The Word

In what has become something of a tradition around here, we went out for a pizza dinner on New Year's Eve. Not just any pizza, mind you. We call it the Buddy's Blow Out meal - not just the Buddy's original deep dish super pizza, but antipasto, chicken tenders, and a Sanders hot fudge cream puff for dessert.

Yep. It blows our diet all to hell, that's for sure.

But we deserve it once a year.

We ordered our customary four-square pizza, and were happily munching away at our salads and chicken tenders when a server arrived.

"Large super pizza?" he inquired, already squeezing this huge eight slice pie onto the table.

"Oh no," I said, "we ordered a small pizza."

Our original waitperson stopped over. "Let me check," she said, and dashed over to the computer screen nearby. "Kitchen's mistake," she said when she came back. "I put in an order for a small, but they made a large instead.  Guess it's your lucky day!"

"Well," I said to my husband at the end of the meal as we boxed up an extra six slices of pizza for the fridge, "maybe this is a good omen -a sign we'll always get more than we expect in 2012."

"Hope so," he said, scooping up the last bites of hot fudge from the plate.

I hope so too, because I'm expecting quite a bit from 2012. Life started shaking up in a good way during 2011 (when I quit my job and became a grandmother),but I'd like to keep shaking it even more in 2012.

Last week I wrote about choosing one word to encapsulate my vision for the new year. When I wrote that post, I had already chosen my word. It came to me while I was on an airplane, flying to Texas to spend Christmas with my son and his family. I was reading a magazine and realized how rarely I read anything other than books or websites. It then occurred to me that my life had become narrow in other ways as well. I don't listen to music or even the radio very often. There are only a few TV shows I follow, and I don't often go to movies. I haven't been to a concert or an art exhibit in more than year. I go to the same old stores, wear the same kinds of clothes, do my hair and makeup the same ways as I have for years.

My activities and social life are tunneling inward too. I don't belong to any groups other than church choir. Now that I'm not working, I spend entire days alone in the house with only the dogs, my books, and the internet for company.

The word that came to me while I was flying was this...


I want to expand my interests, my energy, and my experiences in 2012.

And after our pizza blow out the other night, I realize that it's also vitally important to expand my expectations. Part of the reason I pull back from new things is the fear that they won't live up to my expectations. Not only do I need more faith that new experiences will be positive, but I also must be prepared to accept it if they aren't and move forward without retreating into my shell of familiarity.

 We ordered big at Buddy's on New Year's Eve, and got even more than we expected.

I want to continue that trend for the next 12 months.

How about you? Have you chosen a word or words for 2012? Care to share them with me?

*Just before posting this, I was reading Kerstin's blog about her word for the year, and her decision to choose supporting words at random each month. I like this idea (I also love the way she's converting her words into a visual project) and I'd love to solicit your opinions.  How about some suggestions for words to support my idea to EXPAND?