one little word

Inspired years ago by Ali Edwards (one of the blogs I follow), I began to annually choose one word to embrace for each new year.

The words have been varied:


I have been mulling over and over the things that I want to learn in 2011…the measures of growth that I want to see personally and in the communities around me. Over and over I have tumbled different words in my mind. All the while asking myself, “Where am I right now?” “What encompasses my strengths, weaknesses as well as those of my family and friends?”

What word says where I am and what I want to learn to be?

In looking at some of my blog readers I see youth and I see…experience. I see some that will understand this word and others that will find it vain if looked at only momentarily.

Thing is, there is this freaky moment in time that every female crosses – which believe me, it seems to be overnight – that makes us stop and think, “What the hell happened to my arms?!” “Where did this cellulite come from?!” “I swear last night I went to bed with one neck and this morning woke up with jowls and something resembling a rooster’s neck.”

tired eyes
cavernous pores
wrinkled lips
saggy eyelids

Again, you either get this or you don’t quite understand it yet.

In so many ways I feel as if I’ve aged 100 years in the past 12 months. Some of this I blame on Scott, of course. He accepts and loves me too freely for who I am: inner person, blah blah blah.

Some of this I blame on medications.
Some of this I blame on heredity.
I blame it on work pressures.
…on life stresses.

All of this, however, I blame on anything but my lack of eating right or exercising properly. I mean, SURELY that can’t be it, right?!

Thing is, in some cases, it is the fact that I’m 45 years old; and I must embrace a new reality. I have to stop looking in the mirror and expecting to see the 20-something’er that I feel like in my head. I must start understanding that I need to be the best damn 45-year-old that Greta can be. I need to stop telling myself “But look at Jane Fonda…” “But look at Kathleen Smith…” “But, but, but…..”

Reading thus far in this blog post, it sounds like my One Little Word is about external qualities only. It truly isn’t. But the external changes happening in my mirror are certainly a part of the equation. And run parallel to the deeper meaning I hope to acquire from my 2011 word.

Truth is, I need to see beyond the lines.
Beyond the wrinkles.
Beyond the imperfections.

Beyond the lines that society tells me must be established.
Beyond the wrinkles of mistakes and consequences.
Beyond the imperfections that I have accumulated like bad habits in myself; and see so readily in those around me.

I need to look beyond these barriers and see the beauty of things around me.

The beauty of a friend who checks in on me when I’m not feeling well.
The beauty of a cup of chai tea brought to me each morning in bed while I’m trying to wake up.
The beauty of a father moving my car to cover in the middle of a hail storm.
The beauty of a husband’s infectious smile.
The beauty of seasons and smells and the authenticity of real community.


This year, I intend on seeing Beauty in unusual places. SEEING it. Watching for it. Pausing on it. Collecting it in picture or in writing or simply, in thought. Then placing it in my 2011 Memory under the One Little Word tab: ‘Beauty’.

How about the Beauty of ‘coincidence’? I have spent months thinking about my One Little Word for 2011. Recently, I have been honing in on the word Beauty. It kept coming back to me as a word of challenge and a word of balance that I needed to throw my arms around and walk with for 12 months. Then this morning, January 1, I received an email from a friend talking about a picture I took of a Starbuck’s cup and commented: I think when one is truly happy (which I believe you are because it SHOWS) that it allows the little things in life to suddenly appear like they never have.

Coincidence? Nah.

What word would best describe your goals and hopes for the new year? Can you name it? Remember it? Then watch for it for the next 12 months. I can tell you; it’s a great discipline to begin. You’ll be surprised how many times you run across it in the new year.

And let me also mention: the Beauty of a blog reader who takes the time to stop by and read my rantings. Or shares with me their experience with the same subject…ah, unmatched beauty. It makes my heart sing. Thank you.


One thought on “one little word

  1. G-
    You are something else. I am working at the JAIL today and Monica just texted me to read your blog..
    Let me just tell you one thing. I wake up and think those same things about my body too (and it is
    But..I do know one thing…you gotta look way past all of that and know that everyone else is feeling that about their mirror too!! And by the way…You look mahvelous, dahling!!

    I wish that I could express myself the way Greta does, but I can’t. So I just go with what I got.
    You truly are an inspiration to us all. Thank you so much
    for the thought provoking words.

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