My 2013, In a Word

My 2013, In a Word

With each new year, I try to choose a word to live by. To be my compass for the way I act, the choices I make, the way people see me. Last year was my year of “grace”. (Though I’ll be the first to admit “grace” probably wouldn’t make many people’s extended list of my personal traits…and my chronic sore throat, well, it’s proof that I could have done better.)

I’ve done a lot of thinking about what makes the most sense for me this year. What one word might make the difference in the way I feel, act, and engage with others? Where am I coming up short? (Besides not epitomizing grace, of course.)

I realized that I often joke in my writing about being the most unorganized person on earth. From a house with too much stuff to taking my kids to birthday parties on the wrong day, I’m a complete disaster.

The irony of my complete utter lack of organization of late is that when I worked in an office setting, I was considered one of the most organized “creatives” people had ever worked with. I not only met deadlines, I got things done early. And well. I worked on — and with — production teams to develop schedules and keep people on task. Yes, really. Me.

I’ve been wondering what it is at home that’s turned me into my own polar opposite. Is it really that I’m that unorganized? I mean I have files labeled, toy bins categorized, and a written to do list.

But I also have three demanding kids (oh how I’m working on that), no office to escape to, and too few “set” work hours. I spend my days multitasking. I had convinced myself that all I had to do was master multitasking. Then, then I’d be a great mom. A great writer. A great wife. An in-demand blogger. It turns out I’ve found that quite the opposite is true. My multitasking has been by downfall.

So this year? FOCUS.

Yes, I will focus. When I’m playing with my kids, I will play with my kids. (Not straighten the playroom.) When I’m at Starbucks writing, I will write. (Not browse Facebook.) When I’m checking my email, I will check my email and respond. (Not peek at my phone in line at the grocery store and mark it as unread to deal with later.) When I’m cleaning the house, I will clean the house. (Though in my eyes, dancing will continue to be a part of this monotonous task, but that’s not really multitasking…) When I’m on the couch with Lenny watching TV, I’ll cuddle with him instead of my computer. (Unless, of course, he’s cuddling with his.)

It means I’ll have to say no to more things. Maybe write a bit less. Yes, there will be sacrifices. But I’m confident that I’ll enjoy myself more. Notice the details that make each moment more rich. And, I can only hope that my relationships and career will be rewarded in the long run.

At the end of this year, my hope is that instead of people asking how I do it all, they’ll ask me how I do it all with a smile.

What’s your hope for how you live in 2013?

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  1. says

    I used to be a multi-tasking queen… then I had kids and stopped sleeping. These days I find that when I try to multi-task I do things more slowly and worse. I’ve found again and again that when I stop trying to do two things at once I do them better and faster and I actually get more done.
    I have a feeling you’re going to have a great year!

  2. says

    This is great. I don’t know if I can whittle my goals for 2013 down to one word, but it’s an excellent idea. I will try.

    Now if it makes you feel any better, we once completely missed the date of the birthday party for the child of my old neighbor (whom you know). When I realized my scheduling error, we showed up on the doorstep in time to drop off the gift and that’s about all. So embarrassing, yet so easy for multi-tasking moms to do!

    Maybe your word should be “chill?” And that would be from the pot calling the kettle black :)

    • says

      Too funny, Aimee! I’m glad to hear I’m not the only birthday party pooper (though I may be the only repeat offender…). Chill would definitely be a good word for me, but I’m trying to be somewhat realistic! 😉

  3. says

    Hi Amy, I’m so happy to discover your blog! I love it! I choose a word every year too. Mine is “expand” this year. I would love to pick your brain about blogging sometime. I could learn a ton from you! – Laurel (Andrew’s mom)

    • says

      Thanks so much, Laurel! No doubt I could learn a lot from you too and would love to get together. Best of luck with your goals for expanding. I really like that word and would love for it to be mine one year too…hopefully soon!

  4. Elizabeth Kane says

    I’m lovin this word of the year idea. Focus sounds very good to me. We all need a little more of that in our noisy busy world!

    For this year, I’ve chosen “leap.” To me it means getting over my perfectionist tendencies and embracing more life, challenges, and even failures. No holding back.


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