Word of the Year: 2010

I’ve mentioned it before, but I am the master of botched good intentions. If I decide to be motivated, I will rebel against my own good sense and rot in unmotivated misery. It’s a mystery, but true. More shocking is that I am aware of this side of my personality. I may, to some extent, have become afraid of success.

I didn’t used to be this way. At one time I appeared to be the girl who “had it all together.” Now, fully immersed into the reality of adulthood, I know that there isn’t a person in the human race that really does have it all together. There is room for improvement in each and everyone. Think you’re perfect? You are not. Neither, my friends, am I. While I cannot pinpoint when my attitude about succeeding at anything turned highly pessimistic, I do know that chronic unmotivation (Read: Extreme laziness. I make up words. Sue me.) is virally contagious. This does narrow down the window substantially. You spend twelve years with a person who has no motivation and infection is practically guaranteed.

Several years ago I scrapped the notion of New Year’s Resolutions forever. I wasn’t fond of the practice to being with, but I never, ever fulfilled them and I was absolutely exhausted by the guilt and overwhelming sense of failure that accompanies a resolution renewed year after year after year with no hope of future success. So, I turned the concept into a
sarcastic joke. Of course I did. How else would I deal with it?

This year, however, there is something changing in me. It has been for a while. A spark. I’ve been building up to life change bit by bit with a little success here or a glimmer of hope there. Then January 1, 2010 arrived. A new year. Not only a new year… a new decade. Could I take my wee, tiny building blocks of potential change and turn them into a steady foundation? Did I dare resume the resolution making process? Could I possibly make promises to myself that would not end up being broken a thousand times over? No. I would not. Resolutions are heavy. Promises carry far too much weight. But, I thought, I could pick one word. Just one. Yes, I could do that.

This is why the Word of the Year concept holds so much appeal.

I would have to pick a word and it would have to be the right word. Of course, choosing that word would give it weight. Inevitably, expectations would be attached… by me… by others. Yes, that word could become heavy; though not unmanageable. Think chunky jewelry heavy as opposed to Atlas holding up the heavens heavy. Still, I began to make a short list: Motivated. Achiever. Fireball. Success. Obvious theme, but all these words (except perhaps “fireball”) seemed generic. None of them felt right. None of them were me. They may represent the me I want to be want to recognize again when I look in the mirror, but not me as I am now. I have changed too much. I need a transition word, a stepping stone, to bridge the gap between me now and the me I will be again.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

It is January 21, 2010 and I finally have a word. I could have rushed the process and picked something on a whim but I believe that would have led to more disappointment. Behold! My word for 2010:


I know. It is an odd choice. Disregard the name. Disregard the many variations of a noun.

buck [buhk]
1 : to throw (as a rider) by bucking
2 : oppose, resist
3 : to charge into (as a headwind)
4 : to strive for advancement sometimes without regard to ethical behavior

There are many more definitions, of course, but these are most relevant. “Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” ~Princess Bride (1987)

1 : to throw
Habits need to be bucked off and I cannot let them back on. The first rider: Blatant disregard for my own motivation.

2 : oppose, resist
I must fight against allowing fear and small failures to hinder my progress. In the past I have allowed them to win. No more.

3: to charge into
My life. There can be no contentment in merely existing.

4: to strive for advancement sometimes without regard to ethical behavior (I can't wrap my brain around that part.)
I must keep climbing this ladder. Not the corporate one. This is personal, not business. That will come later.

Yes, this is my word. It feels right. It is right. I had assumed my word would be more eloquent… sound more intelligent… have more syllables. Surprise.

I’m not looking for a quick fix. For once. I’ve told myself before that change takes time, but I always hoped for the miracle that never came. I am grounded now. This will be a process. 2011 will bring another word… more building blocks. This I can do.

“You can create your life exactly as you want it.” ~Christine Kane

Find your word. A guide to discovery can be found


  1. I. Like. It. I do...what an amazing word. And concept.

    And, I'm so sorry...but I simply can't help myself...

    "Buck this, Honkus..."

    "Are you crazy? You can't say that to the cops!"

  2. I love the idea of a word for the year instead of a resolution. I am with you on this post in many ways. You are one brilliant mama and I have no doubt that you will buck your way through 2010 with all the fervor it(and you) deserves!

  3. "I expected something more grand! Less....fuzzy..." --Willow

    Seriously, it's a great word. Very proactive. And just plain active. Everything starts with a thought. My friend gave me a plaque for Christmas. I thought you might like the sentiment.

    "Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

    To a beautiful creation. You've already got a head start!

  4. Great plan. I think you got the word spot on! I would love to give a whole speech about goal setting and motivation, but I'll leave that for now.

    All I'll say is don't let your pursuit of motivation be a small thing. Just go completely crazy with it's pursuit. Make your small word a huge concept.

    Your blog is the only blog that I read just to read. I love seeing where your mind takes you, really cool. But I think that I also sometimes read it because you have no problem dealing with your deep stuff out in the open...on a blog. I am sure that it can be a bad thing, but it can be really good for the pursuit of an idea, or following your 'buck'

  5. Great word. I knew exactly what you meant before you 'splained.

    My word for the year is change. Interesting that we both had the same idea without even consulting each other. Great minds.

  6. I love reading your posts. They make me hopeful. I think you could write a book someday.

  7. Great word of the year. We are doing the same with Roo, but hers is "control." I'm inspired to search for my own word now!

  8. I LOVE this post. LOVE THIS POST!!!
    First of all, you're just plain amazing! Seriously.
    If there is anyone who is destined for greatness it is you, my friend. I feel a sense of enlightenment coming from you on this post, stronger than before. You have such a clear sense of who you are, and that is so empowering. It took me a long time to be that honest with myself; a lot of wasted years in the meantime. Looks like you're way ahead of the game.

    I love the word!!! Great word. Perfect word.
    "There can be no contentment in merely existing." ~ this made me smile.

    What a beautiful soul you are. You go, Darlin... kick some "new decade" butt!!!!

  9. Dori ~ Thanks, luv. And... I'm totally stumped on that quote. It's hilarious though. Even more so knowing you quoted it and your husband's profession.

    Carrie ~ Thanks, babe. It was a true learning experience.

    BG ~ YES! YES! YES! Fuzzy! Love that movie. I love the creation quote and I'm filing it away for future use.

    Vernon ~ "Just go completely crazy with it's pursuit." Thank you! I think I shall. Can you believe I hold a lot back in my writing? Shocking!

    Finn ~ Ooooh... so close. Great minds, indeed.

    Welcome Emily!! Thank you. I must jaunt over for a visit.

    Hamber ~ Do search for your word... you know... lead by example and all that. Great word for Roo. She is in a great place with great people.

    Michele ~ A thousand thanks to you today for the encouragement... and the string of chuckles you (and your amazing little one) give me each week.

    (((Hugs))) to you all.

  10. psst..."History of the World, part 1"....the direct quote is "seize this", but that's just the way my mind went... :)


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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