my 2014 one-little-word

Newsflash: it's bitter cold today. Oh, you've heard? I mean, it is impressive when schools are shut down state-wide three days in advance. And a -53 windchill is pretty awesome. I suppose this really is weather to talk about.

It's also weather that will lead you to do crazy things to survive. Like last Thursday night when Rory and I stayed up until 2:30am because we got this funny idea that we should go to Disney World this winter. Without the kids. With Rory's amazing folks lined up to watch the wee ones, we booked our tickets and made reservations at a hotel.

I haven't stopped smiling since. I am so excited. Rory and I need time to play. We need to reconnect like that, and I can't wait to spend a few magical days with him at the happiest place on earth.

I took note of a serious shift in my winter attitude once we got this escape plan on the calendar. Suddenly I  had something to look forward to, and no forecast of subzero temps were going to get me down.

Contrast this to last winter, when the only getaway we had planned was a trip to Dysart, Iowa to see my Great Aunt Stella. I was looking forward to this trip in a big way, and was devastated when Elsie got the flu the day we were to leave. It was the furthest south we were going to get that winter. It wasn't until summer that we finally were able to reschedule.

All that to say, last winter was long, but also uneventful. I had nothing on the calendar to anticipate for all six months of that long, long winter.

This trip to Florida, where the temps will likely be in the 60's, has me thrilled. I have noticed my shift in attitude when I wake each morning and all throughout the day. I am excited, I feel hopeful.

My Grandma Bredberg didn't love surprises because, as she said many, many times, "Anticipation is half the fun." And it's so true! I love a good surprise, but I also love getting excited and feeling the hope and eagerness for something fun on the calendar.

Choosing my one-little-word has taken a more time this time around. I first landed on Inspire. And then morphed that into Inspired. Then I was thinking about Spontaneous, because our trip to Duluth was so awesome, and so last minute. And I want more spontaneity in my life.

But it wasn't until this whole plan to go to Disney World that it all fell into place. And the word I chose is: Anticipation. Anticipation has everything to do with hope for the future, planning the fun to be had, and is the opposite of reactionary. It is totally proactive. If there are going to be things on the calendar to Anticipate, then I have to plan them. It's forward looking and reminds me of my deep believe that we make our own lives, our own fun, our own choices. And then our lives look like the results of those choices.

This doesn't mean we're going to Disney every month. In fact, I love this word because it lends itself to little things to anticipate as well. I went grocery shopping last night in preparation for the cold and got the stuff to make a big pot roast. All day long today we could smell our heavenly supper in the oven. And we were so excited to sit down at the table tonight. So from something as small as a good meal at night, or a babysitter on the calendar for a date night, a trip to the cupcake shop or a trip to all gives me something to look forward to. To Anticipate.

I am really excited about how motivated I am by this one-little-word. It feels like a new role of mine. Different from Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Terminator, I am The Anticipate-r. These are my days to live, and I want to live them fully. I've got my calendar out lots lately, planning babysitters, looking for fun things to go and do. It's going to be a fun year to live out this word.


This is my fourth year choosing a word to focus on during the year. I love the practice and highly recommend choosing a word for yourself if you've never done this before. It's different than a resolution, and sort of shapes the whole year...maybe it's something you want to focus on, something you want to welcome into your life, something you want to be more of... Here's a huge list to help get your wheels turning...


Nicki said...

Becca, I wanted to let you now that you "inspired" me to choose a word this year. Listen.

I also anticipate your blog posts. They are exquisite and lovely.

elsak said...

I love your yearly word choices too. I also appreciate that you shared your change of mind about last year's word. Motherhood sure has its ways of helping us grow and learn things about ourselves and i suppose that's something that doesn't change. I often think of Grandma B when the word "anticipation" is used and I like that her life still inspires. Thanks for sharing life through your blog.

Rachel Brooke said...

Becca, I would email you this, but I'm not sure of your email so prepare for a lengthy comment! :)

I don't remember how I found your blog, but I want to say it was somehow through Sara Groves blog awhile back..? I'm so glad I did though! I love reading your posts and I feel great encouragement from them. This one was particularly uplifting. I read it with tear-filled eyes.

Anticipation. What a beautiful picture of active hope. I tend to be a worrier and am often not courageous enough to hope for what is unseen. As children of God, we can wait in anticipation of His glory, which will reveal itself in pieces here on earth and fully in heaven.

I am going to "borrow" this word for my year and try to find beauty and wonder in the world around me. I recently went through a hardship and this word gives me great hope for new mercies, more of Him and His goodness. Thank you for your posts and for sharing your heart like you do!

Becca Groves said...

Thank you for such kind words. Exquisite! Don't hear that one everyday. And I love LISTEN. A good one that translates on lots of levels.

True that. Motherhood is the best growing season I have yet to encounter. Good stuff though. And as in many, many things, Grandma B set the bar for motherhood too. Always inspired by her.

I'm so happy to share this word with you! It's a good one so far. :) Active hope. Nothing better.