My word for 2017 ….

For several years now, I choose one word that I attempt to focus on throughout the year.I am not one to make resolutions – mostly because I prefer short term goals over long term goals (I get distracted entirely too easily). Having a word or concept to pay particular attention to for the entire year allows me the chance to look at the various ways and areas that the definition of the word works in my life. For me, it works.

In 2016, I chose the word release. I felt that it was time for me to start letting go. Of what, you may wonder? Of lots of things, starting with clutter – stuffed closets, overflowing drawers, unloved knick knacks and more. Once the physical “stuff” was taken care of, I shifted my priorities to feelings, relationships and expectations that needed to be released. This wasn’t as easy as taking a garbage bag into the closet, but it was even more important. Letting go of these things frees us from the heaviness it creates – a heavy heart has trouble finding happiness. I worked hard on paying attention to the things that were causing me stress and attempted to change the way I dealt with these people, issues or situations. At the end of 2016, when my book was delayed – I needed to release all of my anxiety that was created by this overwhelmingly frustrating event. I was forced to let go of my plans and dreams of selling during the Christmas season and change gears for the future. At first, I wondered if my word would serve me well for 12 whole months. In the end, I could have easily used this word for another entire year – but instead decided to build off of it.

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For 2017, I chose the word acceptance. I figured that since I had devoted a year to cleansing my life from negative habits, people and situations that I could not control, I should follow up with a year of learning how to live with what I can not change – and making the best of it. In June of 2017, my first born is graduating from high school. This is something that consumes my thoughts and much of my energy right now as we fill out college application, cap and gown forms, take senior pictures and plan for his graduation party. In the back of my mind, I fully understand (logically) that he is growing up . I hear his deep voice, see his facial hair and watch him drive away in his car as he heads to work. Yet – I haven’t fully accepted it. I think I am still in denial. I need to focus on how proud I am of him and his accomplishments, instead of how sad I am that he is leaving. Time will help, and so will seeing his excitement about his college days ahead of him. It’s all a matter of accepting it, right?  Being a parent is sort of crappy like that.

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Acceptance is also important in regards to how I manage the areas of my life that just aren’t “my favorite”. I think we all have things and people we absolutely must deal with that we wish we could JUST. NOT. The thought alone makes us cringe, but it doesn’t make the issue or relationship go away. So now what? ACCEPTANCE. To be clear – the definition of acceptance is “the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered” (according to the online dictionary). No where does it state that I have to LIKE it in order to ACCEPT it….right? My goal is to accept a few of the things that I can not control (like my babies growing up and leaving me) and search for the good – something positive – something that will make me smile and not pull my hair out. We can all use a bit more sunshine and a few less clouds. My wish for you is that you find a word that helps you in more ways than one this year. Please let me know what your word is once you know it – I love to hear how my friends are working to improve their lives!

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My word for 2015…

YOU CAN COMPLAIN

A few years back, I heard about something interesting that I decided to do at the start of each new year. The concept of making resolutions for the New Year has always been a negative one for me. Call it what you will – lack of will power, too high of expectations, big dreams and smaller amounts of motivation – but I never quite made it through January the end of the year with my list. It all seemed too daunting. So, needless to say, I was über excited to learn about a new way of doing things in order to get the positive results that I desired.

Basically, I choose a word. A concept that I’d like to focus on through out the entire year. A word that I can work into my daily life – my relationships, my struggles, my schedule. A word to meditate upon instead of a list to “do”. In the past, I have chosen the words peace, service and contentment. I go to my fave place, Pinterest, and create a board for my new word. I include quotes, articles or pictures that “speak to me”, that encouraged me to keep my word in the forefront of my mind. This year, I have chosen the word perspective. The photo quote above is one of my pins. And by the way – if you are not yet on Pinterest – please go and sign up. Now. I can wait. It will change your life  (in a good way). But, I digress. 🙂

Choosing your word has to be well thought out – it can’t just “happen”. It’s something I usually start thinking about during December, so that I will be ready  once all of the cookies have been eaten, the tree is down and the calendar flips, beginning the New Year. Typically , it will be a word that I feel like I need to understand more, connect with more, have in my life to a greater extent. A word that naturally intrigues me. I chose perspective as my word this year for several reasons. First, because of its basic definition. I am – please note the blog name – a lover of words. I like to learn new ones and then throw them into every day conversations. I like to use “big ones” and sound smarter than I actually am (we called those 50 cent words when I was growing up – as in “Don’t come in here and start throwing 50 cent words around here, Buddy!”) But I digress. Again. 🙂  Dictionary.com defines perspective as “a mental view or prospect”.  I feel that I did indeed need a change in my mental view.

Next, I truly felt that I needed to be reminded that my view was up to ME. The things that happen to me, rumors I hear, reports from news program … they are legit – but I get to decide how to react or “feel” about them all. And finally, and most  importantly, I wanted to start focusing more on the positive. Even in the worst case scenario – there is hope, and I wanted to train myself to look for that silver lining. I want it to become more natural. I know that there are still going to be  moments when I will want to sneak into the pantry, shut the door and enjoy a few minutes of solitude and M&Ms. I am definitely not saying that because I am focusing on the good that the bad will just disappear (don’t I wish). But during 2015, I am choosing to look for the good and see if that helps me to find it more than when I am grumbling around feeling sorry for myself.

I have mentioned this on Facebook each year and love it when my friends post their words for the year as well. It’s very interesting and motivating. So – what do you think? What is your word for the year?