Reflecting on My “Word” of 2014

Word for the year #oneword365 #myoneword

A couple of times throughout the year, I’ve thought about the “word” I chose for 2014 but now that it’s December and I look back to the impact of focusing on this particular concept, it’s hard for me to believe. I have to admit that, at times, I have felt like a pawn on a chess board but more often, I facilitated, initiated or went along with all the changes during the past year, so I really can’t complain.

At the beginning of the year, I chose “MOVE” as my word for a few reasons; 1) I needed to make our 1800 sq. foot house more functional for our family of 6; 2) I needed to start moving physically (and I did for a while); 3) I had a desire to get back to writing; 4) I wanted to move money and make progress in the budgeting and planning department of our lives and 5) I wanted to plan meals and eat healthier.

The year began with some remodeling with the help of a local contractor and by February, Mark and I were sleeping in what used to be our living room. Hannah and Kate each had their own rooms and our dining room became our new family room.

Most of our family had “moved” within our house and we were enjoying it. What felt like extra space was really just a more efficient use of the space we had.

Less than 2 months later, my aunt had a minor fall and overall had been declining rapidly both physically and mentally. My mom decided it was time to bring her home to Pittsburgh (either to her apartment or to a nursing home). I offered our newish first floor bedroom and we MOVED my aunt in.

When I envisioned the changes within our home, I had no idea that we would make room for a new family member. My aunt hasn’t lived in this city since she left to teach over 50 years ago. I always just assumed she would die in place or go to a nursing home (near her home) when the time came.

I don’t think this practice of choosing a word is magical or anything.  For me it’s more effective than goal-setting or making resolutions (which everyone knows are useless) because it’s simple. It’s so much easier to focus on applying one principle to many areas of my life than to haphazardly attack a variety of goals.

This word was effective for me because when I felt overwhelmed by a task or something I wanted to do, I just thought about moving forward with baby steps.

If clearing out a whole room seemed too daunting, I just filled a box at a time and moved it out. If words didn’t seem to come, I just wrote a few. Just kept the cursor moving. If I was fearful of making a big financial decision, I just moved a smaller chunk of money.

Aside from my aunt’s status, almost all of the kids “moved” from homeschooling into a brick-and-mortar school during the course of the year. Big change, that! Luke’s still at home plugging away at his cyber school because it allows him to train for tennis as much as he needs to.

Many years I’ve been nostalgic or reluctant to choose a new word because I felt there was more work to do with the old one. Not this year. I’m ready for some stability and ready to move on to a new focus? See, I can’t get away from the word!

I still haven’t chosen my word for 2015. It may take me a few weeks but when I do, I’ll share it. I find other people’s “word” posts inspiring. Plus, I usually need the accountability.

Do you choose a word for the year?

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