Thursday, December 01, 2011

Reverb11: One Word

One Word. Encapsulate the year 2011 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word.
Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2012 for you?

When this question was asked last year, the word I chose that I felt represented 2010 for me was change. A lot had altered in my life and I was trying to come to terms with it. I had to give up my job in January due to ill health and had found that, contrary to my expectations, it was taking a lot longer to recover than I thought. My 'stress' turned out to be ME/CFS and I was finally diagnosed in the summer of 2010. I spent 2010 feeling ill a lot of the time, and mostly housebound.

In the autumn of 2010 I had taken the online courses Mondo Beyondo and Dream Lab, discovered an interest both in writing and taking photographs and realised I had options. Having spent years as a single parent on a low income, and home educating my son from the age of 11 too, what I wanted to do with my life had never really occurred to me, I just got on with what had to be done. For the first time I started to think about what I wanted to do with my life. So for 2011 I chose the word opportunity. It seemed to me, that with the luxury of not having to go to work (well, not being able to) the world was my oyster. My brain went leaping around as always, this grasshopper mind I have, I can do this, I can be that, I can change everything....I didn't really factor my health into the equation, as usual. With a wedding in April to plan, the first part of the year was taken up with that, then the honeymoon, then the inevitable health setback that followed. By the time I felt better, several weeks had passed. This had been my pattern up to this point. Overdoing things, then relapse. I realised it had to stop. Since then, I have tried to slow down, to focus on the here and now, and eliminate stress and worry (easier said than done). 

In retrospect, the word I would choose for 2011 is patience, which is the thing I most needed to learn.  I have learned that this illness will take its course, and trying to ignore it results in me feeling ill and miserable and it takes weeks to build myself back up. I have to slow down, I have to listen to my mind and body and I have to rest. A lot, and far too much than I generally want to. Yes, it is frustrating, but it is the only way I am going to recover. And I am going to recover. As 2011 comes to an end, I have found myself in a place of peace, most of the time anyway, and so this is the word I am choosing for 2012.

Peace. Next year I want more peace in my life. I want to feel comfortable with who I am and where I am. I want to continue to build this new married family life, and continue making our little house into the home it wants to be. I will take the writing course I am scared of, and I will stop procrastinating and buy that grown-up girl's camera. I will rest, particularly that grasshopper mind. Peace in all things. Sounds good to me.


  1. Holy moly! You've had quite the year! I <3 your word for 2012!

  2. This is the first Reverb11 post I've read, very touching and makes me excited to reflect on my own.

  3. The ol' ME is a biatch it's true. But eventually you do find your balance with it and then you get to do pretty much anything (even if sometimes it's in small doses). Good luck with the peace :) xxx

  4. i love this debbie. got me thinking about my own words. i love that you use the term grasshopper mind, i've always said monkey mind but i think grasshopper is a much better choice.

    congratulations on the progress both mental and physical this year!

  5. I can relate to a lot of what you've expressed. It's hard to slow down when your mind is driving you forward! Illness has a way of putting everything into perspective though. Wishing you good health and the peace you desire in 2012!

  6. I can relate to much of what you write above, including low energy due to undiagnosed health issues making me tired as well as grasshopper mind!

    Sounds like you have made tremendous progress. You certainly have a fabulous attitude. I've subscribed to your feed (Now doesn't that sound odd out of context!) and will check back again and say hi. :)



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