfort”.
I owe this word of the year to a friend of mine, who threw out one of my favorite one-liners of the year back in the fall of 2021 and CLEARLY it stuck in my head enough to land on paper as I was brainstorming my “word of the year” for 2022 and I came back to it enough times to say, “this is it”.
Here’s the story behind “discomfort”
During the last half of 2021, I was really sick. The sparknotes are that my first-trimester pregnancy sickness turned out to be hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) and at the same time I got mono (which took a lot of negative covid tests to diagnose). I know how dramatic this sounds, but I was KNOCKED OUT and feeling miserable for months. For way longer than you’d ever wish upon your worst enemy I was puking 12 times a day from the HG and laying with tears streaming down my face exhausted but unable to sleep from the body aches that came with the mono.
In about week five of this craziness, my friend called me and told me she would be coming to my house with her mother to clean. They would be cleaning my house. My kitchen. My bathrooms. The two of them would be cleaning my disaster of a house that had been neglected for weeks because we were in complete survival mode. My heart said “thank goodness, you sweet sweet angels, our house is a wreck and we could really use the help”, but my mind said “no way in hell are they coming in here and cleaning our nasty house”.
This particular friend of mine has a very specific voice when you will have zero chance of telling her no. I’ve known her for about 10 years and I heard that voice as she told me she was coming to clean my house. So I said to her, “I just want you to know, I’m incredibly uncomfortable with you cleaning my house for me.” And without hesitation, she said, “GOOD. Discomfort is how we grow.”
And without hesitation, she said, “GOOD. Discomfort is how we grow.”
My eyes got big as that sunk in, my “accepting help makes me weak” defensiveness crumbled, and the mic dropped.
Discomfort is how we grow
She was so right. The moments that I am most proud of myself for are moments when I was uncomfortable, but I did it anyway. Whether it was having a difficult conversation, pushing myself through a hard workout, saying no, or posting my first Reel, I had to feel discomfort before I felt proud. I had to get comfortable being uncomfortable.
I want more of that.
I want to finally buy and flip a house with my husband (we’ve been saving for years). I want to create the final versions of my notepads and start selling them. I want to stick up for myself in meetings at work. I want to call myself out when I’m defensive and work to change that. I want to ask my new neighbors over for dinner. I want to put myself out there because I know there is more good to come if I just embrace the discomfort.
By the way. My friend and her mother did come over and clean my house. It was an absolutely amazing gift of peace and sanity during a really stressful time in our life. I can’t wait to find an opportunity to pay that gift forward to someone who needs it.
It’s the year of DISCOMFORT, ladies. Hold me to it 🙂