Life in the Slow Lane

Contemplating life, faith, words, and memories

One Word 365: Have You Selected a Word for 2015? — January 8, 2015

One Word 365: Have You Selected a Word for 2015?

For the past few years I have chosen to focus on one word for the year. I have done so through the site One Word 365. I invite you to visit the site. It’s a great place to build community with others who have chosen the same or a similar word. In 2015, I choose to focus on the word “flexible.” defines “flexible” as follows:

1. capable of being bent, usually without breaking; easily bent:  a flexible ruler.

2. susceptible of modification or adaptation; adaptable:  a flexible schedule.

3. willing or disposed to yield; pliable: a flexible personality.

Photo by ScottieT812 
Photo by ScottieT812 

In my look back at 2014, I used this photo to define the word “flexible” with imagery. As I said then and continue to contend, I’ll never be this flexible physically. It’s too late!

And yet I need the characteristics of the word “flexible” in other areas of my life.

The best example I can offer is to share with you a story from this past year.

In the midst of my husband’s three months of suffering with severe back pain and my struggle with what turns out to be a chronic respiratory issue, I sensed our world was falling apart.

My goals for the year fell by the wayside, my writing placed on hold for the most part, and other activities we volunteer for removed from our schedules. WHY? was all I could think as I pondered our circumstances. Why now? Why these problems? Why, why, why?

In the process of fuming over these stumbling blocks, I became short-tempered, spoke to others in terse and biting ways, and lost my ability to reason with insurance clerks, nurses, pharmacists and others trying to help us.

Ordinarily, I can face days that come along with changes in scheduling because of one thing or another. But this wasn’t just a day here or there; it was months we were facing. My inflexible attitude wasn’t helping matters though.

In retrospect I can see that I need to step up and realize that yes, some days will self-destruct in favor of some other activity or chore simply because life is often unexpected in how it rolls out in the morning. If I had been less rigid last year, I likely would have accomplished more than I did, but I literally destroyed my plans by allowing outside forces and influences as well as our circumstances to get the better of me.

Having worked almost 40 years for attorneys you would think I would be able to handle such crises with aplomb and grace. It makes you wonder where all that polish goes after retirement.

Thus, my choice of the word “flexible” for my focus during 2015. I’m hoping to come out at the end of the next 12 months with an improved attitude and toting around recaptured polish. One shouldn’t give up almost 40 years to a career and then lose her polish!

What is your focus word for 2015? Will you choose one? Do you have another method of establishing your focus for the year? Or do you dive in head first and go by the seat of your pants? I’d love to hear how you would handle your world turned topsy-turvy.

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