December 22, 2013

Three Days Before Christmas-My Unintended Word of the Year

For several of the past few years, I’ve picked a word of the year. The point of the One Little Word project is to bring you some focus and to give you something to focus on other than a list of resolutions. After a hiatus, I’m picking a word for 2014, but this post is about the word that seemed to pick us this year.


Stress seemed to be the theme of 2013, at least for Big Daddy and me. Last night as Big Daddy and I snuggled up in bed and he confessed something that I think had to pain him greatly to admit, I realized that it was stress who had been our constant bedfellow this year.

Recently, the New York Times posted an article about the agony of social media. They wrote about how we can be feeling pretty all right about our life until we click over to facebook or instragram and see those perfectly posed pictures of the snippets of the best of someone else’s lives. I want you to know that while I try to present only happy times and happy thoughts, things at my house aren’t always perfect and Christmas and the end of the year makes me feel introspective.

Big Daddy had a rough year. I’ll say it. He did. And, it affected our family. I know this hurts him to consider this. It turns out that I depend on Big Daddy’s happiness a lot. I need it. When his happiness is absent, mine is a lot harder to come by. This year, I learned, again, the lesson the love isn’t always enough. It’s a big thing. It’s the biggest thing. But it’s not the only thing. I’ve learned that there’s more to the recipe that makes up Big Daddy and me. It’s been a hard learned lesson. Big Daddy, I don’t think, realizes how much he drives us around here and I’ve learned this year that while I’m in all of the details, ultimately, Big Daddy sets the tone for us. We depend on him in ways I never considered. When he’s happy, we’re happy.

I know Big Daddy has struggled this year with our finances. I admit to not always being on the same page (or even the same chapter or the same book as him). I believed this is the hardest he’s struggled with being our family’s sole provider. There aren’t enough worlds to express how grateful I am for him agreeing to take on that burden, but this year, it’s been tough. The pressure of the unsold house in Illinois and debt has been too much for him. Work has been difficult.


Stress seemed to be there nearly every moment. That’s not to say we haven’t had good times and joy and happiness, but stress has been our own little personal black rain cloud this year. It was the word that picked us and, sadly, defined a lot of year.

I don’t want it to define us next year.

Next year, the Lakemoor house will be gone. We decided to short sale it and we have a contract and are now waiting for the lawyers to duke out the details. It’s not the path we wanted to take, but it was the path that we had to take. Next year, the vast majority of the debt that has plagued Big Daddy will be gone and he can breathe a little more easily. Next year, we have vacations planned. Actual, real vacations that I can only hope will restore us on a level that we lacked this year.

Next year, our word won’t be stress.

Tied Up 7 Replies to “Three Days Before Christmas-My Unintended Word of the Year”


7 thoughts on “Three Days Before Christmas-My Unintended Word of the Year

    Author’s gravatar

    Wow, this hits home for me. I too could say that “stress” has been the word that has defined my family this past year, but it’s not what I want to define us next year. The fact is that life will always involve a challenge or stressful situation of some sort, but I am determined to manage it better so that it doesn’t affect my family the same way.

      Author’s gravatar

      Yes, Big Daddy and I are resolved NOT to let 2014 be another year of stress. I think of us might actually go crazy if it does.

    Author’s gravatar

    I pick a word, too! One year it was “less”. Another it was “complete”. I haven’t yet picked 2014 yet.

    I’ve missed your musings. My laptop died taking all my bookmarks with it, but now I have a Chromebook so found your website again through Google+. Yay, internets!

    Best to you and E. and the kiddos.

    Author’s gravatar

    OK, I’m back. (I know, I’m ridiculous.)

    I’ve been thinking about this ever since I left the previous comment, and I have come up with my word for 2014: done.

    As in the opposite of “left undone”.


      Author’s gravatar

      I’ve missed seeing you around, Lucy. I hope you, your husband and the boys are doing well. <3 Done is a great word. One I should have maybe considered when I picked mine.

    […] I’ve already admitted that you weren’t the best. Looking at Big Daddy across the room tonight, I can say that you were the second most difficult year of our marriage. I’d like to say we came through your stronger, but I don’t know if that’s true. We did come through you different. I look at Big Daddy differently, this year. For so long, I assumed he was invulnerable and that nothing ever bothered him. This year, I learned that he needs as much support and encouragement as I do and that I need to be more generous with him. […]

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