From Tracie: Thoughts On A Year Of Act(ion)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Thoughts On A Year Of Act(ion)

When I picked act as my one word focus, I was thinking about action. I wanted everything about the word, and my year, to be a verb.

ACT as in ACTION. That was going to be my 2013. 

This is the post where I am supposed to look back over the year, and tell you how my one word changed me, or challenged me, or moved me to a new place. But I am not in a new place - physically, spiritually, or any other way.

ACT as in action

I did have one big revelation about Act(ion), and I blogged about it in September. But a week later I was back to life as usual. No action. No using my faith. I was exactly what I warned against in that post: a tree that does not grow, a withering branch, a vine with no grapes, a stagnant life.

I was still struggling to understand how to make action a reality in my life after writing that blog post, and I never did find the answer.

I think my year of ACT was marked by acting instead of action:
Acting okay, when everything was falling apart.
Acting sane, when I felt anything but.
Acting cool, when inside I wanted to run and hide.
Acting happy, when inside I was sitting at the bottom of the dark chasm that starts at unhappy, and goes down from there.

All of that acting, and I am not even that great of an actress.

I have been dreading writing this post for weeks. I am proud. I do not like to admit failure. It was one word, and even that was too much for me. I knew my words would be a dark mark in the midst of excited, hopeful updates on people's one words.

My mind is yelling at me as I type this, "Even if you are sad, you can find the positive. Don't be a drag. Be honest, but not too honest. Pull it together. Look for the silver lining, and write that. Seriously do not use the words 'gave up' or you will out yourself as being such a loser."

But I do not want to be less than what I am. Although 'loser' might be harsh, 'liar' is much worse. At least I can hold on to my honesty, so here it is...

I failed. I gave up.

It was too hard. I felt powerless over my life. I was overwhelmed, and so very tired. Not emotionally strong enough to focus on even one word.

There were good days in 2013. All years have good days and bad days. But I struggled. I have a hard time looking back at the last year (the last several years) without seeing the waves of bad looming above me ready to crash. The fear is paralyzing, and I never could figure out how to act(ion) my way out from under it.

I don't think I will be picking a word for 2014. There are still a few days left in 2013; I might be hit with inspiration and change my mind, but as I sit here today, I think I am done with even the smallest of resolutions.

Sometimes there is no pretty bow to tie up a box of honesty. This is one of those times. I do not even really want to hit publish on this post, but to end the year without a word about act(ion) seems unfinished, and ultimately cowardly. So here I am. Struggling. Honest. The box of my life is smooshed and beat up. It has no bow or ribbon to distract you from the busted corners and muddy sides. It is what it is.


  1. Ahhhh ... spirit word. Mine was PURPOSEFUL and let me tell you, my year was far more adrift, afloat, and aimless...

    {{{HUGS}}} Sometimes just getting through it is a win!

  2. I have to be honest, this post was hard to read. You were so honest with yourself and so tough on yourself too. Then I thought to myself, what even was my word for this year? I couldn't remember. I had to go look. Looking into 2014 just two days away I had no plans to pick a word for 2014 and I had no plan to look back and reflect on where I had come with the word I had chosen (mine was role model) but you have inspired to me to. I realized by reading your post that it often feels like we fail when we don't meet a very specific goal but often the path we thought we would be on for a year is not where the year takes us. Maybe its not failure its just different? You may feel that you failed to act but your words often (just like today) inspire me!

  3. I didn't do a word for this year, but I had a year exactly how you described (seriously, it's giving me chills) in 2011. Sometimes I still feel that way for weeks or even months.
    You're on the other side of it now. I hope 2014 contains many blessings for you.

  4. What an awesome post. I love your honesty. I love your vulnerability. What courage you showed in the action you took to write the post.

  5. I am a woman of action, well in my dreams I am in real life not so

  6. Thanks for your honesty! Sometimes years are just those kinds of years. Dark, hard, drugging years. You made it, you're here, you're still smiling (I hope!!!) maybe just clinging to that is enough, for now. Hugs my friend!!!

  7. I had a year like this as well. My word was Hope, and I blew it. Half the time I forgot I had a word. When I did remember I had a word I was all, "Yeah I should probably go pray about that whole Hope thing and see where I'm supposed to be with that." But it happened maybe a handful of times. My anxiety has been out of control when my MS symptoms have dashed my hope. It sucks, and I want more hope (read: positivity, fun, living, action, movement, running, walking, pain-free days, etc) but I just didn't know how to get my One Word groove on this year. I understand, and I'm proud of you for telling the truth. I'm praying for you, friend. May you find love and hugs and YELLOW - all year long in 2014!

  8. "Sometimes there is no pretty bow to tie up a box of honesty." Brilliant, Tracie. 2013 was a surprisingly difficult year for me, too. I'm also struggling with the end-of-year wrap-up and picking a new word for 2014, so everything in your post read so true to me. Heartbreaking but true. May 2014 be a better year for all of us!

  9. I am so sorry your year was not what you wanted it to be. My 2013 wasn't either. I never even really managed to get it together and make resolutions. But it is a new year and, if nothing else, a new day. There is always space for us to gather control and make it better. Best wishes to you. I hope the sun begins shining soon.