Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do


Word of the Year 2021

teasels and sunset - Snapdragon Studio

Normally it takes me ages to decide on a word to take me through the year.

I will begin the search in mid December - writing lists, walking, meditating, perhaps going through a little course like Susannah Conway's - and then sometime over the Festive period, often on Hogmanay itself, a word will settle out of my sifting thoughts. A word whose particular meaning resonates with what I want to bring into my life.

The word I picked for 2020 was 'soar'. The image of the buzzard that roosts by the Studio was in my mind - soaring high against the blue, free and easy.

Mine was not a 'girl boss' version of soaring, it wasn't full of ambition or striving, I wasn't standing in front of the bathroom mirror proclaiming 'I will soar'.

Rather it was a 'riding the thermals' interpretation. Soar for me was a 'take it easy' word.

Soar turned out to be the perfect word to carry me through this weird and rootless year - a reminder that taking the easiest path, going with the flow, is often most effective. A reminder that doing less and being intentional is often the right thing. It helped me accept a lot of things that I would normally have railed against in a very exhausting way. It helped me develop patience - the buzzard will wait and watch for the moment to launch himself into the air. It gave me a measure of trust.

But now - as I begin to feel hopeful for 2021 - I find my word for the year is already here. I don't need to go searching for it. It has moved into my brain and made itself at home.

My word for 2021 is Enough. Enough for me means

  • Deciding what is enough in my business, my life, my plans, my income and letting that free me from the feeling of never being done.
  • Recognising that I am enough as I am. My body, my mind, my health - all enough, exactly as they are now, not as I wish they were.
  • Drawing a line and saying that I have had enough - enough of corruption and cronyism, enough of the way we treat people and our fellow beings, enough of the 'this is just the way it is' assumptions. Enough. (And then it means doing something to improve things.)

I would love to know in the comments if you choose a word and, if so, what difference you have found it makes.

Tags: life

Comments: 7 (Add)

Stephanie Brickwood on December 4 2020 at 10:19

Hi Jane ,not tried this practice before but can honestly say Enough has been a bit of guiding light for me ! With that in mind it's probably time to have that in the background and find another word !Once again thankyou for inspiring thoughts and deeds 💚💚💚

Ruth Singer on December 4 2020 at 11:43

Oh yes that's a great wholistic word to guide you. Mine this year was balance which was about right. Next year is Share, which has so many resonances for me in work and outside.

Angela on December 4 2020 at 18:48

Evening Jane, I've not consciously had a word in mind, however, for the past few years I've found myself saying 'Breathe'. Perhaps this year I will give this ritual some considerations, although I have to say Breath has served me well, but having read your journal am interested to see if a word reveals itself to me....

Kelly Cheesley on December 4 2020 at 20:56

This year mine was Cultivate. It’s about taking slow and gentle steps towards a goal, growing something special and only dealing with one thing at a time.

I’ve not started thinking about next years word yet so thank you for the prompt.

Brenda on December 6 2020 at 14:09

For the past few years I have had a word for the year. It has given me focus. I think of my word (I actually made an oracle card of it) and try to embrace/live it. 2020 it was fierce. That word pushed me to do a few things I had thought about but wasn't ready for (might never have been ready for). Looking forward to thinking of my 2021 word.

Sue Adlam on December 6 2020 at 23:08

Enough sounds like a fine word! One that I have been trying to embrace for some time.... 2021 is the year to go with it instead of constantly striving. I need to just be. Thank you for your words of wisdom and inspiration Jane. Sue x

Andrea Thomas on December 7 2020 at 20:51

Thank you. Word of the year has been sitting quietly in the back of my mind, rattling abit occasionally but my word settled in my lap yesterday and I held it.
I’m full of it and more keeps coming as now I am aware of it. I have a year to mull over it and add to my list. You were apart of this, so thank you muchly 💜

Snapdragon social

This weekend the valleys were full of mist - great screeds of it swelling up as the afternoon lengthened and the air cooled.⁠⠀
This is a rescue horse who now lives a couple of fields down - if I happen to be passing his gate around 4, he is up  stretching his over it, looking for friendly scratches and food. ⁠⠀
A perfect time keeper.
It doesn't take much . . . . ⁠⠀
These stems were picked in the five minute walk from the house to the Studio.⁠⠀
A teasel head, some rusty dock seeds, a bleached shell of columbine, bright rose hips.⁠⠀
None looked very promising outside but indoors, tucked into test tubes, they look wonderful.⁠⠀
As they would in bottles . . . .⁠⠀
The rose hips are the last of the berries to go from the hedges - the birds strip everything else as soon as it gets cold, the elders and rowans first, then the haws.⁠⠀
Inspired by their bright longevity I have ordered a small clutch of rosa moyesii 'Geranium' - with their spectacular bottle shaped hips - to make an informal hedge down by the airstream.⁠⠀
My plan is to plant them amongst crab apples to keep back the dull green march of the Scots broom. ⁠⠀
I have honeysuckle in mind too.⁠⠀
This is the Studio - nestled into the dip of the valley, surrounded by wild meadow and trees.⁠⠀
At this time of year it is a cosy den, the stove lit, the fabrics piled up around me.⁠⠀
Today I am finishing off some large embroidered wool cushions and sending out lots of craft kits in the post.
This was taken last week when we had snow. You can see Dixie’s dachshund toy abandoned in a drift.
A winding path, a bare tree reaching up, blue sky above ribbons of mist, patches of scruffy frost in the rough grass.⁠⠀
I have walked this road more days than not this year.⁠⠀
It never gets old.
I said I wasn't going to make a wreath this year.⁠⠀
But then I saw one @talenamaria made on behalf of @jamjarflowers for the @papier Instagram feed and I was smitten.  The glorious mess of the hedgerow encapsulated in a twiggy ring.⁠⠀
The birch twigs from further down the grid were still in the hall  and I had some dried hydrangeas left over . . . .⁠⠀
(I also say I never watch video tutorials as I get distracted too easily and find that they are often too long - but Talena's is good and short and easy to watch and follow.)
A snowy gate, photographed last week, snow piled up on rungs and branches.⁠ ⠀
I loved how the field on the other side was completely untouched. ⠀
A fresh sheet of paper. ⠀
A new week. ⠀
If you want to make a little wool tree like this one the step by step instructions are now on my website -⁠⠀
If you want it to look exactly like this one, you can also buy a kit with all the bits to make three trees ⁠⠀
I first made these trees for a Country Living Fair in Glasgow back in the mid 2000s - raiding my button box for the decoration and dyeing old blankets for the wool. ⁠⠀
Sometimes I still see the trees from that generation appear on people's Christmas windowsills and it makes me very happy.

About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.


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