I have loved this concept since day one (I love words, ya know???), but I struggled each and every year to find the right word. Weeks would go by and I would eventually just give up. But for some reason, this year's word came to me easily. I took this as a sign that it was a good year to finally join this growing trend. So, what is my word?
At the New Year, I had so many goals that I felt strive was the strong action word that I needed to push me through my year. It encompassed so many things for me:
~ strive to be a better mommy
~ strive to be more patient
~ strive to renew my faith in God
~ strive to scrapbook more efficiently
~ strive in my career
~ strive for better balance
I'm a little late in posting this, obviously, and I really wish I had done this earlier, when I'd first chosen the word. But here we are, seven weeks into the new year and I have had a very clear realization. STRIVE is not the word for me. Not even close.
So, you may be wondering how so much could change in such a short amount of time. I honestly don't know the answer to that question. But, at some point in the last few weeks, I've gotten a smack in the face (one called "reality"). I quickly realized that I was over-committing myself. And not just in general, but committing to things that just are not important enough. My priorities needed some rearranging. I was giving up time with my family and friends to serve on committees. Is that what life is about? Planning pep rallys and food drives? It's good stuff, but not the good stuff.
A dear friend of mine made such a valid point when I confided in her on this topic. As working moms, or probably just moms in general, or maybe just women in general...we tend to *define* ourselves based on all that we can squeeze into our short little days. How much can we volunteer? How many cupcakes can we bake? How many events can we plan? How many funds can we raise? If you take that innate (yet crazy) tendency and add my own personal flaws which include, but are not limited to, being incredibly anal and a total control freak...well, it's a recipe for disaster.
In a matter of weeks, I managed to pawn my baby boy off on anyone that would have him (hubby, friends, family); I turned down multiple happy hour invites with girlfriends; I royally ticked off my husband; I spent time at work not working...and all for what?
So, here I am...confessing my errors and starting anew. It's time for a new outlook on the year, and my life; a new set of priorities; and a new one little word. so, what's my new word? It's quite predictable, but so very appropriate.
Nothing about my actual goals have changed, only the way I'm going to go about reaching them. Think about these words. Seriously...take a second and mull it over. First let's look at the denotation of each. STRIVE means to exert one's self vigorously or to make strenuous effort toward any goal. BALANCE is defined as mental steadiness or stability and a habit of calm behavior. Wow...what a difference, huh? Now, think about the connotation of each. How do you feel when you think about each word? For me, it's significantly different. Strive brings about a tense feeling of obligation (something that is very *me* by nature). But balance makes me feel immediately at ease. I literally feel myself sigh when I think about the word. That feeling does not come easy to me.
So, there you have it...One Little Word for 2010 (Take Two). It's more than just a word. It's a state of mind.
I encourage everyone to choose "one little word"...and don't feel like it has to start on January 1st. There is no reason why you can't start right now. Or next week. Or next month. It's my opinion that you have to truly feel your word in order for it to work and you can't force that. So, take your time. If you decide to do your own "one little word", I'd recommend checking in at Ali's blog every once in a while. I loved this post where she provides some great ideas for working with your word and she is planning on posting similar things monthly.