Changing Words

Last year I chose a word of the year on Christine Kane’s recommendation. The word I chose was focus. My intention was to use that word to help me focus on one thing at a time, to focus on breaking nervous habits like leg shaking, and focus on where I was spending my attention.

I kept that word in the back of my mind, drawing on it for subtle reminders to put down the cell phone or laptop or to spend some time letting my creativity run wild. It seems to have served me well.

A few weeks ago, I set out in search of a new word for 2010. I started along the lines of simplicity, be, and enough. Then I thought release. I tried it on for size, rolling it around in my mind for a little while.

In my frustration over a dresser drawer that was in disarray, I heard “release” and pulled out clothes to donate that I no longer needed or loved. On a tough day I allowed myself to release past pains and release my fears.

Then the battery on the van gave out. Then my husband’s indestructible tungsten wedding band broke after a small tumble from the counter. (This is the second time the indestructible ring has broken, so it isn’t as indestructible as advertised.) Then, of course, there was the day I dropped the baby Jesus while putting away my miniature nativity set. The baby Jesus survived and I laughed to myself because the word release was definitely showing its down side. The next day I dropped five different ornaments when packing up the tree and I started to think maybe I should go back to the drawing board.

On December 30th, something happened. My dog, Bruno, was suddenly very ill. I made three visits to the vet in four days and this weekend after bleak blood results indicating both his kidney and liver had shut down, I had to let him go. Even as I type this, I’m crying. I strengthened myself for him, pushed aside my fear of all things medical, and held him the entire time. I rejoiced for the nine good years we had together (pretty much my entire adult life). I certainly can’t be sad for that, but I’m sad to have had to say goodbye so soon.

My husband and my friends (who corralled around me with hugs via phone) and I all had to agree release was not the right word for me this year. I’m just not ready for all of the “opportunities” to prove I am able to release. My friend noted that my energy must be really strong, which is good, and that we should put some extra care in choosing a new word.

So here I am a few days in to 2010 without a word of the year. I’m jotting a few down. Feeling how they resonate. I don’t think I’ve found the right one yet. I’ll keep looking. I’m sure when the time is right, a new word will present itself.

In the meantime, it’s still me and Bruno against the world, even if only in spirit.


  1. It is so hard to lose a loved companion. They are so full of unconditional love aren't they? Well, I am sure that Bruno is there with you right now, giving you all the love and devotion that he did whilst with you in the physical realm.

    Big hugs



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