January 2, 2015

A Word for The New Year

A former blogger and dear friend makes it a habit to pick one word for each new year. That word becomes a focus for what she hopes to accomplish and what she wants to keep moving toward. Satisfying Retirement reader, Nita, left a comment recently urging me to consider the same idea.

While I have never done so before, in my quest to shake my feelings of being stale and stuck, I thought this might be a good time to actually pick a word and see what happens.

So, I did. For 2015 my word is: Move.

The dictionary definition of move is to change or cause to change from one state, opinion, sphere, or activity to another.


That one word is speaking loudly to me in several different ways:

* Move physically. My body needs more exercise , more stimulation and stretching of what I think I can do. Laziness is the enemy.


* Move Literally.  Will this be a year I change where I call home? Maybe, but the reasons have to be compelling and have legitimate motivations and definable results.

* Move mentally. Push myself to keep learning something(s) new...but what?


* Move spiritually. My faith needs to be made more active..but how?

* Move the walls of my self-built box back a bit. Life require pushing against restraints, self-imposed and otherwise. What potentials have I left on the table so far. What mini Berlin Wall needs to be knocked down?

Now that I have the word I have a path forward. Part of it is spelled out above, but much of that path still needs to be uncovered. I must bring specifics to the generalizations.


I think I just found the basis for a few upcoming posts on this blog. But, for now, I will take some time to focus on the word and see where it moves me. 


The only way to see where the road leads me is to move from where I am standing now


49 comments:

  1. I am keeping my same word that I has for 2014--> savor. It just suits my current place in life. No hurry, just savor the moment, savor a good book, savor my family and friends, savor good food (but not too much...).
    But I like your word too...maybe next year.

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    1. Savor is an excellent word, especially in the various ways you use it. Maybe I should use it as a secondary word for 2015.

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  2. I, too, thought this was great advice from Nita in a comment on your blog. So I chose a word--focus. I'm still preparing for retirement and am working full-time. Hubby and I are considering selling our large home and building a much smaller, more self-sufficient home on a more self sufficient piece of property. So this year I'll focus on 5 things that help achieve pieces and parts of the retirement preparation. Thanks so much for serving up so much food for thought in your blog.

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    1. I will need to "focus" on my word this year. Yes, thanks Nita (and former blogger Galen Pearl) for introducing me the concept.

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  3. I also did the yearly word this year. Mine is "Magic." To remember that when I follow my heart and keep busy on goals, that magically, the opportunities, the people, and the "flow of life" begin to appear.Last year I lost some of the magic, our move was physically and emotionally exhausting,although a good thing, just hard!! I also got a false start in real estate and lost the thread of it. I know this year I have the energy to set some new goals, more self knowledge about how I want our "retired" life to look, and so, as I set those goals, and work at them, magically, the path will appear. Yes,That's how i tend to think!

    A move for you and Betty? Well,I spent a week in our son's downtown Tempe Loft apartment and wow! What a lifestyle! Walk out the front door to restaurants, shows, the lake for jogging, rowing, college events,free lectures and musical events right down the street.. maybe urban living is in the cards for you? (Pricey down there,though.. not in MY budget but an idea.. ) Or, a smaller home in the town where your daughter lives,something newish, energy efficient..there are some gorgeous smaller homes in that area that really impressed me when I was briefly in real estate! So many options and a whole year ahead!! Your desire for change and growth WILL lead you to the next step, probably sooner than later!!! Our increasing discomfort with suburban living led us to the mountains.. it happens organically, as your heart leads the way!! Great posts,Bob,thanks!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks for the support, Madeline. Because of the dog a loft is probably not practical, though something like that is attractive to me. The idea of an urban lifestyle after decades of suburbia is intriguing.

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    2. We loved our life in the city, and the dogs did too. Now days there are great dog parks, and there are so many smells they love it. I have to also say, they've adapted to 'country' life very quickly, too. Bailey will be happy wherever you are.

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  4. Friends of mine just told me they also select a word for each year. This year their word is "Dreams." I've decided on "Change." As I mentioned in a previous comment, I too have become stagnant. Thanks to others comments, I'm hoping my FOCUS on change will allow me to SAVOR each experience and the MAGIC it brings as I MOVE into the future. Best wishes to all as we all go through our continuing growth process.
    Nina

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    1. See how all those words string together so well ! We are on to something.

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  5. My word for the year is "breathe." It reminds me that life is a gift--from that first gasp I took as a baby, until the last breath that I will take in this world. To breathe deeply calms me and replaces my fear, pain, and frustration with faith. When I shut everything else out, and simply listen to myself breathe, I know that everything will be all right.

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    1. Good word, Pam. Living in the moment is a hard lesson for me to learn, but concentrating on breathing would certainly help.

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  6. I'm sure your situation with your dad plays largely into where you go. We are 2 hours max from Philly, but it's becoming very draining for Dave to make the trek every 10 days to 2 wks. Plus, dad's less coherent each visit, it seems. He'll be going into skilled nursing care very soon, which may make it easier. Makes you wonder...Why? I know none of us want to be in that situation, but a do not resuscitate isn't available for the brain.
    I'll be curious to see how this year evolves for you guys. I think you'll find a way to make it all work for the best. And, you still have each other!
    b

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    1. I need to stay close (meaning 30-40 minutes drive time) to my dad. He is in a full service facility but needs me to go shopping for him and get his pills when they need to be refilled. Plus, that lunchtime together every 10-14 days is important to us as well.

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    2. My word is Flexible! Life takes turns you never expect and flexibility is so important! It can drive you crazy if your life plan is too rigid to allow for changes brought about by life's and family's emergencies! Make sensible decisions to allow this depending on your family situation! Put family first!

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  7. I like your word. I always thought the word "change" was overrated b/c so often the change is for the worse. But "move" suggests you're the actor and you're doing it purposefully. But now you've thrown me a challenge ... I gotta think of a word. I'll get back to you.

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  8. Gak! I have too many words, so I might need a couple! I love "savor" for all that it implies, but I'm also thinking of "linger" - to really live in the moment, stop and notice what's happening and to allow yourself to not be in a hurry, and also "explore" - new places, new crafts, new ideas, new skills! Great post as I love the idea of a word for focus, rather than "resolutions!" I think you're "moving" in the right direction to resolve your funk!

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    1. Maybe GAK is a good word....it can mean whatever you want it to!

      I stopped coming up with resolutions several years ago when I realized they are no different from what should be part of everyday living anyway.

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  9. Acceptance is my word for 2015. 2014: Harmony. 2013: Health. 2013's "health" didn't pan out......hence my need this year for "Acceptance" :) I like the sound and feel of the word.....no need to struggle, just be in the moment grateful for what is in my life and circumstances.......
    Did your stay at Sun City intrigue you at all as a possible move? Seems as if they offer a lot of activities that you might be interested in and be able to offer a real contribution to in a community setting. Helen

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    1. Sun City Festival has a lot going for it but is in the wrong direction from the rest of our family. Our stay there did prompt us to think about the possibility of a move.

      Acceptance is a word I wish were more common among all the people who spend too much time fighting and defending their particular viewpoints and positions. If we were all more accepting this would be a much nicer world.

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  10. If you're looking for a low-key, low-maintenance tool to help you with moving physically, might I suggest a Fitbit? They have both armband and watch style designs, and can be as in depth or simple in terms of what it tracks and to what degree as you would like. I picked one up midway through last year, and it helped me drop a few pounds.

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    1. One of my daughters has one and swears by it (and occasionally at it). I will look into it. Good idea, Darren.

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  11. Interesting exercise. I've never done it. I reflected for a few minutes, and I've chosen "identify." Before I can "move," "savor," "change," or "focus," I think I need to identify what on earth (or in the universe) I'm truly interested in, truly care about, or would truly like to savor, change or focus on. Several things I pre-identified as what I'd really like to do when retired are turning to poof! A simple example is that I thought I'd enjoy trying recipes more, or making healthy bread. The last few months I want in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible! A bagel and cream cheese is fine! (I have contemplated learning to make real bagels though, as all I can get where I live is frozen Lender bagels!) I also thought I'd read more "classics" (like Dr. Zhivago), but I still keep on searching out new British or international mysteries to read. (I recently started "The Shetland Island Series" by Ann Cleeves, which is light reading, but with a very unusual setting.)

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    1. You cite a very common behavior: lofty goals become more down to earth when we realize we prefer spending our time differently. I have started a few on-line courses that were beyond my abilities. After a few weeks of struggling along I realized I didn't enjoy the material so I stopped.

      BTW, I like bagels and cream cheese in the morning, too.

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    2. Great choice in books. I'll recommend Louise Penney who writes similar mysteries set in rural Quebec.

      I've made bagels...it's messy. Zabars delivers, which is great, because in my new region, bagels resemble hamburger buns. They just don't understand that it's all about the chew:)

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    3. Anonymous--Yes, most people in my area don't appreciate that the bagels in the store are basically just bread in a bagel shape! I was elated when one the local grocery store started carrying frozen Lender's, but they only get the plain ones.

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    4. "one of the local grocery stores"--I should have had my coffee before replying

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  12. Love all the ways you described your word. It's perfect. I don't really have a word this year, but if I did, it would be "remember."

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    1. Galen Pearl without a word? That would be "unthinkable!" Actually, the way your family members are getting married how about wedding?

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    2. Good suggestion--ha! I tried last year to go word free. It was a good step for me at the time because I was drawing away from words in general, writing and such. So in the spirit of Bruce Lee, who described his martial arts approach as having "no way as way," I decided to have no word as word. This year, I thought about it New Year's Eve, and almost went with remember or surrender, but decided to just stay open to both words. I'm definitely surrendering to my daughter's obsession with wedding plans. Good grief!

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  13. Bob, your little brother here. That's a great post, and in fact the "move" theme will also fit me very well for 2015. The "move physically" aspect really resonates as I near the end of my year-long rectal cancer treatment. My energy level is now extremely low due to the chemo effects, and I know that I will need to concentrate a lot on building myself up physically to not only be where I was before, but well past that point. I have committed myself to be in much better shape and to maintain my weight at or near my ideal level. The "move physically" aspect obviously fits in with our plan to move to Tennessee in the May timeframe once our new home is built, after 24 years in the same Georgia home. The "move spiritually" aspect reflects the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle nudging from God I have experienced during this past year to focus on serving and loving others more rather than being self-focused. Sometimes people know on their own when to hit the "reset button" in their lives, and other times God does it for them! For the "move mentally" and "move the walls" areas, those are great suggestions but I need to ponder them a bit more to define some specific goals. The older we get, it seems the harder these areas become. Anyway, I know that you are not suggesting that everyone use the "move" theme for themselves, but it does fit in well with my case so thanks for the great idea! I'll watch for other themes from other postings.

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    1. Hey, little brother! Betty and I read your family newsletter a few days ago (it took a week to get across country!) and the word "move" does fit you very nicely, too.

      Your battle to come back from a nasty cancer will take all the energy you can muster. But, God is ultimately in control and will never give you more than you can handle. Take care, Pete.

      Picking the same word must be a brother thing. We'll wait to hear from Dave!

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  14. I like the exercise. My word is consistency. I do things for a while... Diet, exercise...then drop them, then start again.

    Have you considered disaster relief w/the red Cross? I did it til I realized I was allergic to smoke. It was so rewarding to give direct service to someone in need and in fire response, you aren't tied to a schedule.

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    1. Something like the Red Cross is in my future.

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    2. This post reminded me that some years back I had once done some online free Red Cross courses in "disaster training." So, I decided to check on what current courses might be available. I found out that this Sunday afternoon that a face 2 face course is being offered nearby in "Adult & Pediatric First Aid and CPR." The course is only 3 hours, but there is an online component that also has to be finished before attending class. The cost is 110.00, or you can stay for two hours for a lower fee and not do the pediatric component. CPR certification alone is a good thing to have. Often times, positions will require it, such as camp counselor, house parent, or even volunteer work. I signed up! The certification is good for two years!

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    3. I took a Red Cross CPR class 10 years ago and know my skills are in desperate need of refreshment. Good reminder, B.E.

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  15. I embrace "authentic" again this year!

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    1. Too few folks are authentic in what they say and do. I think authentic can also mean truthful, and that is a trait that is too often in short supply. Good word, Eileen.

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  16. I love this idea. I'm so glad one of your readers suggested it. I'm going to choose the word encourage this year. So many friends, family members and total strangers could benefit from an unsolicited kind comment. So this year I'm going to focus on being an encourager. My small contribution to a better world. :)

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    1. Encouraging and affirming: two powerful words that have powerful effects.

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  17. My one word is 'Nike' as in the sneakers. Their motto is 'just do it' and that's what the word Nike means to me. Enough talking, thinking, savoring or whatever. Words literally mean nothing. Actions, to me, speak louder than words. In retirement, our dreams should be over. We should be living our dreams by now.
    Just do it! 'Nuff said.

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    1. I agree with one caution: I don't think action just for the sake of action is satisfying long term. But, just talking about doing something or studying forever isn't the proper course either. You are right- doing must follow choosing.

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  18. This is off topic.. but I wonder if you and Betty have any resources for planning a road trip to New Mexico? We don't belong to AAA.. any tips/websites you use when planning your RV adventures? ??

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    1. I use Trip Advisor as a source for things to do in various towns and cities, as well as reviews of hotels, RV parks, and places to stay. The reviews are submitted by people who have stayed there or have visited the museums, parks, or tourist attractions.

      I also just type in something like "best things to do in...." and always find web sites with ideas of what is worth seeing.

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    2. We spent four weeks in New Mexico this past spring, covering all four corners, pretty much. Roads were great throughout. Lots of wind in the spring, can't speak for the summer. Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos were our favorite areas, though Carlsbad Caverns National Park was an absolute highlight, in spite of the rather lackluster town, Carlsbad, you pretty much have to stay over in.

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  19. I've come upon my word - breathe. The first definition in my old Webster dictionary is: to pause and rest before continuing. Ahh. And the third: live. Ahh. When I think about breath moving in and out, I think of my goal to let life's events flow and see where it all ends without wasting emotional energy; to react less and let things be and, again, see where it all ends without thinking that I can influence the outcome. It's day 4 of the new year and so far, so good. Mind you, there's been a lot of pausing and resting with good books in front of the fire!

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    1. I like your approach, Mona. Rushing into plans or changes without the proper reflection can be frustrating and counter-productive.

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  20. My daughter inspired me to go with a theme, something she's done for a few years now. My 2015 theme is 'Dream Big' meaning set my aspirations high and don't let fear or apathy hold me back. I'm tracking certain quality of life items, like exercise, spiritual exercises, and healthy eating, on a daily basis, and my Dream Big items on a monthly basis. So far, I'm experiencing increased levels of both excitement and well-being on a daily basis, so so far so good!

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    1. I'll expect a detailed review in Palm Springs.

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