So many people have been talking about their word for 2011. If you check out this blog and scroll down to the comments section, you can read what almost 1600 people have to say about their "one little word." It's truly inspiring. It makes you want to be better. Some of them have chosen words like....forgive, enjoy, happy, listen, family, do, risk, grow, renew...the list goes on and on. But reading why people selected the words is worth your time.
I had a word for 2009. It was more like a phrase really. That was my "Year of the Doing." Yes, it doesn't sound pretty, but what I intended was to stop just talking about things I was going to do someday, or complaining about things I'd like someone else to change, and instead just do them. I'm not talking about anything dramatic or fun like a bucket list. No skydiving or going to Spain. I'm talking about simple involvement in things that really mattered to me. Our PTO, the preschool board, things at church. Responses to my conversations with Chris that started like "I wish someone would..." or "Why doesn't somebody step up and..." Stop talking and start doing. That was the plan.
For 2010, I really just needed to stick with all the commitments that I had gotten myself into. So it was basically my "Year of the Doing, part 2." It worked for me. I became more involved in different things and found I had passion for so much! Too much. It also meant that when I caught my children role playing house, they were "going to a meeting" instead of cooking or playing momma to their dolls. I'm thinking that two years of doing caught up with me.
So for 2011 I've thought a lot about my word. It's supposed to be one word. But I'm a wordy kind-of girl. My husband will tell you that being concise and to the point is not my strong point. So instead of one, I've got two words. Ready. Here goes.
1) Simplify. When did being a stay-at-home mom get so darn busy? Right, the Year of the Doing. It turns out, I do too much. I have tried to get involved in so many things, all things that I really care about. But you can't do everything you care about. You have to prioritize. Pick things that matter and focus on them. Simplify has other meanings for me too. Simplify my day. Run less errands. Simply be home more. Simplify my commitments. Less committees, less meetings. Simplify my house. Clean up the clutter. Another garage sale. More trips to Goodwill. Cleaner closets. Less stuff in my storage room. And an organized office.
2) Intentional. I need to be more intentional with my time. I am a mom of little ones for only a very short period of my life. My kids, age 2 - 7 are growing up quickly. I need to focus on them more and less on the housework and the meetings. I can't just say we need more family time. I've got to schedule it. That means planned game nights and movie nights at home. More hiking trips and time at the park and less of me sending them downstairs to play so I can fold the laundry. I've also got to be intentional with my time with each child. Having four kids doesn't leave a lot of one-on-one time. I've got to be intentional and set up regular dates with my children. Each week I could do something specific with one of them. Even just a special breakfast date once a month would be a start. Beyond my family, I've got to be more intentional with my relationships. It's easy to have a lot of friends, but much harder to take the time to develop meaningful friendships -- the ones that really matter. So I'm going to be more intentional with all of my relationships. And, more intentional with how I spend our money. Back to the basics of needs and not wants. Those little things here and there really add up. So I'm tracking them and being more intentional with our spending.
So yes, instead of a word in 2009 and 2010 I used a phrase. A not very pretty phrase at that. And once again, I'm breaking the rules and doing two words. But, I'm hoping that I'll be able to focus on both of them and really work at simplifying my life and being more intentional. Do you have a word for 2011?