I Chose One Word to Live By in 2021

Chas Lyons
6 min readDec 16, 2021

Next, My Word for 2022

As the year 2021 was being inaugurated I borrowed an idea — to choose a word that would be a theme around which my life would be centered the next 12 months.

The word was “gratitude”, the act of being thankful and returning kindness. Anticipating that we would be coming out of the pandemic and the hard times experienced personally and with family and people across the globe, I surmised that it was not a time for pity or angst, but for hope and, well, gratitude for the opportunity to move forward in life.

But, six weeks into the year, I changed words. Nothing wrong with “gratitude”. But, everywhere I turned this other word kept appearing.

I had fallen into a rhythm of writing an article each week based on one word and posting it on a web site for writers, medium.com. I am ending the year with 52 words and 52 articles. And, yes, while I have gratitude for the writing experience and its sustaining creative energy, I am looking forward to a repose of some kind.

In week six of 2021 I wrote about another new word that had appeared — “Grace.”

This was a word that had been bantered about in the church I attended in my youth. I could feed back the definition as instructed, but I never really understood it.

I wanted to know more.

My inquiry began when I came across a quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: It is the nature of grace always to fill spaces that have been empty.

And then there was Anne Lamott: I do not at all understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

And then there was Marianne Williamson: When we surrender to grace we surrender to something bigger than ourselves….a power much greater than our own takes over…and we learn to trust that power that holds galaxies together.

And then Dr. Daniel Miller: Grace can transform our lives and our sense of self and belonging and peace and we learn over time through our experience with God that it is always there. We blur it, we blind it, we get preoccupied and forget it, but it never leaves us.

Chas Lyons

Chas Lyons is a retired CEO and publisher of newspapers. He lives in Rhode Island where he enjoys writing, family, and escaping to a log cabin in Maine.