Molly Spencer’s latest post talks about her choice of a guiding word as a sort of on-going mantra for the year. When I read this the other day, I thought this was a brilliant idea, but then I started to wonder about how in the world one would go about choosing just one word. Molly talks a little about her process for doing so, how the word seemed to choose her.

The more I thought about it, I reflected on what word I might choose. I considered confidence, as it is something which I lack in many areas, especially when it comes to meeting new people and embracing new situations. But I do have confidence in my work life and (most of the time) in my writing life, so I kept thinking.

The next word that came to mind was acceptance. This could resonate in both personal and professional ways – acceptance of others, of myself, of my limitations, acceptance as belonging,and acceptance in the realm of the submissions aspect of writing.

But the one that I seem to have settled on is patience.

Patience is a necessary ingredient of my job as a teacher of 12 and 13 year olds. The winter months can be a challenge – long, not many “breaks” in the routine, and my patience can sometimes get short. The thesaurus provides many helpful synonyms to the word:

  • backbone (I could use some of this to say “no” to things that do not enrich my life)
  • constancy (I tend toward the emotional, so constancy would be good)
  • diligence (a good quality in the writing life)
  • even temper (again, the emotional thing)
  • fortitude (would be helpful with my health/fitness goals)
  • gutsiness (I want to feel confident enough to memorize some poems and perform them, feel gutsy enough to dance in public with my husband!)
  • humility (always a noble resolution)
  • serenity (something I have been seeking spiritually and otherwise)
  • submission (self-explanatory for poets!)

So, my word will be Patience. Thanks to Molly for this wonderful alternative to traditional resolutions!


4 thoughts on “Word.

  1. Donna, so glad the word-for-the-year idea is helpful for you. I learned this trick from the poet Molly Fisk, and it has definitely enhanced my life and my awareness (and works better for me than resolutions, which were never a positive thing for me). I’m rushing off now to look up my word in the thesaurus — something I hadn’t thought to do, so thanks for that idea! Best wishes for 2013.

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