What I’ve Chosen For My 2019 Word of the Year

Pinterest graphic with a snowman mug in the background, and Christmas light bokeh behind it. In the foreground are the words "What I've Chosen For My 2019 Word of the Year" in a script font, and underneath in a serifed font it says "www.amandasuehowell.com"

You can listen to the audio version of this blog post by clicking play.

Phillip (my husband) and I are always behind on movies. Always. Between his wonky work hours, and us no longer living near enough to family for readily available sitters, we end up watching everything from streaming, or Redbox if we feel fancy.

And people assume we must jump on movies the instant they hit DVD, but the problem with always being behind, is that there’s a pretty steady backlog of movies to catch up on, but in between them you have to fit in your current obsession TV (hellooooo 9-1-1!), introduce your kids to things you watched when you were a kid (Freaky Friday anyone?), and spend a little quality time with your old favorites, so they know you haven’t forgotten them (Browncoats unite!).

All of this to say in the most excruciatingly drawn out way ever… that I hadn’t seen The Greatest Showman until my birthday weekend (which is in August)… and what a glorious birthday weekend it was. We watched Black Panther AND The Greatest Showman. I could geek out for hours over either one of them, but I’ll behave myself… this time.

Now that I’ve laid the stage, I’m going to divert your attention like a really bad magician. For one moment, forget about Hugh Jackman. I know it’s hard, but do try it for just a moment. This is the time of year where “word of the year” becomes a hot topic. Lowercase hot topic… not uppercase Hot Topic… that’s another matter entirely. Where was I? Ahh yes.

Word of the year.

The word moxie hand lettered on a sketchpad, in an orange and pink gradient, with stars doodled in white over it. Sketchpad is sitting on a wooden background that's been spray painted in blue, yellow, and red.

Last year, my word was moxie. I think we may have watched Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian a few too many times with the kiddos that year. Or maybe I felt like I needed to be sassier. Either way, I wound up on moxie, the meaning of which is “a force of character, determination, or nerve”. I’m actually a very determined creature, but I overwhelm myself quite a bit, which ends up making me feel as though I’ve lost my nerve.

This year I’ve pondered words back and forth… for a hot second I thought “Catalyst”. There’s a definition that means a person or thing precipitating an event… but I keep getting hung up on the chemical definition, which is a thing that triggers a reaction, without undergoing any change of its own.

But do I really not want to change in 2019? Absolutely not. I want to grow, I want to stretch, and I definitely want to change for the better. So then I pondered other ideas… I swirled around the word “Warmth”, thinking about the times I was called warm this year… or that warmth is a keyword of the ENFJ, or that warmth has associations with fiery catch words… firework, fire, etc. Goodness knows there are anthems aplenty for those words.

But then this weekend, we introduced the kids to The Greatest Showman. And I just can’t get A Million Dreams out of my head.

“Every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams of the world we’re gonna make”

Over and over again it’s played in my head. We watched it Sunday. It’s Tuesday. It’s still reverberating in my brain, and the kids have heard me singing it dozens of times. I know that this is my anthem for 2019.

2019 is my year for rebuilding my world. I moved last year… moved away from a state I’ve lived in most of my life, and a church I’ve attended for years. Next year, we’re upgrading this house, clearing up debt, and creating new things in my business.

Which brings me to another part of the song A Million Dreams.

“They can, they can say it all sounds crazy
They can say, they can say I’ve lost my mind
I don’t care, I don’t care, so call me crazy
We can live in a world that we design”

design - digitally hand lettered in dark blue, with a red gradient, and white highlights
So I’ve chosen “design” as my word. Designing our world. Designing our home. Designing our lifestyle. It’s got a secondary meaning for me, as I continue pursuing my dreams of creating art for a living, and I learn character design, and surface pattern design.

There’s my wild ride to a 2019 word of the year… and for the second year in a row, a movie had its hand in the mix. A bit unorthodox perhaps, but it works for me… how do you choose your word?


I’m teaming up with my bestest friend, and my accountability partner (hint: they’re the same person), and we’re hosting a Planning Party together! We’re both über planning nerds, and we want to kick the year off just right, and we’d be thrilled if you joined us. For details, and to get on the waitlist, click here.

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Amanda Sue

Amanda Sue is an enabler for creatives who shun niches. Through her super-approachable classes & range of Pinterest services, she's here to remind you that you deserve to carve out the life of your dreams. Her adoring fans & customers have called her classes "fun + relaxing" & "refreshingly breezy". When she's not painting & Pinning, you can find her teaching herself to knit while she indulges her latest Netflix obsession.

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