Working The Word

It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote in this space about The Word I had chosen as my focus for the year 2015.


Today I find myself chuckling ruefully about that word, because there couldn’t be a word less like my experiences so far this year.  I’ve continued to be sick, one of my dogs has been intermittently sick, Jim was sick for a while. We had a huge snowstorm a week ago, and the view outside my window is studded with 10 foot mountains of dirt-topped snow. I’ve gone for days without washing my hair or putting on makeup, wearing some version of yoga pants, t-shirts and baggy wrap around sweaters. 

A line from one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems comes to mind to describe my experiences so far this year. ”I am so distant from the hope of myself...” she writes. I am SO distant from the hope of confidence, excitement, and radiant vibrancy I settled on for my touchstones back in early January.

BUT, I refuse to concede defeat. I am determined to find a way into those words, even if I’m doing it with my pockets stuffed full of tissues. 

Finding a way to Work The Word is my challenge now, to dispel the darkness of winter days and light up my life with Vibrant color. Because I’m a list-maker, this morning I made one. What are some manageable things I can do to bring newness into my world? 

Here are a few of the things that popped into mind...

  1. Visit an art museum, and admire the visual beauty of great paintings. Bring home some postcards of my favorites and frame them for inspiration. 
  2. Wear’s February, it’s Heart Month, and red is a beacon amidst the relentless gray of our outside world.
  3. Go to a concert and listen to someone else play music for a change. The community college right down the street hosts a free Wednesday afternoon concert series with some great local artists.
  4. Sing! even if it’s just singing along with the car radio which I never do anymore because I listen to audio books.  The other day I watched a video of my Grandson singing to himself while he played, and his face was the picture of pleasure as he hummed his own little nonsense song. 

Small things, really, but I think even baby steps toward a more vibrant outlook could make a huge difference right now. At the very least, they will bring me a little bit closer to that hope of myself I had just a few short weeks ago. I’ll keep you posted on the journey.

How about you? If you chose a touchstone word for your year, how are you Working The Word so far? I’d love to hear your story.