New Year, New Word

January 23, 2023

It was two days after Christmas, and I was ready to welcome the New Year. I felt brand new and energized, which never happens to me right after a Holiday.

I removed ornaments, ribbon and lights from our Christmas trees and took them down to be stored until next season. I swept away all of the clutter left behind from curious kids exploring new gifts.

I felt surprisingly excited for a productive week on the farm. I had plans to finish my farm bookwork, give our website a fresh new look, create meat bundles, and write a newsletter.

As I tackled my to-do list, I noticed my husband lounging on the couch. This was unusual to see during the day, even more so since half of our farmhands were on vacation. I thought maybe he was just taking in a little more holiday rest. I muttered some resentful grumblings and kept tackling each task ahead of me.

As the sun set, I started to take notice that he was not feeling well. I gave him a hard time feeling zero sympathy, because, well we’ve all heard of the “man flu.”

The next day, I felt a dense pain in the front of my head. It was painful enough to stop my fingers from punching the keyboard to complete the latest invoice, and clutch my forehead.

In this exact moment, my one-year-old zoomed down the stairs in one of his cars, leaving him with a bruised head and sore finger. I sat on the couch trying to console a screaming baby while holding my throbbing head. It didn’t take long for me to feel sorry for my attitude, and say a tearful goodbye to my dreams of a productive week.

My husband and I were down with a terrible flu bug. We had fevers, headaches, stomachaches, sore throats, no energy or appetite. We were miserable and did the bare minimum over the next few days.

One evening, I watched my nine-year-old gather all the kids around the coffee table to share pizza rolls from a paper plate for dinner. Many movies were watched, and plenty of messes were made.

As my body fought the virus; my mind fought the blues. I was sad that my kids didn’t enjoy a New Years celebration. I was sad that my house looked and smelled like four kids under the age of ten hosted a frat party for 48 hours. I was mad that my to-do list lived to be tackled another day. I was sad to rest.

As time passed, my body started feeling better, and my house started to get back to its normal mess. I noticed waves of thankfulness and joy throughout the days again.

Entering the New Year sick and sad was not ideal, but it helped me gather some insight that I hope sustains throughout the year.

Instead of making a list of resolutions this year, my sister suggested to choose one word to champion the year. Once the word is chosen, you study it, pray about it, and define what it means to you to help tackle each day.

I finally chose my word.


It’s a word I tend to associate with another four-letter word, Lazy.

I look forward to another year, and the challenge to define Rest. What it means to me spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

What is your word?

Renee Robinson-Seelye

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