One Word 2017: When The Words Don’t Seem Right, What Do You Do?



 A FEW WEEKS AGO WHEN I began to think about what my One Word for this year would be I was sure it’d be SMART.  My egotistical little brain that craves attention told me that this word was a good one.  But after The Orange One made reference to Putin being smart I could not, in good conscience, use the now tainted word “smart” as my one word.

 THEN WHILE READING A CHRISTMAS GIFT, a wonderful book of essays called I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi, the word BETTER seemed like it’d be my One Word.  But the more I thought about this word the less applicable it seemed to my overall mind-set right now.

It’s not that I don’t want to strive to be a better version of me, I do;  it’s just that I feel that “better” could be anxiety-producing for me, a reformed semi-perfectionist who has finally become comfortable with the concept of good enough.

 WELL, ON NEW YEAR’S EVE I still had not decided on a word for 2017.  In a last-ditch effort to discern what my One Word would be, I approached the problem in a less cerebral, more spiritual way.  That is, as I drifted off to sleep I intentionally put the question into my mind, so that when I awakened the next morning the first thing I thought about would be my answer.

And my spirit didn’t let me down.  No, thanks to it I had a word for 2017 that allows me to creatively incorporate the essence of smartness with the desire for betterment.  Yes, my whole being told me in no uncertain terms to: RELAX.

So I think I will.  😉

Question of the Day


If so, what’s this year’s word and how did you come by it?  

If not, what do you do instead? Resolutions? Goals? Nothing?

March Is The Do-Over Month: Happy New Year 2.0

• I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE January and February are practice months.

It’s during these months that I flesh out how I’m going to do whatever lofty word I’ve chosen for my one word of the year [this year’s word here].  I make my mistakes in the cold of winter when no one will notice.

Or so I think.

THEN ON MARCH 1, which happens to be today, I start all over again, relying on the wisdom I’ve gained through fiddle-farting my days away failure, marching toward being a better bean.

If you know what I mean.

• THIS IS HOW MY wack-a-doodle mind works, so when I found the following simple Workplace Thinking Style Graph [details here] that leads me to believe I am not alone in the way I do things, I was thrilled.

Coolness.  I love straightforward explanations.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 7.34.32 AMACCORDING TO THIS CHART, I am an Optimizer.  That is because, no matter what I do, my focus is on process;  and, despite wanting to be less of a micro-manager, my orientation is on details.

This describes me perfectly.  [Read beginning of this post to confirm.]

So it is with this insight, as I move FORWARD into the rest of 2016, that I leave you, my gentle readers, today.  Later kids, I’ve got some New Years celebrating to do.  😉

Proverbial Wisdom, Pithy Thoughts, And My Perfect 2016 One Word

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 12.35.14 PMI found this proverb while researching something else and I think it is charming.  Obvious wisdom, of course– but delightful nonetheless.

I like it.

And inexplicably this proverb has reminded me that I need to decide what my 2016 one word will be.

~ ~ • ~ ~

[Pepper comes to mind, but I think that might be a bit too literal for the uplifting abstract nature of the one word concept.]

[Besides if I used pepper this year I’d feel obligated to use Sneeze next year– and that would never do at all.]

[Unless I wanted to commit to Tissue the year after that.  😉  But I digress…]

~ ~ • ~ ~

Last year my word was RECLUSE and I’m all the better for it.

Using it as my catalyst, I politely detached from most of my social obligations, then used the time I gained to reflect upon how people in my life, real and virtual, were treating me.

The result?  Users + negative people everywhere are no longer welcome in my life.  Sincere + friendly people, whose actions showed them to be on Team Ally, are now my sole focus.

~ ~ • ~ ~

This year I’m confounded about what word to pick.  2011 was SMOOTH.  2012 was NURTURE so that’s out.  2013 was BALANCE.  2014 I didn’t even have a word.

So far this year I’ve thought about: harmony, rejuvenation, dream, plan— but those words sound pretentious to me, too vague, too much like what the smarmy voiceover says in a prescription medicine TV commercial.

No, what I need is a word that gets me focused on getting things done and enjoying that which I accomplish.  A word that is easy to remember and implement in all situations.  A way to know I’m on track to achieving my goals.

A word, perhaps, such as FORWARD??!

~ ~ • ~ ~

[Why yes, that would do nicely. Why didn’t I think of that before?]

[Because it is only through the process of writing that you, Ms. Bean, figure out your life. Don’t you know that by now?]

[It would seem that I’m learning.]

~ ~ • ~ ~

So there we have it, my gentle readers.  A scintillating thought process explained. An encouraging word chosen. And a pithy blog post written.

Oh, ’tis a happy day– forward I go into 2016!

If We Were Having Coffee On This December Morning…


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We’d be sitting in my dining room, marveling about how warm December is this year, wearing clothes in colors & styles that scream early autumn more than almost Christmas. 

We’d be drinking oolong black tea, steeped in my blue teapot, served with milk and sugar, because while coffee is wonderful, occasionally everyone needs a cup of tea [and sympathy].

We’d be listening to an old Eric Clapton CD that I found in the glove box of Zen-Den’s SUV.  Why?  Because it’s Christmastime and Clapton is God. 😉


 We’d be chatting… about how this week, for the first time, at Susie Lindau‘s urging I watched Elf.  Or more accurately, I watched the first half of Elf and decided that while the story is cute, there’s too much Will Ferrell in it for my taste.  It’s not for me, but all of you other wackos people enjoy it.  Please.

 We’d be sharing… our latest accomplishments.  I’d be saying that I’ve been sober for three months now.  Considering how I started down this road by accident, I’m finding the experience enlightening.  I’m not missing cocktails or wine AT ALL, although I wouldn’t mind a beer every so often.  And maybe a shot of bourbon once in a great while.  But overall I’ve come to realize that at this point in my life I don’t care about alcohol all that much.  Who knew?

 We’d be talking… about how Jon Stewart’s various appearances this week on late night TV [here and here] have brought attention to Congress’s indifference to extending the Zadroga Act, which, if reauthorized next week, will continue to give financial help to the 9/11 first responders.  I’d mention that given my druthers I’d vote for Stewart for president because… SMART + HONEST– not to mention looking good with that graying beard.  

 We’d be discussing… whether this year we’ll be making a list of specific New Year’s Resolutions OR if we’ll go with a more general one word approach to self-improvement.  Having tried both ways in the past, I’d tell you that, as an English major, my best successes have come from adopting one word as my theme for the year, thereby avoiding all ways to quantify my life– which for me only leads to defeat & despair.  Keep it simple, keep it going, I say.


We’d finish driScreen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.08.58 AMnking our tea, notice the time, and realize that we both needed to get to certain stores on the other side of town before noon.  So with a sigh that comes from being a responsible adult, we’d each get in our cars and go our own way.  

But before we parted we’d hug and thank each other for the best gift there is, the gift of sincere undivided attention & conversation.  Given to those people who make your heart happy and your life full.  Like friends, followers, family & fans.  In real life– and in the blogosphere, too.

• • •

Idea for this post came from Diana at Part-Time Monster.

• • •

[Make your own plaids, checks &/or stripes, in any color combination, like those featured above, by using Patternizer. It’s free. It’s fun.]

New Year’s Resolution, Mid-Year Clarification Of Said


Yes, I know that I declared 2015 to be the Year of the Recluse.

I know that I said that I’d not be doing things social.  But sometimes, even an introvert such as myself, wants to do something with a friend or two.

So I’m a failure at following through with my New Year’s Resolution.  Like you’re so good at doing in July that which you said that you’d do in January?

Hmmm?  How are you doing with your resolutions?

# # #

To clarify, when I said that I’d be a recluse this year what I meant was that I was going to avoid reunions, anniversary/holiday dinners, birthday bashes– and having a Christmas party here at the house.

[That last one in particular.]

So when it comes to those sorts of things, I’m a recluse.  But when it comes to other activities I’m kinda out there socializing all over the place this year.

Well, I’m always kinda out there, but you know what I mean!


My 2015: The Year Of The Recluse

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Looking at the calendar today it occurs to me that I have been remiss in not sharing with you, my gentle readers, my resolutions revolutions one word goals dreams aspirations vague ideas simple plan for the new year, 2015.

Clearly I need to get more scoot in my get-along.

[The preceding phrase is one that I don’t normally use, but I heard a football color commentator use it when talking about some player doing something, so I decided to add it to my folksy phrases repertoire.]

[Yes, I have an actual list of folksy phrases that I started about 10 years ago.  I recently rediscovered it when I took it upon myself to sort through the stuff in my desk.  Trust me, I will be referring to said list often now that I have found it.]

So here is what I’ve decided that this year will be all about for me.  I’m going to be a recluse, defined thusly as: “a person who lives a solitary life and tends to avoid other people.”

Not exactly anti-social, but non-social.  ‘Ya know?

And sometime throughout the year I might even explain why I’ve come to this decision.  But for today all I’m going to say is that I’m comfortable with the idea of spending more time by myself while pursuing my particular interests– like finding & using folksy phrases!  😉