One Word – Believe

I have a Christmas t-shirt I got several years ago that has a vintage picture of Santa on it and it says, “I Believe”.

I love this shirt and I always wish I could wear it long after the Christmas decorations are put away, the kids go back to school and we all resume our “normal” routine.

When I was a child, in addition to celebrating the birth of our saviour; we embraced the magic of Christmas. We retreated back to the basics during that time of the year – taking joy in giving to those that we loved (and yes – getting things from those that loved us, too!) Not only gifts, but time spent together.

One of my fondest memories was one Christmas Eve when heavy snowfall stranded us at a family member’s home we had gathered at for dinner. We always spent the night at my grandparent’s house with my extended family on Christmas Eve; so the thought of not being there when Santa arrived was devastating to two young kids.

So my aunt got out an old-fashioned sled from the basement and pulled my sister and me down the middle of the abandoned roads as the snow fell to the ground and the sun slowly set. For about 30 minute we walked in almost silence and took in the beauty of our surroundings while we savered the excitement of what was to come the next morning. I was younger than six years old for sure and even I knew the moment was magic.

I will never forget that evening. It was especially meaningful this past Christmas as we celebrated the holidays for the first time without my aunt here on earth with us.

Today is my birthday.

As I get older, I have had trouble sleeping. (This morning I awoke at 4:00 a.m. and tossed and turned until I finally gave in and got up.) I’m sure the worries of balancing work and home, raising kids and paying the bills are the culprit. And recent tragedies and struggles our nation has experienced that weigh heavy on my heart; especially those that negatively affect my children.

And self-doubt.

Am I a good parent? Am a good wife? A good writer, girl scout leader, PTO board member? Christian?

Will the work I complete today help me land that next freelance job that will further my career or at least help us pay the bills tomorrow?

Am I strong enough to not only lose more weight, but also maintain a healthy lifestyle.

A couple years ago I started to select a word for the year. A word to focus on…a mantra of sorts. Something significant to my life at the time that would be a reminder to stay on course.

This year I considered several. With my goal to lose weight I started last July; it seemed logical to pick something along those lines. Health. Spirit. Movement.

But I also want Balance. And Strength.

And I want to be Brave. And focus on Family.

I’ve gone back and forth on several words over the past month and the beginning of the year came and went.

But this morning it hit me….Believe.

Believe in myself. My kids. My husband.

Believe in magic and possibilities, not just at Christmas but throughout the entire year.

Believe in the best in people…all of us.

See our good intentions, not just end results.

Celebrate small successes, not just major achievements.

See the potential we have to accomplish something great, but embrace the moments that we don’t do anything particularly spectacular as well.


Do you select a word each year to focus on? What is your word for 2013?