Sunday, March 27, 2011

One (or two) Little Word(s)

(Alternate title: It's my word and I can change it if I want to.)

I started picking a word to focus on for the year ahead in 2007. The original idea came from Ali Edwards and spread like wildfire among the blogging community and particularly scrapbookers. It seemed like everyone was ditching the idea of resolutions and picking a word instead.

Picking a word, one word to represent your intentions for an *entire year* can seem a little overwhelming. That's a lot of responsibility to put on one little word. Ali has said in the past that you need to let your word find you. And here is where I confess that I kind of thought that was a bunch of crap. No offense to Ali of course, but the idea that a word would just pop into my head and I would say, "Yes! That's it!" just didn't seem possible to me.

Until it happened. It was October of last year, I had just had my first miscarriage 2 weeks earlier, and we were en route to Detroit for a weekend with Karl's family. A song I had never heard came on the radio and I was drawn to the lyrics:

Courage is when you're afraid,
But you keep on moving anyway
Courage is when you're in pain,
But you keep on living anyway.

For about half a second I thought to myself, "Courage! That would be a great word for 2011." And before I had time to give it any more thought, I rejected the word. Courage was a scary choice. It's kind of like that saying that when you ask God for patience he gives you trials so you can learn to be patient. Courage was not a word I wanted to mess with.

So, I chickened out. I waited until the last week of December to choose my word and I went safe: Connect. I wanted to connect more with the world around me. I wanted to be a better friend to those near and far. I wanted to make connections through my camera lens with my clients. Connect was my nice warm and fuzzy word. It was perfect for 2011 because I was confident this was going to be my warm and fuzzy year. After all, the last quarter of 2010 royally sucked, so I deserved warm and fuzzy, right?

Fast forward to mid-February when warm and fuzzy kicked me to the curb. Connect was still a good word, I guess. At no other time in my life did I need to connect to my family and friends more than at the time of our second loss. I needed to reach out and talk no matter how much I wanted to curl up and be alone.

While Connect was a good word in theory, it wasn't going to carry me through this year. It's going to take a whole lot more than that. It was going to take Courage.

And that is why, in the middle of March, I decided that given the circumstances I could change my word. So maybe Ali was right. Perhaps a word really can come to you, but you have to be willing to listen.

Here are the lyrics to the song that inspired my word, "Courage" by Orianthi

Take all my vicious words
And turn them into something good
Take all my preconceptions
And let the truth be understood
Take all my prized possessions
Leave only what I need
Take all my pieces of doubt
And let me be what's underneath

Courage is when you're afraid,
But you keep on moving anyway
Courage is when you're in pain,
But you keep on living anyway

We all have excuses why
Living in fear something in us dies
Like a bird with broken wings
It's not how high he flies,
But the song he sings

Courage is when you're afraid,
But you keep on moving anyway
Courage is when you're in pain,
But you keep on living anyway

It's not how many times you've been
knocked down
It's how many times you get back up
Courage is when you've lost your way,
But you find your strength anyway
Courage is when you're afraid
Courage is when it all seems grey
Courage is when you make a change,
And you keep on living anyway
You keep on moving anyway
You keep on giving anyway
You keep on loving anyway

No comments: