Friday, January 6, 2012

In a Word

I have been noticing a trend among my acquaintances to choose a word for the New Year that describes the way they want to grow.  It’s the 2012 version of making resolutions; resolutions have been found unsatisfactory in that we fail to keep them as thoroughly as we’d like and then we feel bad, guilty, like a Loser.  If we have a word that we are occasionally thinking about, it can move us in that positive direction and yet not be quantifiable, hence we can’t truly fail and with fortitude we will move towards that goal.  Win/win.
Here are the words my friends have chosen, in no particular order.  Their names (or links) are not given to protect the innocently hopeful from recriminations next December, should you check up on them.
In late December when I was thinking about the possibility of making a resolution I didn’t have to think very hard.  Mine is Sweeten Up, not nearly as charming as those other words, but mine was born out of conviction one crabby day and not dreamed up for the spirit of New Year’s.  I am not going to tell you about how bad I can be or the dour thoughts I might have just because I am a perfectionist in recovery and have a critical analytic tendency at times when I should be warmer and fuzzier.  Such as now, perhaps.  The great mystery is that many people don’t seem to realize this:  I am often called sweet (unlikely), kind (humphh), and patient (now, that’s true, usually).  But inside myself I have some very crabby tendencies which I remember being pointed out to me as a child.  Ask my brothers.  My self-perception seems to be different than my public persona and I would like to be closer to the misconceptions that people have, up until it gets insipid.  I still want to be Interesting.
Now, Dorothy Parker was Interesting, and as a teenager she was sort of a hero of mine until I learned enough about her to know that she wasn’t a good role model.  Dorothy Parker is famous for going to dinner parties with important and fascinating people and making witty, insightful comments that made everyone laugh and often made it into the newspapers.  Everyone was amused except the victim who was flayed.  Why did people keep inviting her to their dinner parties?  She would be fun to eavesdrop on but not to be seated by at dinner. Not safe.
I read a biography of Dorothy Parker and decided her wit came at too high a price, that of friendship and trust.  Who wants to be close to someone who might ridicule you or mock you publicly?  Even privately?  Only another porcupine.
Therefore, my note to self is “Sweeten Up”.  Not anything poetic or artful, just a favor to myself and the world around me.  And I don’t want it to be a word that is just talk, but as Eliza Doolittle said,
Words, words, words!  I’m so sick of words! Never do I ever want to hear another word. There isn’t one I haven’t heard.         Show me!
                           Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady
Well, here goes.  I hope that thinking it and wanting it and saying it will make it happen.  And if I flourish and grow and shine and grow in the process, so much the better.


debianne said...

NOW...that's not a very nice way to talk about a friend of mine!!! I just might have to disagree with you!! I think I'm going to have to INISIST you be nice to yourself...and give yourself a break! You may be a recovering "perfectionist", but I think you have encouragement written all over your heart!
As for me...I think this year I’m going to take a cue from my GPS…I’m going to “recalculate” my route. My GPS tells me when I have gone off course and it recalculates the route based on my wrong turn. Luckily God is always one step ahead of my incompetence. I find it comforting to know I cannot plan God out of the equation no matter how bad I mess up. He will always turn the crooked places straight
“The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth” (Luke 3:5).

ellen b. said...

That's a good one "Sweeten up"
I too have a different sense of myself than other people do...I think. My word for the year is understanding...

Confessions of a Plate Addict said...

Love that! word comes to mind for me! Gotta work on it! I hope that your 2012 is off to a great start! Happy Saturday!...hugs...Debbie

Kathleen said...

So good luck with that! A recovering perfectionist, hmm. My son tells me I am too critical. I guess I need to sweeten up too!

Off for a piece of chocolate! :)

Parisienne Farmgirl said...

Thank you so much for your support! I do appreciate it!

Love me some Liza Doolittle.

the Parisienne Farmgirl’s Giveaway Fantastique
Parisienne Farmgirl Magazine

Anneliese said...

It's your honesty that makes you sweet.

Rowan said...

Hope you succeed in moving closer to the person people think you are - you must already be partway there if that's what people think you know! I know what you mean though about people's perceptions - everyone always seems to think I'm calm and capable - in fact I'm rather like a swan, sailing serenely along on the surface but paddling like mad under the water:):)

Gilly said...

I've never come across that "word" idea, Holly. Not sure what I would choose - the way I feel this morning would lead to some very depressive words, so maybe I'll settle (at the moment) for "still alive"!

A Recovering Perfectionist, eh? Maybe I need to stop beating myself up over mistakes.....

Koosje Koene said...

Yes, i noticed the trend, too. I think you found yourself the perfect words, and why do you say it's not poetic or beautiful? Perhaps you can sweeten up to yourself a bit as well...
Great choice!

A Romantic Porch said...

HOllace, OH it is so hard when you are a perfectionist isn't it? My work for this year I think is going to be SIMPLIFY...hhhmm need to think about that some more! xo rachel

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I like that...'sweeten up' theme. It would be a good word for us all. I picked 'hope' as my word for the year.

Willow said...

I'd noticed the word trend too but I resisted mostly because I was too busy the week after Christmas to think of anything except the events of the day.

If I chose one now, it might be 'friend'. Or 'simple'. Or 'health'. Maybe I should choose 'decide'.

Decor To Adore said...

I love it! We all could benefit from your word.

Connie said...

Ah, that is a clever idea ... to choose a word. My daughter has been using words like 'thankfulness' 'having joy' so those have been on my mind.

A month has passed since you wrote this post - how are you doing?

H.A.N. said...

Mine is TRUST Hollace. I am loving having a word. I have added FLOW as a curiosity word.