I love this idea of picking a single word as a theme to the new year (thank you, Gretchen Rubin). It provides an opportunity to choose a path, whether it is a straight and narrow path with a clear goal or just a general direction, it’s a great place to start. But what word to choose? For some it might come easy…family, love, happiness, giving, gratitude, maybe even money, or better yet, wealth. For others, those of us who with diverse interests and love the variety of words available, how do we choose just one? The Webster Dictionary has over 470,000 words! Wow! Choose one?
Turns out it’s not that difficult if you really give yourself some time to think about what is important to you and what you would like to accomplish, or at least work on, in 2017. One of my first thoughts was to choose the word “kitchen”, or better yet, “remodel” because we have a home remodeling project we want to start this year. But that almost seemed to be too concrete of a goal. I needed a word that would push me out of my comfort zone and into all the exciting and new things life has to offer. That was it, I had found my word…
My word of the year. Uncomfortable. On one hand it seems like a semi-negative word (definition: in a state of distress, uneasiness), but in my case, I am using it to push through the uncomfortableness that happens when you are right on the edge of doing something you want to do but a little bit of fear is holding you back. Just when I get to the point of wanting to say “No” or stepping away from the situation, or making a comfortable decision, I will step through the discomfort and enjoy what happens when I come out on the other side.
As soon as I chose my word, I found myself noticing situations where opportunities arose to be a little uncomfortable and really get to the juicy part of life. First opportunity…hand feeding a cow. Now that’s juicy…or slobbery…depends on how you look at it. If you are a farmer, or have been around animals, this probably seems ridiculous to you, but as a city girl who hasn’t spent much of my life getting dirty, the prospect of a cow eating out of my hand was not something I had previously considered. But here I was, visiting my cousin’s ranch where they were having fun talking to and feeding the cows and I was reluctant to join in the experience because the cows have huge tongues and, to be quite honest, I was a little afraid of losing a finger.
After a quick mental analysis, I stepped through the discomfort, put the cow treat in my outstretched hand, approached the fence, and let one of the cows eat it out of my hand. Success. All fingers still intact, just a little bit of cow slobber on my hand, and the cow was happy, at least I like to think she was. A simple exercise in doing something that was physically uncomfortable. I’m not saying I want to feed cows everyday (although I feel an emotional connection to these cows now), but I did learn the value of being just a little more adventurous. Here’s to being uncomfortable!
What is your word for 2017?