Bloom, bloom, bloom

At the end of every year, I choose a word for the upcoming year. I know many of you do the same. The key is not to overthink it. The word must choose you, rather than you forcing a word into your brain through logic and will.

For 2021, two words came to me: nourish and cultivate. I was underwhelmed with these but came to realize over the course of the year that they made sense.  

Usually, I’m still waiting for a word to arrive well into a year. So, I was excited when 2022’s word came to me early: Bloom.

“Bloom” might seem an odd choice as we again sit in the middle of a raging pandemic. But I’m trusting in the Universe and its process. It hasn’t let me down yet. And it’s usually when it appears to make the least sense that it’s saving me from something or bringing me to a greater good.

It’s also not lost on me that flowers usually bloom only after they’ve been nourished and cultivated. Many bloom under even the worst of circumstances. We’ve all seen a wildflower poking through a sidewalk crack. My friend Sarah said the rosebush her mother gave her was still blooming in December. That’s a Christmas miracle because she lives in a seaside town in England. English winters aren’t flower friendly.

The point is, if we only choose to bloom when conditions are perfect, there would be little blooming in our lives and a lot of fallow years.

I’m also a big believer in things that make you go hmmm. For instance, someone who recognizes the times we’re living in but also thrives because the alternative, frankly, sucks. Our world tends to have difficulty with things that are not absolutes. It’s why we still have a hard time accepting strong women leaders and gentle male ones. Why so many give their stamp of approval to the judgmental churchgoer but spurn the kind agnostic.

Yet another example–someone who craves peace but learns the art of a proper defense in order to keep that peace. My youngest son is gentle. At a shotgun range, however, within seconds and without seeming to try, he can place three shots in a perfect line across the neck of the target. He’s a natural marksman who doesn’t hesitate. Yet, he’s no warmonger or right-wing gun enthusiast. He just had a father who shoots for sport and a brother who is military trained. I guess he also took my teaching of “Speak softly and carry a big stick” a bit too literally. Teddy Roosevelt’s adage, loosely translated in my house, means live and let live but know how to protect yourself and those you love.

For me, that had nothing to do with firearms. Instead, it meant having to hurt one that I loved to save the other two during my divorce. I sobbed about it more than once in the shower where no one could hear me. But then I pulled myself together and did what I had to do.

It can mean different things in different situations. The point is—two seemingly opposite things can live within a single person. The balance between the two is where strength lies.

I plan on blooming in that balance in 2022, embracing all the opposites that live within me. Finding a way to have them all coexist in a rare blooming tea that can be freaking beautiful when brewed correctly. Is it a tea? A flower? It’s both. Uncommon?

Yes. That’s the point.


61 Comments Add yours

  1. A wonderful word, Kay. And I enjoyed the way you shared what it means to you and how it manifests. May this year be one of bright blooming. 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! I do like this word much better than some of my previous words. Other years have been more of the “chop wood/carry water” variety:). Happy New Year!

      1. Those are good too, but this one is “blooming” with positivity.

  2. “…. sobbed about it more than once in the shower where no one could hear me …”

    That is a whole word there, a reality for many souls who choose to deny the humanness of the sob and pangs of hurt.

    Thanks for speaking that truth Kay.

    1. candidkay says:

      Good to see you here again, Shun P! We’ve missed you:). And thank you for the thoughtful (thought-filled) comment. You took my words in and let them make you think/feel–that makes all the difference.

      1. Thank you my friend, it is good to be missed by those whom I’ve missed.

  3. You’ve inspired me to choose a word – “Choice”. 2022 will be about recognizing opportunities for choices and for making choices instead of floating through whatever the world brings my way. Thank you for that!

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m applauding you, Donna? (Can you hear it? :)) Wonderful word and an even better intention for truly awake living. Wishing you a happy and healthy 2022!

      1. Thank you so much – that’s so kind of you!! Wishing you a great 2022!

  4. What a lovely and thoughtful post, K. Wishing you and your family a bloomin’ good new year.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Cynthia! Happy New Year to you and yours! Wishing you a wealth of blessings in 2022 . . .

  5. mydangblog says:

    Here’s to unfurling like a flower. Happy New Year, Kristine!

    1. candidkay says:

      Happy New Year! Wishing you a wonderful one.

  6. It has taken me a lifetime to understand that two seemingly opposite things can live within a single person, or even within a family or a community. It’s helpful when we can find and live with the balance. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on choosing to bloom.

    1. candidkay says:

      Absolutes are so much easier, right? And yet, we are more complex than that. All of us. Wishing you a happy new year, Barbara, one in which you live in that beautiful balance.

  7. Indeed bloom is quite a wonderful word for 2022… a year when we are all ready, the caterpillar has become the butterfly, wings have grown now time to fly! The horse is saddled and waiting for the one to mount and ride courageous into the unknown and the seed has been through the journey of darkness, been nurtured and cultivated and now its time to bloom! To be our most magnificent selves! Of course life will continue to challenge us but you’ve got that covered Kristine, embrace it all, find the balance and move determined to make this year a most wonderful year of dreams come true… not the normal material wants but feeling the joy, the peace, the freedom to live a great life together with family and likeminded friends.

    Im still patiently open to receive my word, first I’m going to remember what this one was and write about what i’m leaving behind and opening up to this coming year! Happy New 2022 to you dear Kristine, lots of love, Barbara x

    This morning I opened my mail to this wonderful poem Bloom… for you x

    Sometimes we are on the verge of blossoming into a thousand flowers.
    But we don’t.
    We are waiting. We are thinking,
    ”Maybe tomorrow. I’m quite busy right now doing the same unsatisfying things I have been doing for years. Yep, pretty busy.”

    Or maybe we are afraid of what will happen if we open up. We are afraid to leave a bad situation because we’ve forgotten what a good one even looks like for us.
    We’ve gotten so used to a life surrounded by unhappiness that we’ve convinced ourselves it’s normal. After all, everyone else’s life looks like this, too.

    Somewhere along the way we stopped believing in our own strength and beauty. We think we’ve lost it, or maybe it was never really there.
    And worst of all, we’ve let someone else define who we are for us. We’ve lost who we are so we’ll believe whatever anyone else tells us, even if it makes us smaller….

    There are not enough voices telling us the Truth. There are not enough voices to get through the mist that has gathered around our belief in ourselves.

    Right now, let me be that Voice.
    Right now, let me tell you:
    You are Strong.
    You are Beautiful.
    You are Capable.
    You are Worthy.

    You have made mistakes. You have hidden your dreams, your light, and your power. These things are true. These are things you have done. They are not you.

    You are your Dreams.
    You are your Light.
    You are your Power.
    You are a Miracle waiting to happen.
    You are a Blessing waiting to be bestowed.
    You are an example of Truth waiting to be spoken.

    You are a thousand Blossoms waiting to explode into colour, fragrance, delight and joy.
    Don’t let anyone hold you back.
    Yes, you have been buried.
    Like all good seeds. It’s time to live.
    It’s time to open to the world, to the Sun and to yourSelf.

    You are on the verge
    Of something

    – Aaron Paquette

    1. candidkay says:

      Happy New Year, Barbara! Thank you for the lovely wishes. And I’m sure your word will come to you. It always does. And this poem is absolutely gorgeous. I appreciate you posting it here for all to enjoy. And I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that you happened to open it in your email on the same morning that you read my post about the word “bloom.“ wishing you a wealth of blessings in 2022!💫💫💫

      1. I asked the other night about my word and I rememberd just before new year feeling into the word authenticity… feeling for the first time what it meant and how important it was for me now to express fully these qualities of truth, pureness, trust and genuineness❤️ Authenticity, such a beautifully sounding word for me this year! Knowing it all along makes me smile😃. Much love x

      2. candidkay says:

        This is really interesting because the other day a friend and I walked our dogs and were talking about how she was struggling to choose a word. She wanted to choose authenticity but felt there were so many things that she couldn’t say to people. And so she felt that she couldn’t choose authenticity as her word. She’s still working on it but I’m so glad that you chose it. It’s a very empowering word. Happy new year, Barbara!

  8. Hi, and Happy New Year. We can look at life as a continual growth process, I think. Growing in positive directions is where it’s at.

    1. candidkay says:

      Couldn’t agree more! Happy New Year. Here’s to blooming🌷.

  9. Luanne says:

    I love this idea of letting a word choose you to guide you the new year. And bloom is such a lovely verb and noun. The word that keeps coming to me after going through 2020 and 2021 is crap, so I will need to keep working on mine!

    1. candidkay says:

      🤪. Yes, Luanne! I’d give it more time.

  10. Kudos Kristine. I love your word and attitude toward life. May we bloom despite or even because of our challenges. 🌼

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks, Brad! Happy New Year!

  11. Roy McCarthy says:

    A good word, bloom. Positive. Ugly duckling to beautiful swan, young girl to beautiful woman, a late achiever, coming out of the shadows. But my first thought was Leopold Bloom, the main character in James Joyce’s Ulysses. In Dublin, 16th June is Bloomsday.

    1. candidkay says:

      So I’m loving Bloomsday! But I think I may create my own – when it has nothing to do with Ulysses😉. Happy new year, Roy!

  12. Bloom is a great word for the coming year – positive and joyful, I hope you bloom in many ways 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Andrea! It’s a word that would fit with many of your posts😀.

  13. markbialczak says:

    Reading here these years, Kay, I think bloom is a fantastic word for your approach on life come 2022. And blooming tea does look and sound freaking beautiful! Happy New Year, we will turn the corner.

    1. candidkay says:

      Happy New Year, Mark! And now I’m realizing that I actually need to buy a glass tea mug and a blooming tea ball🙂.

  14. Inkplume says:

    A few years ago, my word was “shift”. I think it would still apply to the coming year but it would be a cop-out to use the same word. So, I’m giving myself until the end of the week (and the year) to find a new one!

    1. candidkay says:

      Good for you! Although I do believe changes and shifts can take years. But it sounds like your gut is telling you it’s time for a new one. Can’t wait to hear what it is!

  15. Jaya says:

    Happy new year! Lot of food for thought in your post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. candidkay says:

      Happy New Year! Happy musing too😉.

  16. Shruthi says:

    Happy new year, Kristine! Lovely post and thank you for reminding me to think of a word for 2022. It took me all of 2 seconds to find mine- restore!

    1. candidkay says:

      Shruthi! How good to hear from you! You must fill me in on the happenings in your life :-). I still feel like we shared such a rare experience at that event together. Restore seems a very appropriate word for 2022, given what so many people have gone through. I hope you are healthy and well🙂!

      1. Shruthi says:

        Hi Kristine, it was truly a rare experience! Lots of moves around the world for me, but not been back to the Chicago area in a while. I do hope our paths cross sometime.. would love to catch up again 🙂
        I’ve been well and hope you have been too!

  17. KDKH says:

    I enjoyed your thoughtful post. I also support walking softly and carrying a big stick. It is a better alternative than being defenseless and victimized. Good for you.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you 🙏🏻. Happy New Year to you! And yes, I think sometimes to maintain peace, we need the opposite extreme. I find it unfortunate but it seems to be the rule of law.

  18. You had me at the teapot image! I’ve had a blooming tea ball staring at me for far too long (a few years- gulp) and finally put it into my glass teapot and steeped it just the other week. But more importantly, I LOVE your word for 2022! Love it!! Yes. After nourishing and cultivating, one blooms. And you, dear one, are no hothouse flower. I can’t wait to hear how you bloom in 2022. Now you’ve got me thinking about a word for 2022. Hmm.

    Happy New Year 2022. May you find your inner balance whenever desired.

    1. PS. Your post reminded me of a conversation about how paradox is the point of power. If you’ve got a spare few minutes, the first two minutes of this interview is my favorite: Listen longer if you want, but the nugget is in the first 2 min.

      1. candidkay says:

        Fascinating! You always turned me on to the coolest new ideas and things. I just listen to the first three minutes. And will have to listen to the rest of it. Thank you for sharing.

    2. candidkay says:

      You have one?! So the blooming T-ball is a concept that I think I may have seen years ago and forgotten about. And now I really want to get one but that means I also have to buy a glass teapot :-). They just look amazing. And thank you for the kind words. You are right. The hothouse is not my domain😉. Can’t wait to hear what your word is for 2022!

      1. You won’t need a glass teapot (unless you want an excuse to get one 😉 ). The one I had was for one mug of tea. I was advised that I could add some more water to the mug and let it steep a little more if I wanted. So it’s a 1-2 mug thing. But I think they make larger ones for pots.

  19. Miriam says:

    I think your word is a perfect vision for the year ahead. May it become as beautiful and prolific as your heart desires. My word hasn’t come to me yet.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you! Isn’t it funny how there’s no rhyme or reason to when it comes to us? Wishing you a beautiful year, regardless of the word :-). But I’m sure it’ll be a good one.

      1. Miriam says:

        Thanks very much 💛

  20. Dale says:

    I love your choice of word, Kristine. It is perfect. And you are right, it takes a certain kind of gumption to bloom in odd places and at odd times. I definitely agree that two opposites can and often do live within the same.

    Happy 2022! May you bloom in all the ways you hope to (and some that you never expected to!)

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Dale! Wishing you a blessed 2022!

      1. Dale says:

        Thank you, kind lady 🙂

  21. Taruna says:

    A perfect planting of blooming!
    And expressing the co-existance of seeming opposition.
    Thank you

    1. candidkay says:

      Thanks for the kind comment! Wishing you a happy new year!

  22. Kathy says:

    The word “bloom” is perfect–how lovely that it came to you. I don’t usually have a specific word. It seems like some word is always coming and going throughout the year. But it is so interesting to hear what words inspire others to bloom their fullest.

    1. candidkay says:

      Sometimes it’s a phrase too. I’m betting you have one floating around–it just hasn’t hit you:).

  23. I hope the word bloom serves you well during 2022, Kristine. Happy New Year.

    1. candidkay says:

      Happy New Year, John! Did you choose a word this year?

      1. Not yet. I think I’ll go with meteor. It just hit me.

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