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Word Games & Such

Do you have a favorite word game?

One of the favorites at my house is Scrabble. I’m not particularly good at playing it, but I do enjoy a good match-up now and then. Son number two has been beating me lately. Something’s shifted when you don’t win games you play with your kids anymore…

(Oh well. When you think about it, maybe that’s another goal of parenthood…)

Words are powerful. Or rather how we use words is powerful. Words are just words.

For example, I wonder how many times parents and teachers have used the phrase, “Use your words,” when trying to get children to appropriately express frustration or anger. And then of course, there is the old cliché “the pen is mightier than the sword,” or something like that.

As one who likes to write, obviously words are very important to me, even more so since my cancer diagnosis for some reason. Maybe that’s why when I read Feisty Blue Gecko’s recent blog post “Shaping 2012 With Three Little Words,” I immediately started thinking about what my own three words might be. I even like the title of her post; can we really “shape with words?” I happen to believe we can…but that’s another post.

Other bloggers were drawn to this exercise as well. Jackie, from Dispatch From Second Base, shared her three words this week as did Dr. Attai. There was even a twitter chat on this topic this past week, which unfortunately I missed.

Of course like always, I had to think and rethink and then think a little bit more about my words. I do have this tendency to over-analyze…

I am intrigued by this idea of picking just three words to “live by” for the New Year. I like it better than making resolutions for some reason, so thank you Feisty Blue Gecko for coming up with this great word exercise. Do I like it better because it’s vaguer and there is nothing specific to live up to?

Maybe. Sometimes vagueness is good, or more freeing anyway.

After over-analyzing careful consideration my three words to live by this year are:  balance, inspire and enjoy; pretty simple ones, right? If you were waiting for more profound words, sorry to disappoint.

I choose balance because I struggle with finding balance each and every day in just about every aspect of my life. And after a serious illness diagnosis, learning to live life “in balance” does take some extra doing, but actually I suspect everyone is struggling with this on some level. This year I want to strive for more balance in all things, even though true balance is probably not even possible to achieve in “real life.”

I somewhat reluctantly choose inspire, hoping it doesn’t give the wrong impression. I think all writers who write words for others to read do so in order to inspire on some level. Words written for others are written to help, inform, empathize, motivate, challenge or just entertain; at least that’s why I write. I want to be a better writer in the New Year. I do want to be a writer that inspires…

The third word I choose is enjoy. I want to enjoy the new year and not worry so much about the “what ifs.” I want to worry less and just allow life to unfold. Worrying doesn’t stop the bad things from happening anyway. Specifically, I want to enjoy a certain upcoming wedding. I want to enjoy observing my sons continue to grow as amazing young men. I want to enjoy the process of writing more and stress less about it at the same time, again, there’s that balance thing. I want to enjoy my time with hubby and my pets. I want to enjoy my new and old friendships. And I certainly hope to enjoy good health. (Can you still say that post-cancer?)

I want to enjoy just being

Besides, I believe when you enjoy your own life, you are more easily able to bring joy into the lives of others as well. So hopefully I can do both.

I know the New Year will bring challenges too. What year doesn’t?

No matter what, I’m going to try to remember my three simple words of choice this year; balance, inspire and enjoy. I’m going to try to remember their significance as individual “stand-alone words.” The trickier part, as in the game of Scrabble, will be connecting them together into some kind of meaningful actions or results.

I’m not sure how this will go or if I’ll want to change my three words in a day or two, week or two, down the road, but… we’ll see…

Stay tuned!

What would your word(s) be?

Do you believe words can “shape” behaviors? Or anything?

What’s your favorite word game?

32 thoughts on “Word Games & Such

  1. These sound absolutely right for you Nancy. Our words, our values, are Shine, Inspire and Do – we don’t pick them every year but use them to ‘shape up’ everything we do. Our new ideas what work we take on, who we won’t work with. Words like these and your own can be a really good guide when your instincts get worried about something you may be about to do.

    1. Ronnie, Your word choices sound fitting. I guess we both chose inspire. It’s a good word don’t you think? Words can surely guide us in many ways, so why not in this way too? It’ll be interesting to see how it goes. Thanks so much for commenting.

    1. Being Sarah, Well thank you! I’ll try to do just that. Just being…no wonder you chose “Being Sarah” for your book title! It’s perfect in a lot of ways. Thanks for commenting. Thanks for “being Sarah.” Thanks for being you!

    1. Brenda, Yes, I was sorry to miss it, but I’m trying to do that “balancing thing.” Spending time with family takes priority right now. Sounds like it was a good one. Thanks for commenting and sharing your three words. Here’s to a better year for you.

  2. Kind. Serenity. Optimistic. Those are mine. I like the 3 word approach versus traditional “resolutions”. These are key words that I can think of when I feel a sarcastic retort forming (“Did they get it all?”)…when I sense the stress level rising (and the corresponding hot flash)….and when I feel uneasy/angry about the other shoe falling (at some point). Thanks for sharing yours, Nancy! I’m a pretty good speller but a lousy Scrabble player:)

    1. Mary, I like this approach better too for some reason. I love your “serenity” word choice. I feel more calm just saying that word. Serenity is really the end goal isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your three words, Mary. And best wishes for the New Year.

    1. Kathi, Well, let me know if and when you finish your search. I’m interested in what your choices might be. Thanks for commenting. Good luck with all the changes.

  3. One of my words would definitely be Relax as I am constantly go-go-go and I do not seem to know how to relax and focus. I am working on that – just doing nothing and accepting that is OK.

    Balance is a good one for me as well because my life is way off balance! 🙂

    I’m not sure what the third one should be.

    1. Lindsay, As you said, a person definitely needs to not feel guilty for relaxing. Always being busy or on the go is not necessarily a good thing, so yes, give yourself permission to relax and rest. I guess that’s why I chose balance. I think everyone needs to work on finding balance. If you don’t have balance, things can really get out of sync. Let me know if you come up with your third word! Thanks for commenting.

  4. Great post–Blue Gecko too!! Guess I’ll have to figure out this Twitter thing sometime. My words are things I’m sincerely wishing for this year for me and my family after we’ve had some rough times–stability, security and health. I know the first two are possibly too similar, but I like it because that’s what I really, really want for a long while here.

    1. Lopsided Blogger, I’m sorry about the rough times you and your family have faced. I like your choices. I hope you get to have these three things. I hope we all do. Thanks for taking time to share your words. And yes, I’d encourage you to start twittering. Are you on facebook?

  5. What a great post and a terrific exercise! Hmmmm…I love your choice of balance. I think I would choose that one, too. I even have a necklace with a symbol representing balance (have it on right now!)reminding me to honor all parts of my life. Second word is enlighten – myself and others through my work, my writing, my life.And the third word would be fun – to remind myself to embrace the joy and playfulness in life.

    1. Annette, Thanks so much for the compliment and for sharing your words. Sounds like you have an awesome necklace to help you remember about the balance thing! Does it help?

    2. Hi Nancy, I am not sure that the necklace has any magical powers 😉 although it might! But it does remind me – when I see it, or touch it around my neck – about the idea of finding balance in life, an important concept to me. I bought it for myself after finishing cancer treatments. Cancer had forced me to slow down, but I learned a lot by not “doing” as much as I usually had. And I wanted to remember that life for me is best when there is a balance between doing and being.

      1. Annette, Thanks for stopping by again. I love the idea of the “balance necklace.” It’s such a concrete reminder isn’t it? I agree with you completely that life is best when there is balance between doing and just being. Balance is something worth striving for that’s for sure. Thanks for adding to this discussion on words.

  6. Enjoy is one of mine too! Along with celebrate and heal.
    Heal is pretty obvious, but I feel like I’ve lost my desire to celebrate in some ways over the last year and I need to get that back. And I think that goes hand and hand with enjoy. Life is hard. And some periods are hell to go through, but I need to remember to have a bit of enjoyment in there too!

    1. Brandie, Thanks for sharing your very wise words. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes it’s hard to find much to celebrate about isn’t it? So when we do, I guess we better be sure to really enjoy the moment(s).

  7. Nancy,
    You INSPIRE me and I’m sure you inspire so many! Enjoy the moment….. and then, balance…. I LOVE THEM. I also reserved the right to change mine because RIGID is the “anti-word” … mine are oxymoronic….

    Calm
    Centered
    Rebellious

    Can I actually be a calm rebel???

    Great post!

    1. Ann Marie, Yes! Absolutely you can be a calm rebel! I happen to think that’s the best kind of rebel to be. Thanks for your kind words of support.

  8. I LOVE your words!! Inspire, Balance, and Enjoy. Love it. Mine are courage, perseverence, and peace.

    My favorite game, as luck would have it, is Scrabble. I’ve been known to make up words, and when I’m challenged, they are often in the dictionary!! I also tell my daughter to use her words when she has an emotion she’s not expressing with them. It does work.

    Thanks for an inspiring post, Nancy. You inspire so many people, including ME!!

    1. Beth, I’m glad you liked my word choices! Yours are pretty good ones too! I think every parent or teacher uses the phrase “use your words,” because it really does work doesn’t it? Thanks for saying I inspire you. That’s such a lovely comment to hear. Practice up on your Scrabble game because it won’t be that long til your daughter is beating you! Thanks for your comments, Beth.

  9. Nancy,
    Thank you so much for this post and the connection to Blue Gecko’s blog. You definitely do inspire me. You expand my world and make me look at things from another perspective.

    One of my words for the year is transform. I have joined a Bead Journaling group and will be making a different beaded necklace every month to reflect on the experiences of last year. I have a different blog for my creative journey, http://acreativeessence.blogspot.com/ January’s necklace is posted. Your blog certainly expanded my thinking about the “pink community” other than my rather naive reaction of “I hate pink.”

    1. Kay, Thanks so much for your very kind words. I think your word “transform” is excellent. If cancer does anything it transforms. Someone asked me once what one word sums up cancer and that’s the one I picked. I have a post on it for some time down the road. Good for you for choosing such a creative outlet. Bead journaling, that sounds amazing. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your complimentary comment! I really appreciate it.

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