The transition from summer to fall is always difficult for me. September through December is jam-packed with, you know….everything.
Seriously, if I listed it all out, you would be breathing into a paper bag right now. I know because I just wrote about half of the activities here and had to run to the kitchen to look for a bag. Of course, I could only find plastic bags, which seems like a suffocation hazard. So, I decided it would be better to just delete that paragraph and save you all from hyperventilating and searching in futility for a paper bag.
Bracing myself for the upcoming chaos, I tried something last month that I had not done before.
I picked a word.
It was not just any word, either. It was a word that conveyed a feeling of “you’ve got this, boss.”
To find your word, ask yourself what you need in your life right now. What do you want more of – or less? What do you want to remember? Or forget? What do you wish to cultivate in your life and what do you need to make that happen?
It could be peace, friendship, forgiveness, faith, gratitude, strength, compassion, healing, or determination. It could be anything. But, it has to be yours.
What is it that you need?
I love all those words. Still, the word that I thought of was confidence.
I knew I needed confidence to juggle all I had to do during the upcoming month – not just the to-do lists, but all those unplanned moments both welcome and unwelcome which make up a life.
Confidence was my word. It was my comfort. Everyday I would think about it. I did not set aside time to do it. I simply kept it in my company – a polite companion with which I traveled.
Whenever anything went wrong, I thought of confidence.
For instance, I was on deadline to turn in a news story and had 3 percent charge left on my laptop. I went to plug my computer into the charger, only to realize that my darling cat used the cord for a chew toy. A tantrum, a trip to Best Buy, and $90 later, I had a new cord and turned in my article – with confidence.
During the same month, I also made a huge decision to switch my middle-schooler from the school he had been attending since pre-kindergarten. I needed confidence that I was making the right decision, and that if I wasn’t – if I was making a huge mistake, it would be okay. I could come up with a new solution.
Because the truth is, I knew I could. I always step up. I always get things done. Most often, things work out. I needed to honor that and have more confidence in my abilities to juggle the demands of life.
It’s not like having the word changed the way I handled anything, but it made me believe more in my capacity to cope.
I told a friend of mine with a recent cancer diagnosis about what I was doing and the word I chose. He thought it was a great idea and chose discipline as his word. He needed it to follow the healing regimen assigned by his doctors.
His daughter heard us talking about it and decided her word would be strength. As an athlete she meant it in the physical sense. But she also said she wanted strength to deal with the pressures of high school.
I thought the simple act of picking a word worked so well that I decided to do it again this month.
I chose positive. Three days in – I can tell you, I hate the word.
However, the fact it challenges me to understand what I am supposed to feel positive about when I am cleaning my child’s vomit off the floor at 5 a.m. (because nothing says back to school like the stomach virus) makes me feel like I chose the perfect word.
So what is your word going to be? I hope you will share it in the comment section. I would love to check back next month and see if choosing a word helped any of you.
I am positive it will.
See, it’s working already.