One Little Word – 2014
Well, it’s a new year. To be more precise – the first month of the new year is almost done. Is anyone else feeling like it is flying by at a pace so fast that it’s hard to see what the heck is going on? Whew!
In a former life – and I’m still attempting to make it a part of my current life – I was an avid scrapbooker. For anyone else out there that scrapbooks, you know that there are certain people in the industry that are the “rockstars.” The people that have amazing ideas, communicate well, and just seem to come up with these creative things that make the rest of us go “WHOAH.” Ali Edwards is one of those rockstars. Several years ago, she came up with the idea to do one little word for your year, a word to focus on for the entire year – rather than a New Year’s Resolution. As someone who really, really hates New Year’s Resolutions, this sounded perfect for me! One word? Shoot, I can do one word! After all, you can’t just give up on a word, right? Words are still there, no matter what we do – it’s not just something to be given up on, like a New Year’s Resolution!
I had no idea how much One Little Word would forever change my life. It is amazing what you can do when you focus entirely on one word, one CONCEPT throughout the year. If you choose your word wisely, it can apply to almost everything in your life – family, work, and everything in between. The word should be something that clarifies decisions for you at that moment when you are lost, and at a point where you have to choose. My One Little Word each year has been that for me, and so much more.
Since I really started reading about, and choosing my One Little Word (back in 2007, yes I’m feeling old, don’t judge me), the words have changed immensely. Not just the words, but the circumstances surrounding the words, why they were chosen, and what they mean in everyday life – all of this has changed in so many ways.
I have been through old blog posts and scrapbooks, trying to find previous words, and am still missing two years, but here are the rest:
2008 – Independence
2011 – Confidence
2012 – Action
2013 – Sticktoitiveness
Those closest to me know what was going on in my life when I chose those words, and it makes total sense – moving forward past some pretty crappy circumstances, trying to get myself back and remember who the heck I am, and to thrive!
So all of that sounds fantastic right? And here it is, a new year. NO PRESSURE BROOKE. I have been struggling to choose just one word. There are so many, and Tom didn’t help. When I told him the word that I was pondering, he said that it wasn’t quite unique enough. When I asked what he meant, he said that I needed a word that was more unique, to match my personality. I didn’t know whether to be offended or flattered. You know, like when someone goes “you’re really… special.” It leaves you in that dumbfounded state of what the heck? After teasing me some more, we kind of dropped the subject and moved onto another conversation.
Fast forward to Friday night, we went painting for date night! Yes, painting – the painting and wine kind of evening. Tom came up with the idea for date night and at first I was a little reluctant, but agreed, and really, really enjoyed myself. When we walked in, I saw the painting that the class would be working on, and was less than thrilled. It was just… okay. Pretty, but not my thing. When I shared this with Tom, he laughed and said “when has wine not been your thing?” Brat. I like to DRINK wine, not paint it.
The artist then told me I could paint whatever I wanted. YES! Not only did I not want to paint wine bottles, but I know that Tom is intensely competitive sometimes, and I could practically SEE the argument forming – my wine bottle is smaller than yours, your label looks different, why did you do a different color – I knew that if we painted the same thing, it would not end well.
So, Tom painted the canvas that the rest of the class was working on – a set of wine bottles, and the example had the word Pinot Noir on the side. There was a different painting that stood out to me, and I immediately chose it. This decision was made not knowing that the painting had never been taught before and was brand new, and “one of the hardest” according to the owner. So what the heck was I doing, thinking I could actually paint this?
I’m telling you this story because it demonstrates exactly WHY I have chosen the word that I have. And Tom painted that word on his painting, instead of “Pinot Noir,” and said that he had created the painting for my studio, to remind me of the importance of the word.
I was near tears right there, paintbrush in hand – TEARS DO NOT BODE WELL WITH PAINT. Thanks Tom.
So first, I will share with you my painting – the painting that the artist had yet to teach, and was labelled as the hardest option, out of about a hundred different paintings. Of course I didn’t find this out until I was halfway done and trying to figure out how the heck I was going to do the reflection. Knowing myself, even if she told me it would be the hardest, I still would have chosen it. Why? Because I loved it, I thought it was beautiful. And I’m not going to let a little something like “it’s difficult” stop me from creating something beautiful.
It turned out pretty nice, right? I kind of love it, not too shabby. Reading that sentence above the painting makes me feel all confident n stuff. Which is how I feel about half the time. The other half I’m terrified. What if no one likes it, what if no one responds, what if it doesn’t work. And I will have more posts about that this year, but I want to share WHY – because of this year’s One Little Word.
Tom’s canvas displays it more beautifully than just words on a page:
Tom’s gift for the studio, and for me, is my word for 2014. The word that I would like to apply to all of my decisions, and in every facet of my life. Because straight up – FEAR SUCKS. It paralyzes us, and keeps us from doing the things that we really want to do. It is fascinating to me how fear is relative – I have been sky diving, swimming with sharks and rays, and have done things that others have said not just no, but HELL NO to doing. But there are little things that terrify me, leaving me scared and paralyzed, afraid to act. And this is the year to STOP THAT.
So my word for 2014 is Fearless. Thank you, Tom, for reminding me that it is the word that fits and is most appropriate at this stage in my life. Even if you did make me cry in an art studio.
What are you struggling with that you want to overcome this year? Not a resolution, but what is YOUR One Little Word for 2014?
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