Wednesday, January 2, 2013

my one little word for 2013

Phipps Conservancy and Botanical Gardens
Pittsburgh, PA
photo taken by me, September 20, 2012
One little word.

Have you heard of this concept? I love this idea of choosing a single word each year as a theme for one's life. I first heard about this last year from my incredibly talented friend Hillary at My Scraps

It's a concept that was started by Ali Edwards. As a scrapbooker, I'm a fan of Ali's style and of her blog. There, Ali writes:
Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2013?
It can be something tangible or intangible. It can be a thought, a feeling, or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother's word or your spouse's word or your child's word—this is YOUR word.
One little word can have big meaning in your life if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. And here's one thing that is totally interesting: sometimes a word will pop into your brain and it will not make any sense to you right now. Give it some time. Let it percolate a bit. I have often found that our heart speaks to us in very unique ways. Maybe this is a word you need to hear but just aren't ready for it yet.
Again, be open to the possibilities.
To be perfectly honest, I've only started to think about this in the past several days when I saw other bloggers writing about their words. Of all the words, which one to choose? And would it look bad if I "stole" someone else's word? It almost seemed to be an impossible task. 

For whatever reason, the words of my childhood pastor immediately came to mind. I've written before about what an influential person he was (and still is) in my life. Maybe it has to do with having just gone home for the holidays (and having dreamed about the pastor while there). Whatever the reason, Dr. Ernst G. Schmidt's Opportunity Seeker's Creed came right back. 

"Life is for living!
If it gets comfortable, I will not coast.
If it becomes empty or dark, I will strike a new match of opportunity
And with God's help, move forward in its light...." 

Life has not been comfortable of late. There has been a lot of uncertainty, anxiety and fear. I think that's true for many of us, isn't it? (The fiscal cliff craziness certainly didn't help matters on that front.)

So, faced with this, what exactly can we do? I've been giving a lot of thought to this and the answer is my one little word for 2013:

forward

This year, I'm going to try and incorporate this forward-thinking in as many aspects of my life that I can. 

I'd like to move forward with some significant, substantial progress on the novel (getting it finished and published). 

I'd like to take a forward-thinking approach to my work. Recognize opportunities as the spark of light that they may be in moving my business forward. Go forward with some ideas that have been on the back burner for too long. Step forward into the certainty. 

I'd like to work forward - write more blog posts in advance, for example.

I'd like to pay more random acts of kindnesses forward

I'd like to keep moving forward with capturing our family's important memories. (I'm doing Project Life this year.) 

I want to focus on making the decisions and that move us forward as a family - maybe not immediately, but down the line. 

These are just some initial thoughts. A whole year is ahead for more. 

As Barbara Kingsolver says, in one of my favorite quotes: 
"Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job or a limb or a loved one, a graduation, bringing a new baby home: it's impossible to think at first how this all will be possible. Eventually, what moves it all forward is the subterranean ebb and flow of being alive among the living. ....
It's not such a wide gulf to cross, then, from survival to poetry. We hold fast to the old passions of endurance that buckle and creak beneath us, dovetailed, tight as a good wooden boat to carry us onward.  And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another - that is surely the basic instinct....
We love and we lose, go back to the start and do it right over again. For every heavy forebrain solemnly cataloging the facts of a harsh landscape, there's a rush of intuition behind it, crying out:  High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris.  Time to take this life for what it is."  
(pg. 15-16, "High Tide in Tucson")
Forward, then. 

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2 comments:

Kelly said...

Forward...great word!
This is the first year I've considered jumping on the "pick one word" bandwagon, but haven't had the time to get the blogpost done yet.
Also, this is the third reference this week I've read to Project Life, I've never heard of it and guess I should look it up.
I hope it is indeed a year of moving forward for you, Melissa.

Melissa Sarno said...

I love your word (and your words). I love the words of others that you quote here. This was a big discussion on new years eve with friends. "What is our word?!" I had one. And now I don't like it. Haha! Maybe. I will borrow yours ;)