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2018 Word of the Year

 

1/1/2018 I have been choosing a word (or phrase) of the year since 2011. Last year's word of "unguarded" was a really good one for me, but I failed to think on it in the middle of the year, so it was not as effective as in other years. I did not choose this years word until the last day of 2017. I had some other ideas rolling around in my head, but it all took a turn due to personal circumstances around the holidays and the word "independent" became clear to me. A friend had suggested months ago that I choose a word that represents someone I already am and embrace that positivity rather than choosing a word where I am lacking and wanting to go. I thought that was a good idea and it really influenced this year's word. I asked hubby to give me some words, after this one had come to mind, that described me, just to be sure there was not another word I should choose. He never said this word, but I am sure he will agree. His suggestions still did not influence a change. I was stuck with this word.

I have always considered myself a very independent person. I think my mom would say the same. It makes me reflect on how I went off to college on my own without any financial assistance from my parents and entered the unknown world and conquered it. I used my bike for a long while, even after moving off campus, to get around to school and to work. One day my parents surprised me with a car they had bought and brought down for me, but I wrote a check to them that day to pay for it. I have always taken to heart that saying my Dad always said to me, "where there is a will, there is a way."

I have come to realize that I am not as independent as I used to be before I was married. I have realized that hubby's smothering personality has influenced my actions. For instance, I have already begun to put this word into practice. I got up in the middle of a movie that was boring to me to put away my clean clothes and it was not very long before he was checking in on me. I got up on purpose to change the way his constant knowing of all I do makes me an inactive person. If I am going to be followed every step I do anything, then I am just going to sit. It is easier to ask him to do something for me than to do it for myself. Then I do not have to try to find this or that which he has not put back in its place. Then I don't have to feel him judging me as he watches my every move. It is easier to do nothing and let him control everything than to be that independent person. It is time for me to break the cycle and get back to who I am naturally. I am going to intentionally stop asking him to do things and make myself do things on my own, taking back control of my own self and my own actions.

I predict that this word will bring me some insight over 2018 in that I do realize that although I am an independent person by nature, there has to be a balance of dependency. Of course, I am 100% dependent on my God, but do I always trust and rely on Him? Of course, everyone needs other people and is dependent on other people for some things, so for me, I need to find that new balance and adjust the scales in 2018 to be more independent as I am born and yet still allow others to be there to lean on.

This word makes me think of how I have always said that I raised my sons to be very independent people from a very young age and that I regretted it when they got to be teens and onward because they did not need me any more. That lack of need makes them distant from me and I miss them. I am sure this is the same way my parents felt about me and the genes seem to carry on. My need to have people need me is the other side of the coin in that I need to allow others that same fulfillment in me. I thought about choosing the word "balance" but instead stuck with my original word of "independent."

Of course, financial independence is heavy on both of our hearts as we have been working hard for the last three years to rid ourselves of this huge debt we endure and we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If all goes well, sometimes in 2018 we will pay off all debt but our mortgage and feel free! Of course, I need a new car and have been holding off, so it may be a temporary feeling.

This word independent also makes me consider how I need to be more independent from worrying about what others think of me. That is something I think I will always struggle with and it is a lifelong growing-thing that I continue to work on myself.

Being independent, just like with almost any personality characteristic, can be good and it can be bad. In 2018, I will try to embrace the good in this trait of mine while learning to balance it with dependency.