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Traditions can be the framework of a year, and they can tie one year to the next, marking each season for celebration.

My husband and I like to add small, easy to complete, traditions to our lives. We buy each other stocking stuffers each year, and on Christmas Eve, we fill the stockings and hang them before going to bed. We also make a list on New Year’s Eve of resolutions (goals and dreams) for the next year. Every year on Valentine’s Day, we remind each other that every day is about love, and we should celebrate our love 365 days, not one day and not by buying chocolates or jewelry.

Because we love little traditions, I look for ideas to incorporate into our lives throughout the year. Yesterday, on a writer’s Facebook page, she wrote about picking her word for the upcoming New Year. She said in a past year, she had picked the word, “rest.”  I have forgotten the word she picked for 2016, but I think it was “outside” because she is a literary travel writer and spends a good deal of time hiking and camping in remote places in the world.

I love the idea of picking a word for the upcoming year. I think it is an easy ritual or tradition that my husband and I can complete while doing our New Year’s resolutions each year. I have already thought about it, and I am going to pick the word, “attempt.” It embodies my hope for 2016. I hope to try more things, and combat the worsening symptoms of my illness like social isolation, lack of motivation, and social anxiety.

In the Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus it lists these words and phrases for attempt: seek to achieve, complete, or master (a task, action, challenge, etc.) try, undertake, take on.

I need to expose myself to more things. I need to try more foods, travel more places, write more essays, send more essays out, network with more people, build more friendships, in other words, I need to attempt so much in order to grow my life and world bigger (combating the crushing walls that my illness tries to build).

I love my word, “attempt.”

Can you think of a word you would like to define the upcoming year for you?