The Word

In what has become something of a tradition around here, we went out for a pizza dinner on New Year’s Eve.

Not just any pizza, mind you. We call it the Buddy’s Blow Out meal – not just the Buddy’s original deep dish super pizza, but antipasto, chicken tenders, and a Sanders hot fudge cream puff for dessert.

Yep. It blows our diet all to hell, that’s for sure.

But we deserve it once a year.

We ordered our customary four-square pizza, and were happily munching away at our salads and chicken tenders when a server arrived.

“Large super pizza?” he inquired, already squeezing this huge eight slice pie onto the table.

“Oh no,” I said, “we ordered a small pizza.”

Our original waitperson stopped over. “Let me check,” she said, and dashed over to the computer screen nearby. “Kitchen’s mistake,” she said when she came back. “I put in an order for a small, but they made a large instead.  Guess it’s your lucky day!”

“Well,” I said to my husband at the end of the meal as we boxed up an extra six slices of pizza for the fridge, “maybe this is a good omen -a sign we’ll always get more than we expect in 2012.”

“Hope so,” he said, scooping up the last bites of hot fudge from the plate.

I hope so too, because I’m expecting quite a bit from 2012. Life started shaking up in a good way during 2011 (when I quit my job and became a grandmother),but I’d like to keep shaking it even more in 2012.

Last week I wrote about choosing one word to encapsulate my vision for the new year. When I wrote that post, I had already chosen my word. It came to me while I was on an airplane, flying to Texas to spend Christmas with my son and his family. I was reading a magazine and realized how rarely I read anything other than books or websites. It then occurred to me that my life had become narrow in other ways as well. I don’t listen to music or even the radio very often. There are only a few TV shows I follow, and I don’t often go to movies. I haven’t been to a concert or an art exhibit in more than year. I go to the same old stores, wear the same kinds of clothes, do my hair and makeup the same ways as I have for years.

My activities and social life are tunneling inward too. I don’t belong to any groups other than church choir. Now that I’m not working, I spend entire days alone in the house with only the dogs, my books, and the internet for company.

The word that came to me while I was flying was this…


I want to expand my interests, my energy, and my experiences in 2012.

And after our pizza blow out the other night, I realize that it’s also vitally important to expand my expectations. Part of the reason I pull back from new things is the fear that they won’t live up to my expectations. Not only do I need more faith that new experiences will be positive, but I also must be prepared to accept it if they aren’t and move forward without retreating into my shell of familiarity.

 We ordered big at Buddy’s on New Year’s Eve, and got even more than we expected.

I want to continue that trend for the next 12 months.

How about you? Have you chosen a word or words for 2012? Care to share them with me?

*Just before posting this, I was reading Kerstin’s blog about her word for the year, and her decision to choose supporting words at random each month. I like this idea (I also love the way she’s converting her words into a visual project) and I’d love to solicit your opinions.  How about some suggestions for words to support my idea to EXPAND? 


25 thoughts on “The Word

  1. “Expand” is a great word and a wonderful goal, I find myself in the same rut on occasion. I get so wrapped up in work, Rotary and just keeping up with things that I forget to reach out and try new things.

    I mentioned last week that I had chosen my word and it is “Giving”. I want to remind myself daily that giving of myself daily to others is what makes me happy and hopefully gives some happiness to others. “Giving” will also remind me every day that life should not be just about us, it has to be about making things a little better if you can.

    So, I’ll take Giving and combine it with your Expand and hope for a better year.

    • One of the things I want to expand my life to include is “giving” more to others outside of my family circle. So that will definitely become one of my ancillary words!

  2. I like “open” as a support word, too. You also mentioned “faith” and “expectations.” I am entering 2012 believing it will be good. Expecting it will be good. Having faith it will be good. We all know that life brings good and bad, but I was in church yesterday and something in the sermon spoke to me. The story was about a man in the hospital who said “I don’t get depressed. When you feel yourself getting depressed, stop what you’re doing. Do something else.” Mindset, attitude and faith are so important.

    I love your word “Expand.” Have you noticed there’s a lightness to it? This feeling of expansion is something I use when making decisions. When I feel myself restrict inside… it’s a big red flag. If the mere thought of something makes my soul expand… I know I need to go for it, even if it’s scary.

    I’m going to write about “one word” this week and link to you! The new year is off to great start already! Cheers!

    • Faith that things will work out for good is vital. I like that one.
      I also like your barometer test about decision making – if something makes you tighten up and feel restricted, that’s probably your gut telling you it’s not the best move to make!

      I look forward to reading about your word choice(s)!

  3. What a great word! I, too, have become very narrow with regards to what comes into my life and focused on what goes out. I may need to share your word, if you don’t mind. I’ll have to think on it some – I like the idea of a focal word, but haven’t really given it any thought.

    Have a wonderful and expansive 2012!

  4. Expand is a great word! I guess if I had to choose just one word for 2012 it would be FINISH. I’m just about done with one WIP and midway through another…. my goal is to finish both and look for an agent for one, self publish another. Thanks for helping me boil my goals down to one word! If I had one more word it would be CREATE… to keep me thinking in the most creative way possible! Nice post! And nice to have found you via your comment on my post!

    • Congratulations on being so close to the “finish” line with your WIP’s! I’ll look forward to reading them both 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by – I loved finding your blog today (via a re-Tweet of your post).

  5. Last week when you sent out the “teaser” to get ready to choose a word I had one….but a week later I lost it! HA! It is my mission today to recover it.
    And speaking of old age, the snowflakes in your blog made me think I was having a mini-stroke. HA! again! ~ Love you so….head to toe! ~ Cricket

    • Hmmm… maybe “memory” is a good word for you!! Really, why I am not surprised you’d forget one (English) word in the midst of everything you were doing last week?

      Let me know if you find it (the word, I mean).

  6. Great word Becca. And I’m so excited that you got more pizza. There is something about ‘reach’ that strikes me when I think of expanding. Perhaps a good supporting word? I’ve been thinking about this one-word thing and wondering if I should choose one. I don’t know how I feel about living just one word. But one came to me the other day and it was ‘build’. I’ll try and remember it as I go through this year even I don’t specifically choose it as my ‘word’.

    • I think just having the concepts in mind as you go through the year and make plans help’s you focus on look at circumstances in a different lens. It strikes me that “reach” and “build” both imply that you’re hoping to do new things while building on the successes of things you’ve already got going on your life. Both very worthy ideas to start a new year with!

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments 🙂

  7. I love your word, Becca. Just think how much bigger your sweet little grandson will be expanding your heart.
    Happy New Year to you.
    May 2012 bring you wonderful experiences, peace & love. xo

  8. you didn’t have to get RID of the snowflakes…I was just commenting…since the last time I was at the eye doctor and he said “you have the start of cataracts.”….so now I am hyper-sensitive to every floater that appears……CAROL

    • LOL! The snowflakes go away on their own…Wordpress gives them in December and takes them away in January! I kind of like them…a lot more so on my page than in my yard!!

  9. I had to go back to my current blog to find a word. I wanted one that encapsulated that whole experience of heading off to Louisiana for Christmas, and the word I finally came up with is “engagement”. I want to be more engaged in the coming year – with my writing, with the world around me, with all of the curiosities and mysteries just lying about waiting to be discovered.

    The other word I might choose is “unencumbered”. I talked in that blog about the value of traveling light – without much baggage and no expectations. It felt good then and it feels good now as I think about it.

    Gee – I wonder what “unencumbered engagement” would look like? 😉

    I guess we’ll see how these words work out as the months pass by. I hope your new year expands to hold every kind of happiness and joy!

    • “Unencumbered” is a great word and a great feeling. I know there’s a poignancy to your current state, but I’m glad you’re looking at the positive aspects of it and looking forward to how to engage in the future!

      I have a blog friend whose blog is called “Traveling Light.” She’s listed in my sidebar and I think you might enjoy her posts.

  10. While reading this post, I had to stop in the middle of it and order a pizza. I’m afraid I may have to change my word to expand, and not in a good way. 🙂 After reading your earlier post about choosing a word, I chose “unwind” for my word. I need to learn to relax and accept things as they come. This is more difficult than it sounds.

    I too wish I had more faith that new experiences will be positive. So many things to work on. Life continues to ask us to grow and grow me must.

    • “Unwind” is a good one. I have to work on that a lot, although I must say I’m better in comparison to even my 40 year old self. My 30 year old self wouldn’t even recognize this mellow version! But there are still miles to go, I’m afraid.

      As for the pizza – I’m about to pull a couple of those extra slices out of the freezer for a snack right now. Come on over 🙂

  11. Pingback: Let’s Start Over, OK? « Becca's Byline

  12. I think a good word for you would be SUPPORT. In order to expand something, you must first make sure it is rooted strongly and can withstand the pressure of the changes to come.

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