My Word of the Year

It’s actually two words No Excuses.

Something we were withholding made us weak, until we found it was ourselves.

– Robert Frost

Today marks the sixth year that I quit smoking cigarettes. Six years! A New Year’s Resolution gone right. I mean, nobody actual succeeds at those…do they???

But I did. Cold Turkey. I smoked my last one around noon January 1st, 2006. I never picked them up again. Not another puff.

I’m not saying it was easy to just walk way from a long-term habit. It wasn’t. I’ve been addicted to a lot of things in my life and this one, by far, was the hardest to kick. I grew up with smokers. I went to France as a teenager surrounded by young kids smoking. I picked it up pretty easily.

It was in my blood, and in my brain. And it became a habit I had to break for many reasons, but mainly health, and for my daughter.

It was tough.

But I did not give myself an excuse to start back again. No reason was good enough to start smoking, because I wouldn’t let it be, and it wasn’t too long before I hardly thought of it. After a few months smoke-free, I became allergic to smoke.

Now, if I’m around it, it gives me a headache and it makes me feel nauseous.

Thing is, I was probably allergic to it all along. No wonder I felt so much better after I quit.

That year, I went on an exercise kick that lasted many years. I quit smoking, I start drinking a ton of water, and I added hard-core exercise. Sometimes, I exercised three times a day.

The extra weight I carried melted away.

December 2005 Christmas Party. I was a very unhealthy me.

Seven months later in 2006…..

The end of my weight-loss journey.

I had a No Excuses mind-set. I would not let anything stand in my way.

Now…I am back to photo number one. I need the mind-set I had in 2006 – one that quit smoking, quit over-eating, and exercised daily. A No Excuses me.

The last few years there have been excuses…….

    I’m too tired. I’m too stressed. I’m too busy. I’m too injured…..from a car accident, a fall, or a nasty break-up.

Excuses is what I have eaten for dinner and taken to bed. They are my BFF.

And I use them, not just for healthy things, but for everything in my life….my photography…..my reading….my side business….my friends.

Excuses. The why I can’t complete or succeed at ________ (fill in the blank).

So this year, I will put my excuses in 2011, and they can stay there.

How about you? Do you have a word or a resolution for 2012?

Do Not Disturb – The Future

A future logophile in her natural state.

Her special secret place of comfort and word enchantment.

Meet my oldest step-daughter tucked away inside – not just a Dora tent – but a land of imagination flowing with nouns, conjunctions, and adjectives.

Maybe she doesn’t know all those technical terms…..well……she’s only six……..she’s only in first grade (No doubt she knows most of them). A master in the making. A budding connoisseur of language.

She did not select a picture book from her Dad’s library. She picked a chapter book. Why? Well, isn’t it obvious? This is mini logophile – better known as a lover of words.

Why else would she maneuver a Dora tent into the hallway taking in great gulps of nouns while lounging with her head on a fuzzy pink pillow? Wielding a flashlight to not miss a single letter. No other reason I tell you. That little brain is bigger than her head. Which explains the four stitches she currently displays in the back. Actually, that was from falling off a playground slide, but truly consider the handicap of a future logophile. An extraordinary head – unbalanced and full of words

She is all patched up and okay. She is still reading chapter books with a vengeance. Tough and smart (grace will come) – what a combination.

I can’t wait to see what this kid will do.

And? I really hope I’ll still be able to talk with her (ha!).

Using the Word of the Day

I get the word of the day on my phone. I like to see new words, and normally, I don’t have time to look right then. I might go back and have a look, if I am really curious. So, when I saw this word of the day back in January?

I’ll admit………..I said, “What?!”

Katzenjammer?

Sounds like a pretty good concert in Germany. Am I the only one that says it with an Arnold accent?

Anyway, I like getting the word of the day. It makes me feel smart. It makes me feel accomplished. It makes me feel like I could possibly learn something, even if don’t. Because that would mean reading the definitions and/or using it in a sentence (maybe in that same month?). Ahem.

But katzenjammer intrigued me. I saved it and had to look it up tonight. What did it mean? And who in the world (besides Germany) would use it in a their normal language – not that there is anything wrong with using katzenjammer in every day language in America.

What secret does katzenjammer hold? What mysteries of the language will it reveal? Admit it, you like saying that. Does it make you giggle too?

If it’s not a concert in Germany, then could it possibly be a yacht sailing around the world?

I can smell the coconut oil, and sea breeze. Feel the warm sun as it sinks on the horizon of blue [pan close-up of umbrella drink].

You might be surprised to know the definition.

It is not a German concert.

Nor, a yacht sailing the tropics.

Yeah.

Does that change the word for you too? It’s no longer exotic, or foreign. It’s Ralph talking on the big white phone.

Katzenjammer, I will never drink again.

Katzenjammer, I need a big greasy burger.

Katzenjammer, pass the ice pack and two Tylenol, wake me when I can stand on two feet.

I had some katzenjammer times myself. Sooooo glad those days are over.

Thank-you word of the day, I remember why I love a glass of wine. ONE glass of wine. I wouldn’t want to have any katzenjammer hair of the dog.

I feel much better now, don’t you?