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February 04, 2011

Word of the Day Year

By Joshilyn Jackson

Tlc oil change I had to get my oil changed, and when I went into the waiting room Random Person I Was Pretty Sure I Did Not Know From Adam’s Off-Ox was already there. I picked up an ancient People Magazine, prepping to waste half an hour flipping through candids of all the hottest celebrity couples from 2007, when Random Person I Was Pretty Sure I Did Not Know From Adam’s Off-Ox leapt up, grinning, and ran over and hugged me.

Person: *delighted* Oh HI! HI! My goodness HI!

Me: *panicking, trying to sound delighted* Oh, HI! How are YOU!

Person: Can’t complain. Lord, I have not seen you in a dog’s age.

Me: That certainly seems true. So! What have you been UP to?

(I was desperately hoping Random Person I Was Pretty Sure I Did Not Know From Adam’s Off-Ox might answer this question by saying something revelatory, like, “Oh my life is just wall to wall pap smears, the usual,” and then I would remember that this was my gynecologist. Which would make sense because I almost never see my gynecologist from the angle at which I was currently viewing Random Person I Was Pretty Sure I Did Not Know From Adam’s Off-Ox. But no. She said...)

Person: Not much.

Me: Really? Nothing? Nothing super specific you want to tell me about?

Person: Nope. What about you, how’s your family?


Tlc evil cat (I didn't ask about her family because I had this sudden yawping fear that she was single and childless and orphaned and her best friend had just moved to Philly to be with some guy she met on the internet and now Person was having these recurring dreams where she died alone and her cats ate her while she was still warm. Not that I ever think about this happening to me when Scott is out of town and I wake up and the awful orange kitten is staring at me with his empty Dexter Morgan eyes, heh.

So I just said, “Good! Good!” A couple more times, grinning like a robot, and she grinned back at me and I grinned back at her, all the while hunting about desperately for a topic that might lead me to some inkling of who Random Person I Was Pretty Sure I Did Not Know From Adam’s Off-Ox was without giving away that I had NO CLUE.)

 Me: SO! Are you going to make New Year’s Resolutions this year?

Person: ...It’s February.

Me: Right. Right. So it is.

Tlc hostess gift (Here’s the thing that’s super irritating about me. One of them. If you invite me dinner at 6:30, I will show up at 6:30 and you will be naked with wet hair because no one actually means 6:30 and I can’t internalize this. I mean, I know it with my mind. I just SAID it. But the heart does not hear, and at 6:29 and 57 seconds, I will be on your step in my Company shoes thrusting a hostess gift at you. At the same time, I never know what month it is.

SO basically if you are going to feed me something nice I come 45 minutes before everyone else and you have to make small talk with me while struggling out of your towel and into the pants you haven’t ironed yet, and I will get two drinks ahead of EVERY other guest and be telling the really obnoxious sexually explicit joke about the badger that needs THREE drinks to be funny when every other guest is on drink one, but EXCEPT for dinner parties, I am two months behind, always.

Person: I don’t do resolutions anymore, anyway. This year, I am trying to do more of a theme. Like, I am going to pick a word to be my theme for this year, and I am going to try to live into that word.

Me: *interested* Ooooh. That’s interesting. What did you pick?

Person: I picked Patience.

(Gentle reader, I can tell you, immediately: I am not picking that. )

We talked for another ten minutes about good words one could pick, and I realized that whoever she was, she was pretty cool. Then her car was ready and I was left to decide what word I want to be this year’s theme word. Since it is February, it is probably not going to be PUNCTUALITY.

Tlc candy  I called my husband, and his immediate response was: You can’t pick chocolate. SO the year is already bound to suck, right there.

I am trying to decide if it should be some sort of NOBLE word, like JUSTICE, but that seems very tiring and lofty, and I already KNOW I will have failed that word by the fourth day of spring break, when I holler down into the basement at my children, “I DO NOT CARE IF IT IS FAIR, OR WHO MESSED UP HOW MUCH OF WHAT! YOU WILL BOTH CLEAN THAT PLAYROOM OUT NOW. NOW. BECAUSE I AM THE MOM AND I SAY SO.”

Or I could pick a FUN word, like spontaneity, but the downside on that is, I think I would then have to actually attempt to be spontaneous. It’s sort of...implied. But not having a definitive plan of action gives me stress hives.

Tlc scrabble I think a realistic word for the year might actually BE Stress Hives, as we novelists wait to see WTH is going to happen with the publishing industry, but Scott says Stress Hives is technically TWO words, and anyway he is pretty sure I used up Stress Hives as a theme last year.

If I don’t choose soon, my word will become, by default, PROCRASTINATION. SO. I am going to pick in the next 24 hours. What should I pick? What would YOU pick? Are you going to pick? Or do you refuse to pre-define your year in a single word. I am going to define mine though, and not ONLY because it means I can tell people I am doing that instead of resolutions and therefore maybe get out of bettering myself in ANY WAY AT ALL entirely for the whole of 2011....


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You might try "curiosity" and ask your mechanic who in the world the Ramdom Person You Were Pretty Sure You Didn't Know From Adam's Off-Ox is.

Joshilyn, the weird thing is, I decided the week before New Year's to skip doing resolutions and pick a word for the year . . . my word is appreciation.

I appreciate you writing this blog. I hope you find your word.

I would have asked the mechanic right away who the other customer was. Or I would have asked her myself. I would have said something really tactful, like 'Do I know you?'

I think my word for the year will be "SEX". Being a guy, it'll be easy to remember.

I would pick the word "PASSION" for my word of the year.
This would enable me to pursue everyday with a new purpose and fuel any project or pursuit with joy.
Without PASSION life would not be worth living for me.

I am impressed that you didn't find out who Ms. Patience was. I would have asked a bunch of direct (and probably rude) questions until I figured it out.

That probably means my word of the year should be Discretion. And that would make yours Interrogatory. ;)

Can I just say that I'm equally bad about guessing who people are? (So I am quick to say, "I'm Nancy Martin!" even to people like my mother, desperately hoping that the other person introduces him/herself.) I am doubly embarrassed to get caught peering at people's name tags at conferences, too, therefore I was quite dismayed when somebody snubbed me last fall until half an hour later when I realized..........I was the person who suggested she be fired. (Hey, when you serve on a board, you're fiscally responsible, right??) So......my word of the year should probably be justaskbeforeyoustickyourfootinyourmouth.

After driving in rainy traffic yesterday, where the entire state of Louisiana managed to have amnesia about basic driving skills, my new word would be something like, "NO NO NO YOU IDIOT USE YOUR FREAKING TURN SIGNAL."

You bet that is one word.

I'm a little nervous about this, because the other day, on a blog about sending a message to God,my message was that I should win the Lottery. And someone said, be careful, because what if you win Shirley Jackson's Lottery?

But I choose Encouragement as my word, because I need some, I like to give some, and we all could use some.

HA HAHA RAMONA! That is not a good lottery...

SO here is the thing, if she had just done the HI HI HI thing, I would have asked, or said, "I've forgotten your name," or something, you know? It was the hug. THE HUG pushed it from, "We have met before" to "We are very close, and clearly you have brain damage."


Sex is not a bad word for the year, Doc, but I am more inclined to go with PASSION, because that encompasses chocolate, as well. Of course, someone could argue that sex ALSO encompasses the idea of chocolate, but that might be oversharing.

Passion is on the short list...

I'm going with cleanliness.
Isaac Dog died last September and I'm still finding dog hair in the ice cube trays.

Gee, Joshilyn, if I lived anywhere near you I probably would have BEEN that Random Person! I have an excellent memory for names and faces, as well as for all sorts of idiotic details. (My friends, family, coworkers all depend on me to remember details for them. In recent years I have been telling them that I am aging along with the rest of them and that they'd better ask me for the details NOW while I still have my memory!) When I have found myself in Random Person's position and have realized that the Joshilyn Person didn't remember me I have either identified myself (if I liked the Joshilyn Person) OR if I was feeling particularly perverse I have taken the conversation into directions that showed that I knew a whole lot more about the Joshilyn Person than she/he realized. (And being a very sweet person I do it oh, so nicely.)

So, my word for the year...maybe it should be TACT??

Not so much for a one-word theme. There are simply too many wonderful words, and if I pick just one, all the others are sure to be insulted and not come around when I need to pick a new word NEXT year, which will leave me with something like "colonoscopy" for 2012.

Maybe I should work on "decision-making" for this year.

Oh, Lordy - this is a hoot. Nothing more fun than a morning giggle - Thank you.

I think the word I should pick to live by this year might be "chill." Unfortunately, just like all the resolutions I've even chosen, I've already blown it.

Big sigh.

But. there's always next year, right?! And next year I'll do better.

I want to say that I think you can *absolutely* pick "chocolate." I'm with you on that. I'm off to ponder my word. I need something that means "get it all done and be brilliant." Hmmm.

How about "intrigue"--could be good, not usually bad, but always interesting, and perhaps even exciting.

perspicacious or philomath

Loved the story! My word of the year should be "focus." I've been moderately successful in some of it, but I have a huge calendar collision tonight. Changing months messes me up.

I need that too, Tammy, I need a
"get it all done and be brilliant" word. The first word that came to me though with that concept is... WIN and I so hideously hypercompetitive already I don't think I want WIN as my word. Like, I have been known to gather whole armies of ravening huns and destroy nations over a scrabble game. So. Not WIN. HRM What word means "get it all done and be brilliant."???

FOCUS would be good. That would be an APT word for me, especially because I---OH HEY! LOOK! SOMETHING SHINY!

Been in your situation, sigh. Usually it's someone I met at a book signing in 1997. Being a writer must be a bit like being an old hooker -- everyone looks like someone you may have had an encounter with.
My word -- skip. I've given up on New Year's resolutions.

Joshilyn, have I told you lately that I love you?

For some reason, reading this reminded me of yesterday when we thought that one of our kitchen fish, whose name happens to be Claustrophobic, died. But sometimes fish come back to life and I hate digging fish corpses out of the fish tank and the kids were at school, so I left Claustrophobic alone in case he revived. And a few hours later, he was just a fish skeleton with a head. Yes, one or more of his "friends" had eaten him. At which point I was pretty sure he was dead.

I think my word will be "enchantment."

Ha! I was laughing out loud by the time I got to "wall to wall pap smears", and didn't stop even through the comments. What a hilarious blog.

Maybe you could have found some way to compare driver's license photos?

I would like to choose "lazy" as my word. But I think I'm already doing that. Or maybe picking up on Toni's theme, I could use "all rush hour drivers are asshats", which is more than one word, but too bad. On the way to work, I had three people, at different times, pull in front of me where there was no room to do so. My middle finger is tired.

CHOCOLATE is good. It's both a goal and a reward, and for me--and possibly for you--one of the five food groups. Go for it.

Xena, TMI. (Note to self: don't ask for ice at Xena's house.)

Since I keep procrastinating I need a word that is the opposite. ANTI-PROCRASTINATION still contains the word. Any suggestions? ACTION? JUSTDOIT?

So funny, Joshilyn! For years I kept running into a woman who was absolutely certain that we had once been on a company bowling team together. I finally gave up and would ask if she'd bowled any strikes lately. Is there a bowling shirt hanging in your closet?

"one or more of his "friends" had eaten him. At which point I was pretty sure he was dead."

Oh, Harley, you crack me up.

Gee Ramona, "message to God,my message was that I should win the Lottery. And someone said, be careful, because what if you win Shirley Jackson's Lottery?" is quite a buzz kill early in the morning.

My word for the year is CIVILITY. You don't have to agree with me on politics, sports, or milk or dark chocolate, but we must be civil about it.

I have been living PUNCTUALITY for years. The servers behind me like being in sync to within a tenth of a second of each other. I was a pizza dude in the 30 minutes or free days. There was a clear difference between 7:00 and 7:01. One was on time and one was not. FAA Licensed pilot Al flies instruments. How late is lost? Three minutes. Now someone explain to me how I married into a family where leaving the house around 5:00 is the same as arriving at 5:00? Ain't love grand?

In keeping with my civil tone for the year, have a good weekend, enjoy the game and order a pizza for the second half.

Joshilyn, you are--hilarious beyond description. I wish *I* could hug you right now.

I'm trying to think of a one-word that's along the lines of lighten up, or stop worrying or what-can-you do, you-just-have-to-wait-and-see. But "patience", although devoutly to be wished, doesn't quite encompass the happiness and freedom that ought (!)the accompany this word.

Who was it that said: Nothing matters, and what if it does? (Frank Zappa?)

So I'm thinkin'--optimism? Or perhaps: Louboutin?

Karen - how about "NOW!"?

Wait. I just read a few more comments, and I'm changing. I want the "get it all done and be brilliant" word, too.

And I want it NOW.

I must admit that what grabbed me about this blog was not the idea of a theme word for the year, but that you couldn't remember whatshername. This has been such a problem lately that I actually went to alzheimers.org to check my symptoms against the real deal. So far, so good.
Which means, I guess, that my theme word for the year is "gingko."

Wow. This happens to me. Not necessarily at SuperLube, but it does happen. Sometimes at the store where I work, sometimes in the cereal aisle at the local market. Rather scarier at the store, since I'm wearing a name tag and they aren't :o) I've decided that my face, no matter how ordinary, is somehow unforgettable. Or I have a twin somewhere. I actually didn't recognize someone I should have...we had worked together for years, but cancer (successfully beaten) had taken away his really lush head of white hair and he was wearing a baseball cap. I was embarrassed, he was really nice about it.
One question...did the person you ran into actually ever use your name? Could be she thought she knew you and then realized she didn't, and was waiting for you to give HER a clue :o)

So. My word for this year is TENACITY. I need to finish what I start, start things I talk about, and generally not give up.

The word that I choose is KEEN, in every sense but the "keening and wailing and rending of garments" sense. KEEN as in sharp, KEEN as in eager and interested. This past year has left me feeling dull in many ways, with lots of family crises and difficulties and things. I don't want to be dull, I want to be KEEN.

Great blog, Joshilyn! I love laughing in the morning. I don't have to worry about CHOCOLATE. I've got that covered. Maybe my word will be ORGANIZED because I'm not. I keep hoping that one day I'll wake up and know exactly where to put all that paper that multiplies like bunnies in my house and give away all the unused stuff filling the floor of my closet...okay, house. Hey, it could happen in my lifetime, right?

Harley, I came home for lunch one time and found the legs of one of our hermit crabs sticking out of the mouth of our other hermit crab. I figured our first one was pretty dead too. Our daughter was at school when it happened, so I told her the first one died and I had to flush it down the toilet. Otherwise she would have wanted to bury it.

Sarah, I know what you mean. My Dad had Alzheimer's, and it scares the hell out of me every time I walk into a room and can't remember why. Which is often.

Honest to Pete, you crack me up. And lookee -- you found a blog with all my favourite writers. Hitting 'add to favourites' key.
God bless, Christine in Los Angeles.

I have a terrible time recognizing people when I meet them out of context. I'm also a very bad conversationalist when I get nervous which I always do when I don't remember someone. I will invariably do something really stupid like laughing inanely or stepping on their foot. The worst for me is crowded parties where I can't hear what anyone is saying but always try to respond as if I can.

I was going to pick SOCIAL SKILLS, but since STRESS HIVES didn't make the cut, I had to rethink. Because this is something we hope to manifest in the course of the year, I think I'll pick SNOW. Can't lose this year with snow. Thanks for a great laugh. I'm off to shovel my roof.

1. Ok, so does this mean I'm the only person on the planet (other than you, Joss) who, when I invite someone to dinner at 6:30, actually EXPECTS them to show up at 6:30?? If I meant 7:00, I'd say 7:00, dammit! If we were invited to the same dinner party, I'd be on the doorstep right there beside you at 6:29:57 and at least there'd be two of us laughing at the badger joke.

2. It's killing me - KILLING ME - that you didn't find out who RPIWPSIDNKFAOO is. I kept expecting that you somehow found out but not so much, huh? I feel like I just picked up a murder mystery & never found out whodunnit!

3. I think you should pick "supercalafragalisticexpialadocious" because it's fun to say and it can mean whatever the hell you want it to, so you can see how the year goes for a while and then inform everyone that how the year is going is exactly what you meant by that all along, which means you WIN! Hah!

I KNOW DEB RIGHT????? If I invite people for 6:30, I am sitting in my den weeping at 6:32 because I threw a party and no one came! HEEE!

My word for the year should be something like FOCUS or ORGANIZATION or something else equally Martha Stewart meets the Day Runner Dude.

instead, I'm sure my word will be something with four letters that gets shouted a lot.

Maybe I should make my word KLASSY - as in the prayer my mother prayers often: "Dear Holy Lord in Heaven, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE give me a new klassy daughter instead of this.... thing.... you gave me the first time!"

also, the man at the table near me in this restaurant is wearing too much cologne and it's putting me off my banana chocolate chip muffin and that is annoying to me. So for right now my word is going to be SCOWLY-FACE.

By the way, what is an Off-Ox? Or is it one of those things that if you don't already know, you shouldn't ask?

If you are plowing with TWO oxes (Oxen? Oxens?), you have a lead ox and an off ox. SO the LEAD ox is sort of the glamorous frontman of plowing. The OFF OX is like the drummer---harder to recognize, and probably doesn't get as much play....

Wendy I first read your opening sentence as "My word for the year should be something like FUNGUS" and I felt VERY sorry for you.

I'm going with transformation.

Since I'm recently single after 21 (gulp) years, and I'm unsure of who I am when I'm not Mrs. HisLastname and since I've already begun my complete transformation by losing 120 pounds and getting an actual outside-of-the-home JOB.... Well, I figure I'm better than a third of the way to total transformativity (might be a word!) so I might as well call that my word.

That, or procrastination.


I also suffer from "name dyslexia" and have learned to just accept it, explain it, and ask for name, hints, input. Life is too complicated to remember it all.
I've become much more accepting of so many things, so maybe my word is ACCEPTANCE. I was even laughing with the police officer as we worked on the ID fraud reports on what I thought was round two of the episode in 2007, but turned out to be the final (?) incident, a bill from 2006! . . and the little flunky guy on the phone got all huffy when I said they had sloppy business practices.
Yes to being careful what you wish for. One year I said I wanted to meet some nice guys, and I did: cardiologist, pulmonologist, rheumatologist . . . I should have specified "no co-pays."

I have been teaching anywhere from 100-400 students per semester for the last 15 years. I get a LOT of "Hi, Dr. Kilburn"s in random places. Thank heavens that they're mostly happy with a big smile and sincere "Hey, how are you doing?". Let's not talk about the time the random place was Victoria's Secret, where I was buying (fortunately? unfortunately?) boring underwear and the student was working the register. And was male.

My word for this year is "unbounded." I am committed to trying new things without worrying about how well I do them - only how much I enjoy them. I will not say "no" automatically to opportunities just because I think they're impractical. I will have one helluva a good time :)

I need a phrase of the year and mine is 'Try, try again.'

I have 2 words. I know you said one but I just can't. My words are understanding and accept. Maybe next year should be indecisive.

Make room for 3 on the doorstep at 6:29. Always first everywhere. It irritates people. But I could say the same for being late, fashionable or otherwise.

You always bring a smile to my face, Joshilyn, and today's post was no exception. Your humor is so authentic. Now THAT would be a good word for you for the year--AUTHENTIC. My word? I hadn't thought about it until I read this, and I'm going to choose "Chiaroscuro." Watch my blog for future posts about this word....:-)

Congratulations, Kim - 120 pounds is amazing! Best of luck on the rest of your transformativity (love that word!).

Thank you, Joshilyn, for the Off-Ox explanation. I learned something new today. :)

My word will be open. Just open enough that I'm not trying to hide in my own shadow in the noon day sun.

I believe in being there at 6:30. My husband believes he should get in the shower at 6:29.

My word this year is JUMP. As in, stop waiting for things to change, for the "right" time, for the money to be in the bank. Find a way to work toward goals and stop tearing myself down and finding excuses. It's also handy that it comes with it's own Van Halen song.

Hey, Alan, if you're still reading....my son has a new job delivering pizza. Sunday will be his first Super Bowl day. Any advice? I've already told him not to accept sex, drugs or a puppy as tips.

I'd never heard of an off-ox either, so I'm glad Joshilyn cleared that one up.

I find myself in the who the heck is that moment all the time. Its good to hear that other folks have the same issue and they don't have alzheimers, but don't forget the old saying, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."

Lately my mistaken identities have mostly been about actors who have changed television shows. For instance what the heck is the high school quarterback, Matt Saracen from "Friday Night Lights" doing practicing medicine in some South American country on "Off The Map?" That kid really powered through college, med school and his residency.

On a closer to home note I practically stalked a guy who waved at me in a jewelry store about a month ago. It was one of those nights when the store was open late, serving snacks and trying to get you to buy a Rolex. This man and his lovely blond wife were making the rounds and I was quietly shadowing them with a mouth full of bruschetta. Finally when we were closer together at the roast beef carving station I remembered he was my optometrist. I hope I can be forgiven for not figuring it out earlier since when I see him once a year (yeah like I get there that often) its always in a dark room, he's way inside of my personal space with a light shining in my face and he's already put those drops in my eyes that make me look like I'm in love with everyone I see for the next four hours, while not being able to squint enough to focus on anything brighter than a night light. "Hello Dr. Andrews," I said, and his wife who probably sees this happen all the time, adeptly introduced herself, thus eliciting a name from me and saving her husband from struggling with who of his hundreds of patients I might be.

I'm going with NAMES as my word. I can't remember them as evidenced by the fact that I have no idea what Mrs. Andrews said her name was.

This may be a baddie, but my word for the year is ME. I realize it sounds selfish, but I stand behind it wholeheartedly. I have raised a boy who has been an utter nightmare for the better part of the last two years and has now, finally, turned back into a human. Since he was starting college in January, it suddenly occurred to me in December that HEY, I could do that too! Also, that I could get my various but non-alarming medical problems sorted this year. That I could finally, finally do all I wanted to do for my-self. My husband is very much behind me on this, but dammit, even if he was kind of whiny about it, I'd be focusing on me anyway. Because it's sort of been awhile and I've been lonely just being Mom and Wife and never, ever getting to be Beki! This sounds nuts doesn't it? But it's been working so far and I wholeheartedly stand by it.

Joshilyn, I'm so glad you're here at TLC!
Such a funny post, and I identify with all of it. I am congenitally On Time (except for books), so for years I've been TRYING to arrive late. Not thoughtlessly late, just, you know, three minutes late. A few times I have managed more than that. I felt secret triumph the one time I really was late and my lunch companion asked me if I'd had a hard time finding a place to park. So proud!! I know where I get this--recently I remarked to my 94-year-old mother that we ought to drive around the block since she was TEN MINUTES EARLY to her book club. I said, "Hostesses hate it when guests arrive early." She said, "They do?"

storytellerMary, lol! "should have specified no co-pays"

Lol, Jack - my husband and I spend half our time when watching TV shows saying, "Where do I know that (guy/woman) from?"

I totally forgot to pick a word, so I've done the Random Word thing, and my finger landed on: "let."

"allow, or not prevent"

Okay, that's interesting, and provocative, and I'm going to LET it be my word for 2011.

Thanks, J.

That front porch is going to get crowded, I always arrive on time as well. I had to train myself not to be too early for medical appointments since the Dr is never on time anyways but I bring a book so I won't mind the wait.

I had a friend over for dinner last night and she was 9 minutes early!! Of course I was ready for her to be there.

Losing 120 pounds!! Amazing.
Going back to school, wonderful.
Such a cool group of people here.

I just tried Nancy P.'s random word thing by opening the dictionary and my finger fell on "in toto" which means "totally."

But "in toto" is 2 words so the next word down is "intoxicate" which would be a really interesting word for me since today is the 26th anniversary of the day I got sober. Which is a very lovely thing to celebrate, BTW, right up there with LOSING ONE HUNDRED TWENTY POUNDS. Good God! What an amazing thing. I mean, like . . . in toto!

Woohoo, Harley! That's a fabulous milestone.

You could also use "intoxicate" as one of its other meanings, a la: # to excite to a point beyond self-control; make wild with excitement or happiness

Our entire TLC diet group lost 120 pounds last year, but that was 10 people. I'm flabbergasted to think of the effort behind one person dropping that much weight. What an accomplishment

My word for the year is FOCUS. Lord hold me hostage from distraction - the Internet, a TV show, e-mail, or whatever is sidetracking me from whatever I'm supposed to be doing at the moment. Like eating lunch. I think FOCUS would work for chocolate and all kinds of good things too, kind of a 'smell the roses' word. Yes?

Joshilyn - you honestly didn't go to the cashier after Random Person left to find out her name? Can you go back so we know the end to this cliffhanger?

Hi Joshilyn,

I thought I would pick FOCUS for my word, because I need to do more of that. Then I got to thinking that I do focus pretty well - on one thing at a time. I can lock onto a task and forget about everything else very easily. What I can't do well is focus on more than one thing. Then I thought, well of course I can't... that wouldn't be focussing. I want to focus and let go-- so I can focus. Now I'm focussing on focussing and not focussing on anything else. That isn't getting me anywhere at all, the reason for wanting to focus in the first place, to get something done, that is. To get something done you have to focus long enough to do it. That means not focussing on something else that might need focussing on. Is there a word for serial focussing or focus serially?

I'm another promptly-at-the-appointed-time arriver. Didn't know that was wrong.

Also didn't know philomath was an actual word. Here I thought it was just a town I drove through, and occasionally stopped in if their thrift shop or quilt store was open.

How about a word like "confusion" "chaos" "befuddlement" or "imbroglio" - that way you're guaranteed to be successful at embracing it at some point during the year and imagine the looks on peoples' faces when you say "My word this year is "Imbroglio".

Oh my gosh, Kim. 120 pounds! Woo Hoo!! Way to go!

And Beki, getting back to yourself is wonderful, isn't it? Way to go to you too!

Harley, congratulations on your recovery anniversary. You've done good, girl!

My word is COMPLICATED. Because that is the only word that I can think of that comprises all the other words. Unless, possibly, CAFFEINE. These are both good words.

And I work overseas and come home occasionally, so many people know me and I'm...well...confused and wracking my brain (CONFUSED? another possibility for word of the year) as to who they are. This sort of thing happens to me all the time. Even with hugs. Sigh. I don't mind being kissed (lived in France) but don't like the hugs so much.

I might as well pick procrastinate since I seem to be very accomplished at it.

Regarding seeing people you "should know". I still live in the district in which I taught so I frequently run into former students. I was in Garden Ridge one day and the cashier looked at me and said "did you teach at ..." and I said yes I did. She looked familiar but I've been retired for many years so I couldn't pull a name up at that moment. She asked me what my name was and I told her, she then said "No that's not it". I assured her it indeed was and always had been my name. She then said "my brother John Doe had you too". I suddenly had a very clear picture of both of them and remembered them quite well. Let's just say they they made teaching interesting.

My "being a good person" word of the year is Compassion.

My "what I really need" word of the year is Sleep.

Okay. I picked. I thought about something GRACIOUS and suchlike, and I admore so many of you who are choosing LEAP and IN TOTO.... But I pick
Just a simple
I don't knwo how to say that word. This is the year I learn. Of course, I am southern so therefore HUGELY passive aggressive, so what I will actually say is, "Oh honey, you are just the most precious one to to think of me, but I'm not suure that' one of my spiritual gifts."

But you and I here secretly KNOW! It means NO. And 2011 is the year of me not being overscheduled!

@Tammy Kaehler: what I immediately thought as a catch-all word for "get it all done & be brilliant":


Kind of encompasses self-ness/self-confidence and graciousness and brilliance all in one. Plus some Muppetiness.

Maybe the word is muppety!!!

Tammy - funny you should mention Muppety as I relayed this conversational talk to my husband and he said his word, or rather, phrase, for the year is "Movin' Right Along" from The Muppet Movie. He also said I was Kermit and he was Fozzie Bear. (Although to keep it real, I'd be the one behind the wheel) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMR5JVo21wQ

Fabulous post and really nifty idea. No clue what I'd pick as my word. I'll have to think on it.

How about COMPROMISE as your word? That way... the year could, at least, be a LITTLE bit about Chocolate.


You STILL have no idea who that was?

Actually, the same sort of thing happened to me a few years ago. I (an old white woman - ha) found myself in an embrace by the gas pump with a thirty-something man - I recognized him (kinda) and knew I was crazy about him, but COULD NOT PLACE HIM. I am still hoping he was a former student of mine or football player coached by my husband made unrecognizable by the doubling of his age.

Maybe my word should be senile.

"Get it all done and be brilliant" must equal 'superstar' but that sounds really hard! Maybe 'spurts' or 'sparts' or 'sups' or okay I give up! How about kindness, I hear ir makes everybody feel better!

You had me grinning all the way through your post. That is a very awkward situation and I can just see your mind working overtime, trying to figure out who she was! :D
My word of 2011 is 'expression'. I wrote about the same in >, but you probably won't be able to read it, since it's in Dutch.
Looking forward to your next post!! :)

As I sit home in my bathrobe stuffing pills down my neck and sprays up my nose for THE FOURTH FRICKING DAY IN A ROW!!!!!! it is easy for me to choose the word "Health." I am tired of sleep disorder; I am tired of migraines. I am tired of viruses that won't go away and end up needing antibiotics because, hey, they weren't really viruses to begin with. If I can't put "Health" into practice by being physically healthier, then maybe "Health" will refer to MENTAL Health; which, I suppose, would mean that, when I am at home in bed hacking my lungs up or fighting faux viruses, NOT worrying about being fired from my job or panicking about whether all hellfire and damnation is raining down on the office in my absence (Quick! To the Bat-Weather-Channel!). When I am out of work because I am physically ill, I have actual, literal DREAMS about being fired. Well, nightmares, really, because I wake up in a horrified sweat. You would think I was completely unemployable anywhere else. That's not mentally healthy. So, yeah. Health it is.

It's so good to see you here!

I'd say "Daring". Sometimes that means stretching the boundaries of what you can try, and sometimes it means just getting dressed.

It's now February, yes. But I'd like to choose the word "Industry" as theme for this year. There's a lot of work in the office, scheduled trainings and basic tasks I need to accomplish. Being industrious is what I should focus this year.

It's now February, yes. But I'd like to choose the word "Industry" as theme for this year. There's a lot of work in the office, scheduled trainings and basic tasks I need to accomplish. Being industrious is what I should focus this year.

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