2023: Year of Surrender

I can’t believe I’ve been here for five years! Amaze-balls, as the kids say. Wait? They don’t say that anymore? Well, that’s embarrassing.

Of all the ideas I’ve had over the years, this one – choosing a Word of the Year – has been the most successful.

Let’s see, there was…

2018: Year of Nurture

2019: Year of Water

2020: Year of Clarity

2021: Year of Rebuilding

2022: Year of Mindfulness

As you can see, I have chosen the word Surrender for 2023. Looking at my list, I probably should have STARTED with this one! Such is my life looking backward. <<< Something I’ve certainly struggled with through the years.

Surrender is a word that cuts close to my heart because it is the one thing I’ve had the most trouble doing… especially as it pertains to the choices I’ve made.

I like what Wikipedia says about the word: Surrender, in military terms, is the relinquishment of control over territory, combatants, fortifications, ships or armament to another power. A surrender may be accomplished peacefully or it may be the result of defeat in battle. (Link)

Here’s why I like this particular definition…

Getting to this point has been hard fought. Picture me with bloody hands, refusing to let go of the rope.

I guess that’s why it wasn’t chosen first, eh?

Some might say that a 5-day stay in the hospital isn’t incredible but I can say with all sincerity that 2022 was indeed INCREDIBLE and life-changing in a way that I’ve never experienced before. It also reminded me why the word Surrender had to become my new mantra.

This is not just because of my health, though my anxiety about it has all but disappeared since my hospital stay. Not 100%… but nowhere near what it was for the last thirty (freaking) years.

I need to surrender in other ways, as well: At work, in relationships with others, and most of all… the relationship I have with myself.

What YOU surrender TO is profoundly personal. It might be your higher power… or no higher power at all.

I am not here to judge.

For me, life *includes* God, who breathes through EVERYthing. But that’s just me.

Finally, I’d like to share something I discovered this morning…

Several months ago, I wrote a post about stepping back from personal posting. In true Sheryl-fashion, I purged most of my personal posts, which included my foray into YouTube and a podcast.

I had barely given myself time to find my groove when I let the voices of disdain cloud my confidence. It all goes back to the one loud voice who has told me (since forever) that I wasn’t young enough, thin enough, pretty enough, photogenic enough, enough-enough to do ________________ (fill in the blank with whatever). In this case, it was “do a vlog on YouTube” and/or “use my voice on a podcast”. I tried both and failed.

As if everyone with a successful online presence came out of the gate a winner.


And — this is very important — it affected my blog here, too! Well, duh, since I removed some very heartfelt posts and/or essays. What a shame.

Anyhow, I was going through my photos here this morning and noticed that although I’d removed so many posts – the thumbnails from those posts remain. Mostly, they’re of my face through the years. In most cases, I wasn’t trying to look bad or goofy… just being me. I’m simple. I’ve let my hair go gray. I don’t wear much makeup… often, none at all. I’m casual and comfortable.

Somewhere along the line, I came to believe the face staring back at me wasn’t good enough. Certainly not good enough to let *other people see*.

That changes now.

My first step of surrender is to share these photos anew… all me… all good enough.

My name is Sheryl Nelsen Hutton and I am The Self-Help Whisperer®.

Please join me in choosing YOUR word for 2023.


  1. Okay, I’ll go with “calm.”

    Your photos are all actually both beautiful and lovable ~ they show the breadth of personality and the divine twinkle and the seeking after light and the excellent sense of humor… My favorite, though, has to be the one with the bunny ear up your nose… Did that tickle?

    Oh, and this is me not saying I told you so about the personal non-digressions… Because I’m the very SOUL of discretion and the best friend in the ~

    ~ “I TOLD you so!” ~

    Oops, guess I’m not those things! But I do love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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