Surrender | December 2022

This is my last check-in with Surrender! Like all of you – I am totally shocked that the year is ending. How did that happen? How have I written twelve of these updates? If you’re interested, you can see all twelve here. And if you hover on “Word of the Year” above, you can read all of my updates since 2018. What a ride! And as always, thank you to Carolyn for hosting these monthly updates.

I’m a little “late” with this post. But things have been strange with the holidays and Matthew’s schedule and well… this blog has been put on the back burner for almost a week. But this year, I’ve learned to surrender my expectations and have come to understand that there are no requirements here. This blog is meant to be a fun activity, not a measurement of any sort of success in my life. And honestly — success compared to what? (she says, in her best Marcel the Shell with Shoes On voice.)

Surrender has been the perfect mantra this week because my house is a total wreck. There are piles of gifts and goodies in every corner and I am tripping over toys and nonsense everyday. Normally, I put the Christmas chaos away almost immediately. I’d shove toys in the playroom, where things get ignored, piled up, and never used. But this year I’m watching to see what is actually getting used and considering what might be grown into. Anything that doesn’t pass muster will be donated or disposed of, instead of just being added to the pile of unwanted toys. I am surrendering to the mess for now in the hopes that it will help us with the bigger mess in the long run.


Surrender has served me so well this year. It hasn’t meant that I’ve given up on anything or have let life run roughshod over me. It’s been a reminder that there are many ways to reach a goal and that it’s okay if real life doesn’t mirror my ideal vision. I am surrounded by humans with their own interests, needs, and ideals. I cannot control them nor should I want to. My desire is to create an environment that is rich with learning and love. Sometimes that means the floor will be dirty or there will be dishes in the sink. Sometimes my blog posts won’t follow the schedule in my own head. It’s okay to surrender the idea of perfection and just live the life we have.

(I had no idea that I’d be quoting Marcel the Shell twice when I started this post today.)

I’m ready for a new word in the new year. I have a front-runner but haven’t completely decided, so let’s hope I can make a decision and that I’m ready to write about it on the last Monday of January 2023!

Thank you all, as always, for your patience and kindness over the last year. Having this blog has helped refine my life in so many ways and it’s because of all of you. I hope to be back at some point this week with another update (or two? don’t get cocky, Katie) but just in case I don’t make it here: here’s to a wonderful 2023. Take good care!

11 thoughts on “Surrender | December 2022

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  1. I’d be tempted to have “nonsense” as my word of the year, I think it would be an interesting one! Sounds like “surrender” has been really valuable. Happy New Year for 2023 🙂

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  2. I think Surrender has been such a good word for you because it’s really helped you to see that so many things in your life are things that can serve you or answer to you rather than the other way around (and the blog is one of those!). I know how hard it is to feel like you’re giving up control over things, but it’s also important to realize that there are some things you don’t need to control and can just be as they are. I hope this last week of 2022 is kind to you, and I look forward to hearing what word you’ll choose for 2023!

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  3. I love how the simple selection of a word for a year helps in the most surprising of ways. Your year with Surrender has certainly done that… at least that I have observed here. You always share tidbits that I stop, consider, and most times write down to mull over some more! (and that might be my favorite part of us all sharing our updates publicly – the learning through others journeys!)

    I am sending calming thoughts your way along with a healthy dose of the ability to turn a blind eye to the temporary chaos.

    I am eager to see where 2023 takes us all! XO

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  4. I do believe SURRENDER has been the perfect word for you this past year Katie. I’m sure you have learned from it (and grown). I’ll look forward to seeing what your 2023 OLW is and then your monthly posts surrounding that word. I don’t pick a OLW, but I sure do enjoy reading others’ posts about their words. Take care and enjoy this last week of 2022. Wishing you joy and peace in the coming year.

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  5. This year has been a journey and it seems that Surrender has been a wonderful reminder to name what matters and let the rest go. Hope you are enjoying these last few days of 2022, being present with your family in all the chaos. and best wishes for a happy and joyful start to the new year!

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  6. “there are many ways to reach a goal and that it’s okay if real life doesn’t mirror my ideal vision.” If this were the ONLY thing to come of a year, I’d say it was one rich year.
    Here’s to surrendering to real life!! I’m right there with you.
    Much love.

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  7. I’m glad your word has served you so well this year, Katie. Surrendering the idea of perfection is an important notion for everyone, I think. Perfection is impossible, right? I’ve been listening to Gretchen Rubin’s Happier podcast and they choose a word for the year for themselves and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what I want to use for 2023. I’m choosing two words, because I can’t decide: Nourish and Here. Nourish: as in food that feeds my body well and helps it run well, but also food and other things I consume (media, etc) that feed my spirit too. And Here as in BE HERE. Don’t be in my head worrying about the future or bemoaning the past. Be right here now in the moment. That’s my constant struggle. Anyway, hope you all are having a good weekend and Happy New Year!

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