One of Abigail's most often-used words is "again!" When I throw her up in the air and she comes down laughing, the first thing that she says is "Again!" When we go down the slide at the playground, the second her feet touch the ground - "Again!" When the Pooh Bear movie reaches the end... "Again!" :)
One of the blogging fads that began just before New Year's was to pick one word to live by in the coming year. I'm not bashing the concept - I did this two or three years ago on my own, when my one word was "balance." My life had spun crazy out of balance: I was working overnights almost full time, carrying an eighteen credit courseload, and involved in church ministries, extracurriculars, etc. I never saw my family, never came home for dinner, was carrying the equivalent of $100,000 in sleep debt, and was just generally miserable. Having that one-word check helped me make major and minor changes that radically changed my life. When I registered for classes, I looked at the school/work schedule I had created and asked, "Is this balanced? Do I have enough time to sleep, to shower, to rest? Will I make it home for dinner at least more often than not?" When I thought about taking on a new ministry, I thought, "Will this upset my balance of rest and work? Will I have the time to prepare for it?" It was a really long year of learning to say "No" and learning I wasn't superman, but I look back at that year and I think, "If I hadn't gotten myself together that year, I would have been stuck in the rat race forever."
It didn't solve all my life's problems, but it sure did help! I got enough sleep, I had enough time to do homework, and I didn't dread going to work anymore since I was well-rested.
I didn't pick a word to live by this year, but if I had to now, I think I'd choose "Again." This has been the year of trying, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing, and getting up and trying again.
This is such a truly freeing concept! There's always such pressure to get it right the first time - "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression." "Anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time." - but the truth is, few things in life are a do or die situation. When I met my best friend for the first time, we walked away hating each other. Now, more than ten years later, our friendship is one of the things that keep me going during hard times. I applied three different times for my previous job, and never got called back (I found out later the hiring manager didn't like my handwriting, lol). When they had open interviews I tried again and got the job.
These days, I'm living in the power of "again." When I think I've got a bad habit licked, and then it rears its ugly head and I "blow it," I move on to "again." When I think I've worked through an issue and then it turns out that issue is still affecting me, I start working through it again. When I set goals and I fail - sometimes miserably - "again!"
I'm pretty excited about my year of "again." I am still reaping the benefits of my year of "balance." I know that this year of "again" will have the same sort of impact. :)