One Year, One Word 6

Road trips are not good times to make decisions.

When I make road trip decisions, it’s usually the kind of dark that would make taking out the trash scary. There are giant 18-wheelers hurtling by our little car burdened with five lives and all our accoutrements. This is when I make up stories about the lives of the truckers, imbuing them with nefarious backgrounds of illicit deeds and hard time. Since the trucks wave like lightweight flags from one lane to the other on the midnight highways, I know these are not good people, let alone drivers. (This says more about my imagination than I want it to say about truck drivers.) I do not want to meet them at the next pit stop. Furthermore, maybe one of the kids is restless, using his (or her) powers for evil-harassing siblings-rather than good.

This was pretty much my environment as we flew through the night, toward a holiday visit with my folks. I closed my eyes, in that naive motherly way. We think, we mothers, that closing our eyes will help us. That doing so will deepen our breathing and expand our diaphragms and relax our shoulders and being peace nigh unto the world. Alas, this is not so. Closing our eyes is really just a way of buying time. But I did so all the same.

The car became quiet. The children veered toward sleep states, and the radio did not bother me quite so much. In the moments before I hit my own waking sleep state (anyone who has had a baby will recognize this unrestful kind of sleep, as you wait for the shoe to drop) I made a decision.

I don’t do resolutions. I don’t have a policy or anything, I just think if you want change, why wait for the start of a new year. But 2012 was kind of tough, and kind of awesome, and kind of exhausting. And while I hit many of my lifelong goals, I have more that I want to get on, before the kids are gone, before my next book is released, before I register for my next marathon, before the next school year.

My friend Alece is the genius behind OneWord365, which is about focusing all year on one word with purpose. To be more plain, anyone can participate, and everyone chooses his or her own word. I’ve never participated before, but at three am on a highway somewhere in Alabama, I decided to jump in, and I had my word.


This past holiday more than any other, I had the sense of time being on hyper speed, as if Captain Kirk had called for warp speed in my life. I felt like, as we careened toward the holidays, that I was losing any kind of tenuous hold on my days, their organization, and the daily rhythm of my life. I recognized that if I could manage to put a little more thought, daily, weekly and monthly into the very real activities I want to accomplish, I would need to be intentional.

But intentional is a longish word, and I like double meanings, and the sound of intent is sort of powerful. Plus, it can pertain not just to writing, homeschooling and running, but to my relationships, too. I want to be intent on those I care about, and intentional about being with them.

It’s not too late to sign on. Just visit oneword365 and link up. If you’re more a lurker than a linker, that’s fine, too. Still, it’d be cool if you kept some kind of notes on your experience, as I intend to do.

Do you have a word for 2013? What is it and how to you plan to make it happen?