Do You Have a Word for 2024?

As 2023 ends, some call this the “year of the brink.” Some think 2024 will be worse. We have wars going on in Ukraine, Israel, and Sudan. AI poses a profound risk to society and humanity. 2023 was the hottest year on record, contributing to various climate crises. Trust in SCOTUS, banks, crypto, and media continues to be on life support. Mass shootings average nearly 2 per day versus less than one per day back in 2014. Undemocratic behavior seems to be the status quo. Denial, irrationality, and illogical thinking fueled by disinformation are acceptable. Loneliness is an epidemic. Values and principles are words and offer no accountability.

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

A New Year, a fresh start!? Regular exercise? Loose weight? Eat healthy? Stop doomscrolling? Reformation or transformation? Purify? Avoidance? Get rid of a bad habit? Overcome an addiction?

“Any time you have a moment that feels like a division of time, your mind does a special thing where it creates a sense that you have a fresh start.” Katy Milkman

A group’s Inukshuk at Camp Joy, 2005.

As I have blogged before, I do not do New Year Resolutions. I focus on a word for the year and make it a part of my lifestyle. I find committing to a word much more accessible than a resolution. I need a word to help me deal with living on the brink.

The word that chose me for 2024 is cairn. Cairn has a history of being monuments, burial sites, navigational aids like trail markers, art projects, and part of a spiritual/meditative practice. Inukshuk, created by the Inuit people of the Arctic, is a cairn. Inukshuk conveys the message, ‘You are not alone.’ They are guides in the unfamiliar.

I created a cairn garden outside our front door during the COVID pandemic. I also have a cairn on my desk in the den. It is a place to go, be still, seek guidance, make balance, and find harmony. Cairns became a way to connect with nature. Creating cairns requires patience and a steady hand bringing calm and relaxation. Creating cairns can be a form of prayer and a connection to ‘thin spaces.’

Recently, as I was “cairning”, I recognized cairn could be an acronym and would make my word for the year more meaningful.

My Inukshuk

C – compassion (especially self-compassion)

A – awareness

I – insight

R – respectful

N – nurture

I hope creating cairns and reflecting on the acronym helps to overcome being on the brink.



Here links to my previous words of the year:

Is the Question More Important than the Answer?

My Word for 2022, Civility

My Word For 2021 – “Selfie”

My Word for 2020…

Got New Year Resolution(s) for 2019?