One word you need in your life right now

The transition from summer to fall is always difficult for me. September through December is jam-packed with, you know….everything.

Seriously, if I listed it all out, you would be breathing into a paper bag right now. I know because I just wrote about half of the activities here and had to run to the kitchen to look for a bag. Of course, I could only find plastic bags, which seems like a suffocation hazard. So, I decided it would be better to just delete that paragraph and save you all from hyperventilating and searching in futility for a paper bag.

Bracing myself for the upcoming chaos, I tried something last month that I had not done before.

I picked a word.

It was not just any word, either. It was a word that conveyed a feeling of “you’ve got this, boss.”

To find your word, ask yourself what you need in your life right now. What do you want more of – or less? What do you want to remember? Or forget? What do you wish to cultivate in your life and what do you need to make that happen?

It could be peace, friendship, forgiveness, faith, gratitude, strength, compassion, healing, or determination. It could be anything. But, it has to be yours.

What is it that you need?

I love all those words. Still, the word that I thought of was confidence.

I knew I needed confidence to juggle all I had to do during the upcoming month – not just the to-do lists, but all those unplanned moments both welcome and unwelcome which make up a life.

Confidence was my word. It was my comfort. Everyday I would think about it. I did not set aside time to do it. I simply kept it in my company – a polite companion with which I traveled.

Whenever anything went wrong, I thought of confidence.

For instance, I was on deadline to turn in a news story and had 3 percent charge left on my laptop. I went to plug my computer into the charger, only to realize that my darling cat used the cord for a chew toy. A tantrum, a trip to Best Buy, and $90 later, I had a new cord and turned in my article – with confidence.IMG_1443

During the same month, I also made a huge decision to switch my middle-schooler from the school he had been attending since pre-kindergarten. I needed confidence that I was making the right decision, and that if I wasn’t – if I was making a huge mistake, it would be okay. I could come up with a new solution.

Because the truth is, I knew I could. I always step up. I always get things done. Most often, things work out. I needed to honor that and have more confidence in my abilities to juggle the demands of life.

It’s not like having the word changed the way I handled anything, but it made me believe more in my capacity to cope.

I told a friend of mine with a recent cancer diagnosis about what I was doing and the word I chose. He thought it was a great idea and chose discipline as his word. He needed it to follow the healing regimen assigned by his doctors.

His daughter heard us talking about it and decided her word would be strength. As an athlete she meant it in the physical sense. But she also said she wanted strength to deal with the pressures of high school.

I thought the simple act of picking a word worked so well that I decided to do it again this month.

I chose positive. Three days in – I can tell you, I hate the word.

However, the fact it challenges me to understand what I am supposed to feel positive about when I am cleaning my child’s vomit off the floor at 5 a.m. (because nothing says back to school like the stomach virus) makes me feel like I chose the perfect word.

So what is your word going to be? I hope you will share it in the comment section. I would love to check back next month and see if choosing a word helped any of you.

I am positive it will.

See, it’s working already.

20 thoughts on “One word you need in your life right now

  • September 4, 2014 at 6:51 pm
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    My word for September will be: forbearance (patient self-control; restraint and tolerance) as I endeavor to train a new staff member. I must remember that we all started “green” at one (or more) points in our lives.

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    • September 4, 2014 at 7:01 pm
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      Kate – I appreciate you putting the definition there – I need it 🙂 Leave it to you to some up with such a beautiful and strong word! Yes, it is always hard starting a new endeavor so newbie will appreciate your forbearance!

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  • September 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm
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    My word is perseverance. The strength to perserver is something I live each day at a time. I love your writing style Lara, thank you for sharing.
    This was the original message sorry I can’t delete the first one. (Unless you can) It was not correct with the spell check.

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    • September 4, 2014 at 8:51 pm
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      I deleted the first one, Barbara. No worries, typos are allowed here! Your word reminds me of five words – one day at a time. (and we really could add sweet Jesus to that!) That is a hard, but wise word. Thanks for taking the time to share it.

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  • September 4, 2014 at 9:05 pm
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    My word for September is peace! I really want to have it in my life. It jumped in my head as soon as I started reading your post. Peace in my home, my work and within myself. Peace with who I am right now, as imperfect as I am. Thank you for sharing this idea.

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    • September 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm
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      I love your word, Wendy! We all need to have peace and share it with others. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me” One of my favorite songs ever – and such a great philosophy for life. Thank you for sharing.

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  • September 4, 2014 at 10:42 pm
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    Hope. Not just because it’s one of my child’s middle name but because I need it right now myself. Thanks for sharing again.

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    • September 5, 2014 at 9:59 am
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      Hope is a beautiful name. One of my favorite lines from a movie is from Shawshank Redemption when he says “hope is a beautiful thing – maybe the best of things.” I am going from memory so that not be exact but that’s how I remember and how see it. The other line I love from there is “Get busy living or get busy dying.” So true.

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  • September 5, 2014 at 7:17 am
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    Patience is my word. I have been working on this word for a long time now. It was also my new years resolution. This is a real hard one. I had to think of this word alot last night as I was helping my son with his homework. It takes me about a 30 minutes to get him to sit down to do his homework and then it takes another hour to do his homework for something that should take 20 minutes. Patience I tell myself.

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    • September 5, 2014 at 9:17 am
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      Alexa- you are the most patient person I know! Hands down! I feel like I am on the other end of that spectrum. Trust me, the homework battle has already begun in my house too and I think I am losing! Patience, right?

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  • September 5, 2014 at 9:23 am
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    I needed that hyperventilation bag this morning!! I attended my first meeting as a home room parent and started to get the shakes! But I have taken several deep breaths and am returning to my normal state. That being said – at first my word was going to be patience – for reasons probably very obvious to my family. But, I think now my word for the month is going to be kindness. I am not “mean” or anything – but I have noticed that I tend to shut or cut any additional people, interactions and connections out because I feel I just cannot add another thing to my life! And the more I think about it – that is not very kind – but kind is what I want to be. So this month I will think about kindness and how I can show that in my life. Next month I will tackle patience – I am sure I will need it in October when the holidays begin!! Oh- and you have noooo idea how much extra trauma my cat and dog have caused me! Do I have to apply “kindness” to them too?

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    • September 5, 2014 at 9:46 am
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      LOL, Helena. First off, I can totally relate to how overwhelming those school volunteer positions are! You are going an important service that I assure you others appreciate – so breathe. (We really do need to buy some paper bags!) Kindness is one of my all time favorite words — please use it in my eulogy even if you feel like you are fibbing a little.

      I love that you are going to use it to be open to others. We all need that. I talk to so many people who feel similar to you and I think when you realize how many other people are trying to stay sane dealing with the drama of life you feel a little less alone in the world.

      As far as being kind to the animals. Hmmm….YES! While I hate to disparage my precious kitten, who tries to drink from my glass, sit on my keyboard, eat my peach, pee in my plant, attack my feet and remind
      me of what it’s like to have a newborn baby and never sleep through the night again — I wouldn’t trade her for all the paper bags in the world! (not that I think anyone would be fool enough to want her!)

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  • September 5, 2014 at 9:28 am
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    I’m choosing “gratitude”! I get bogged down by the things that drive me crazy and forget to take note of the things that bring me joy. (Positive is a good one too…maybe next month)

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    • September 5, 2014 at 9:49 am
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      Gratitude is a great word and an even better feeling. I think when we have gratitude we automatically experience more happiness and have a more positive outlook on our life. I am thankful for all these great words- they really inspire me.

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  • September 5, 2014 at 11:27 am
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    Gosh, it’s hard to choose just one word but for this month, I think mine has got to be trust. I’m traveling thousands of miles away from home without my kids at the end of the month and I’m feeling so apprehensive that it’s keeping me up at night. One of my worst traits is being a worrier and my mind is always racing with “what if” scenarios. I DO trust my parents to get my children to where they need to be. I DO trust my children to be the wonderful little men I know they are. I DO trust that God will take care of me and mine whether I make it across the ocean or not. I just need to remind myself every day. What I’m having a hard time trusting is that some crazy jihadist isn’t going to kidnap me and cut my head off.

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    • September 5, 2014 at 1:03 pm
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      Stephanie,

      I always worry when we travel without our kids, too. I think its normal so don’t beat your self up for worrying but try to let some of go too. Trust is a great word for you and maybe you need to trust yourself that you’ve got this – because you do. Whenever I get that freaked out about something horrible happening (and I am not sure it gets more horrid than a jihadist cutting off your head) I tell myself I am not that special. It’s not going to happen to me because I am just an ordinary girl. Now I am sure you are more special than me but really, it’s like winning the lotto – it just, more often than not, does not happen. I will pray for your peace so that you can ENJOY your trip and I think you will once you arrive. The hardest part is always walking at the door. I want to hear how it goes! And, I will pray and ask anyone who reads this comment to also pray, for you to believe – to trust that your journey will be safe and your children will have so much fun with their grandparents that they only miss you one tiny smidge 🙂

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      • September 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm
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        I am loving all these comments and words! I know it sounds silly, but it reminds me of the movie The Polar Express. They were each given a word by the end of the movie. And ‘believe’ was one of those words that struck me. You have to believe in whatever keeps you going, makes you happy, helps you stay positive. That’s faith.

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        • September 5, 2014 at 4:19 pm
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          Amen, sister Chrisitan! Get it? the band? your name? God? Okay, its been a long week but yes, I agree. I love all the words coming in some by text and some on Facebook – even my kids picked words. I love the tie-in to Polar Express – that’s why of my favorite books. I admit I am struggling with the positive but that feels kind of good too – like at least I am remembering?!

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  • September 6, 2014 at 2:05 pm
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    I had so many words in mind after reading the comments- should have picked my word before reading them . But I decided on peace because hopefully if I have peace I will stop worrying, enjoy each day and live my faith! Love it that you continue to blog !

    Reply

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