Just Breathe

My 2016 word for the year is Breathe.

I really thought about chortle or burble and definitely had to fight off my inner smartass over the urge to use floccinaucinihilipilification . But then I  decided to straighten up and take this week’s writing prompt a bit more seriously.

Although I’ll admit to being a wee bit self-impressed because I didn’t have to use spell-check to spell floccinaucinihilipilification correctly. Self-impressed and just a little concerned.

2015 was not one of my better years. It goes without saying that I really hope 2016 will be better. But since 2015 did its level best to make me more of a realist than the optimist I used to  be, I’m not really pinning a lot of hopes on that.

I also thought about using geradeaus, the German word for “straight ahead”.  I’ve spent an awful lot of time running around in circles in both my personal and professional life in recent years, and it’s really time I tried to focus on moving forward in the right direction. Geradeaus.  I’m tired of looking back at my mistakes and trying to swallow that bitter taste of regret; I’ve wallowed in the past long enough.

But I settled on breathe because, well, it’s something I sort of forgot to do in 2015.

I got caught up in my daughter’s graduation and then her moving out, and I got overwhelmed with being forced to trade my little dream house for a subsidized apartment that I hate. With a passion. I hit a really low point in my life with my battle with Depression. And even though I really hate to mention the elephant in the room, I spent a big portion of 2015 worrying about an angry little blogger who chose to focus an awful lot of negative energy on me. Instead of letting her get under my skin, I should have just remembered the old lesson from Kindergarten about sticks and stones.

In 2016, I want to remember to breathe. When life gets overwhelming this year, as I’m sure it will at some point, I want to remember to take a moment, focus, and just breathe. In and out.

I want to breathe and remind myself that, no matter what, life gets better. It may take a while, and it will probably hurt like hell along the way, but it gets better.

As my favorite comedian, Mark Lowry, has said, “It’ll pass. It will or you will.”

Like it or not, 2016 is here, and all the New Year’s Resolutions in the world can’t slow it down or stop it. It’s going to bring good things and bad things and things that make me scratch my head and ask “what the hell was that all about?”

Time to buckle in, take a deep breath, and hang on for dear life.

Happy New Year, everyone. What’s your word for 2016?

This is a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “My 2016 word for the year is…” Hosted by Kristi ofFinding Ninee,  Mardra Sikora and Allison McGrath Smith.


My Big Five

If I could be the average of the five people I spend the most time with, I would surround myself with people who know how to laugh, who persevere, and who are good-hearted. Some of the people on my list are no longer on this Earth, and some are celebrities I will probably never meet, but it’s my fantasy list. I can manipulate reality all I like.

The first person I would choose would be my father, because of his sense of humor. Dad lived a hard life, and I’m sure he had a few regrets at different times, but he always seemed to bounce back from life’s hardest hits with a smile and a joke. The jokes weren’t always funny, but he always made the effort to laugh – and to make those around him laugh, too.

If I’m lucky, I’ve inherited at least a portion of his ability to see the funny side of every situation, no matter how horrible.

I would choose my big sister next, because she has all of the organization and initiative that is so lacking in my life. She never misses appointments or forgets to return a phone call; she sends birthday cards on time; she works an incredibly high-stress job and runs her household and still makes time to read and improve herself every day.

She’s Super Girl – but still human and likeable.

She’s . . . a Big Sister, even if she has told me repeatedly that we are the same age now that we are over thirty.

Christopher Reeve would have a place on my list, too. Really, he should be on everyone’s list. I’m sure he had moments of despair after his accident, but the other moments were stronger. The moments when he faced the facts about his paralysis and went forward with his life anyway. The moments when he moved forward help others with spinal injuries.

Next on my list is Nancy Gideon, one of my favorite authors. She writes her books while working full-time and raising her children. She also makes time to help aspiring authors any way she can. If I could just gain the tiniest bit of her motivation and ability to follow through and finish things, I might actually be published.

Comedian Mark Lowry is the final person on my list of five. Once again, I could benefit from spending time with a person who is able to see the funny side of every situation. But Lowry also has a deep faith in God and family; his unique way of explaining God’s word has helped me through many situations when I was full of questions and short on belief.

Lowry has also dealt with ADHD, and many of his routines are about the impact this condition has on adults and children. Whenever I get frustrated because my train of thought has left the station for points unknown, his comedy routines help me remember that my ADHD also gives me the gift of creativity and makes me who I am.

Dad, Big Sis, Christopher Reeve, Nancy Gideon and Mark Lowry. What a group.