We spend a pleasant evening with the neighbour’s home, sitting around a circle in the living room, nibbling treats, and conversing with one another. I’m not much for social gatherings, but I’m struck by the peace and relative normalcy of people in a similar demographic gathering together.

We talk about all manner of things and, maybe most important, I get a tip about where to score a Christmas turkey, as they’re in short supply. Many things are—I never gave much thought to the “supply chain” before this year—and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It moves me closer toward intention and need versus want.

There’s talk of Gerry organizing another Christmas Day gathering like he did last year when we were all sequestered at home with no visitors allowed, and everyone met in the cul de sac (socially distanced) at an appointed time to sing a chorus of Silent Night and wish one another Merry Christmas.

I’ve been chewing on words I posted here a couple of days ago when I was feeling overwhelmed by the impact on people of a pandemic, forest fires, mudslides, floods, and all manner of other things that keep coming as if on a conveyor belt of hardship, while my own life remains relatively unscathed. Sure, there are rising prices, inflation, that pesky supply chain issue, and the never-ending and beyond-wearing pandemic impact; but we’re safe in our home with heat and potable water and more than enough to eat.

We can’t do everything but we can do something for someone, I said, and I’m growing more and more inclined to shift my focus from what’s happening “out there” to what’s right in front of me in my sphere of influence. A kind word or gesture, an unexpected gift, keeping my home a sanctuary, and caring for my own mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health, so I’m equipped to do the simple, but better, work of caring for another. Quiet things. Peaceful things.

I’m not into grand gestures or loud protest or believing my influence reaches farther than it does. I choose to stand quietly, with intention, and do my best to remember to put people above politics or anything else that causes division (which seems to be almost everything these days). I’ve come to believe that my role as a change agent is small but equally important, and one I am best suited for.

And so, inadvertently, I have stumbled upon, and chosen, my word for 2022. Something.

And a phrase. I can’t do everything but I can do something for someone.

How about you? How are you staying afloat during these turbulent times? What intentions are you leaning into? What are you letting go of? Have you chosen a word for 2022? Will you? Let’s chat.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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