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January 11, 2018

I always seem to be late catching on to trends. I’m not sure if I don’t trust a trend, or I like to wait and see on my own terms if I want to do it, or I’m just so damn distracted I’m clueless about the trend and figure it out weeks after it’s been declared hot.
Probably the latter.
Anyhoo, I’ve been limited on social media for a while and took my time easing back in. When I did, I found these really cool posts on Facebook about people declaring their WORD of the year. I’ve always been a huge fan of the power of a word, and how it soaks into our daily intentions and gets harnessed by the Universe. I always wear a Giving Key stamped with the word that I’m practicing currently, and when I find the right person that needs my word in their life, I give them the key, and then I go buy a new one for the next person I’ll meet one day.
The new trend was to pick a word that emanated what you wanted to accomplish in the New Year. One night I literally spent an hour scrolling through all the comments and posts, reading people’s words and their explanations behind their choice of word. It was a real peek into their lives and what they were going through- a shred of honestly and sharing that was beautiful to see.
I immediately began thinking about my word, figuring I’d have it immediately and jump in to write an awesome blog post but I came up with nothing. Over and over, I pondered what I wanted, where I was in my life, what I craved to change or accomplish and came up with…nothing.
The last months grieving over my Dad’s loss has been tough. I’ve changed. Loss will do that. Now, it was easier not to obsess over my word, or worry that I didn’t have a word like the rest of the world and all that bullshit, so I let the whole thing go and figured I wouldn’t participate this year. I got enough out of it reading other people’s words.
A few days later, I shot up at 2am in the dark and I said this word aloud.
Then I went back to sleep. In the morning, I actually remembered the word. I said it aloud, testing it on my tongue and came to the conclusion it was a pretty stupid word. Flat. Kind of boring. Not very inspirational and a bit awkward.
Ugh, I am so not writing a blog post on this, I thought, and went on with my life.
But when faced with the blank page, a looming scary deadline, and endless buckets of words I needed to come up with QUICKLY, I kept thinking about my dead-of-night revelation. It began making so much more sense to me.
Every day, I come into my office and choose to re-start. I don’t have a boss to call into, or someone who will miss me if I’m not at work. I’m the only one who holds me accountable. Over and over, I’d leave my office at night, exhausted from trying to flesh out a decent story on the page; wracked with frustration and fear I won’t get it done, and tell myself I’m finished in this career I truly love. I just don’t have the will or inclination to go back into that office tomorrow.
But I wake up and re-start. I go back to the page with new vision and new hope. And so far, with all the ups and downs, it’s worked out.
I gained a lot of weight during my grieving time. The first week of the new year, I embarked on a diet of healthy eating and light exercise, with a long term goal firmly in mind and a bucket of patience. Why can I gain five pounds in one weekend but it takes almost two weeks to lose it?
Not fair.
I’ve been consistently drinking my water, consuming my high protein, low carb diet, and doing some light exercise. I usually feel pretty good and want to continue. But eventually, I’ll succumb to something fatty, sugary, chocolatey and delicious. Instead of beating myself up with recriminations, I have another path I can choose from.
Just wake up the next morning and re-start.
It’s been a strange revelation to me that things don’t have to be so hard anymore. Not this year. Because…
When I fail spectacularly, I’ll just get back up and re-start.
When I go in the wrong direction, I’ll reverse, and re-start my journey.
When I have a bad writing day, I’ll go back an hour later, or a day later, and re-start.
When the scale shows I gained weight, I’ll re-start the diet with a clean slate.
There is great power in being able to re-start things. You are never at a dead end, because there’s always a new way out.
My father was an alcoholic for most of his life. In a story that’s more like a miracle, in his fifties, he drove himself to rehab one day, got clean, and got his life and family back. He made a decision to re-start.
I decided to re-start our relationship when I made a decision to forgive.
When I think about the year ahead, and the changes incurred from the past few months, I think re-start is a perfect word. It promises nothing I can’t give. It doesn’t intimidate or stress me out. It’s a quiet, stable word that works in the background of our everyday life.
And right now, that seems perfect to me.
Do you have a word?
May all the right words be with you.


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  1. Jennifer says:

    This is so awesome. I have not heard of this but now I want to find a word. I need something to push me to change the things in my life I want to change, I’m so sorry for your loss our lives sound very similar. My dad was also an alcoholic for most of his life and we did not have the best relationship but about 14 years ago he to decided to get help and change his life. We became closer then ever and in 2016 he was able to meet his grandkids for the first time. But unfortunately this past June his demons caught up with him and he decided to take his life. I have been a mess and things have just been falling apart. I love how you have chosen to restart. I won’t push but I will think and find a word to help me be stronger and make my life better. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words with the word

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh, Jen, you have had a hard year too! I’m so sorry for your loss – I know how hard it is but we were both lucky we got our dads back because we could forgive – it’s a win/win and every second was precious. Prayers and positive thoughts – I know you will be okay but a thoughtfully chosen word can remind us every day to live with intention and purpose and joy. Hugs!

  2. Donna Alward says:

    I love this, Jen. Mine’s similar… I don’t have just one word, but the words Foundation and Intention are my go-tos right now. I need to rebuild my foundation, and do everything with intention. So far I’m feeling good about the new year. 🙂

  3. Iris Havrilla says:

    Jennifer, so sorry for your loss. May the God of all bring you peace of heart. I never heard of this “Word” thing, but if I were to select a word for this year, it would be Faith. Faith to accept things I cannot change; Faith to see that when things happen, we must accept God’s will for us; Faith to see the good in people and trust your instincts and Faith to live each day loving all.

  4. Linda Boberg says:

    WORD seems to be the new thing this year. Everyone I know has a word. Mine is ACCOMPLISH because I have big dreams this year.
    Nice post.

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