2010 Take-Aways

Posted by jael on Dec 31, 2010 in Education, Parenting, Spiritual Journey

Along with lists and count-downs, (See Banned Phrases…) New Year’s is infamous for inventories.   We have been socialized to reflect, resolve and redefine ourselves with each New Year.  The number one New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight/exercise more.  After the food-glut highway between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, many of us gain up to 15 pounds, and it makes sense that getting our diets under control will safeguard our health and finances in the long run.  (Who has money to keep buying clothes in bigger sizes?)  Smoking cessation is another common New Year’s resolution.

I appreciate resolutions.  I am all about calls for personal growth or improvement, and have made New Year’s resolutions in the past.  This year, however, I am most clear on what I take away from the previous year, rather than what I hope to do differently.  I feel like I have finally learned some personal and precious truths and that it is time for me to now apply them in the year ahead.

As dysfunctional as it sounds, let me own my behavior and admit that I was at Barnes & Noble three days ago in the Self-Help section doing some reading about a topic for a friend.  Before there was Doctor Internet, there was Psychology and its scared text, the DSM IV Revised with which the somatic could self-diagnose.   Believe me or not, I really was in that aisle on behalf of a friend, however, while there, I read one of the most liberating sentences I had encountered all year.  While scanning an overview on a particular illness, I read, “…in many cases by ones mid 30s to early 40s, people mature out of this disorder.”

It was as if I heard the tumblers of a safe unlock.  My toes clenched so hard that I rocked on the back of my heels to keep my balance.  I could smell the fresh-baked cookies from the café as my thoughts turned to Praise.

In one sentence, presumably researching on behalf of someone else, I read the tag-line of my biggest take away of the year:  You can heal without even realizing you’re better.  The hope of it still delivers enough visceral impact to make me shiver as I type and my breath has become more shallow.  The very antithesis of despair, this idea asserts that sought growth may be incremental and subtle enough that it occurs beyond recognition.  That which you once were fades like blue jeans into a new pair of pants through good care and use.

I am in love with this sentence and transfixed by the idea.

From 2010, I take away the realization that I have matured out of at least one of my disorders.  My hallelujah is clinically less broken.  Sure, I still have plenty of work to do on my issue model, but I am certain that Love wins.

Effort matters.

Prayer heals.

God reigns.

On New Year’s past, I have weighed more and less than I do now.  I’ve been actively working out and never near the gym.  I’ve lived inside and outside of abuse.  I’ve hoped and bargained.  What is different this year is subtle, but distinct.  I have chosen to rise up and lift my voice in Praise.  I dwell in possibilities more often than I rehearse anger.  My incomplete and insecure Surrender has been matched by infinite Grace.

I Believe.

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!


List of Phrases Banished from The Family’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness for 2011

Posted by jael on Dec 31, 2010 in Education, Parenting, Spiritual Journey, Technology

Today is a day of many lists.  We’ve heard the count down of the Top 100 songs on the radio on the way to the mall for the biggest sale of the season, and tonight they will drop the ball in NYC.

One of our family favs is the list of banished words.  This year’s list includes several technology terms like “viral,” and “Google,” as well as “Facebook,” as verbs.  A couple of nuggets from Sarah Palin made the list like, “refudiate,” and “Mamma Grizzlies.” I won’t miss, “I’m just sayin,” also listed, but will grieve, “epic.”  The list is compiled using public input on words that are regarded as “so over,” (BANNED) from mis-use, over-use or uselessness.

Our family comprised our own List of Phrases Banished from the Family’s English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness.

From The Children:

“It’s gonna be a big day.”

“Don’t forget to set your alarm.”

“You got this one wrong.”

“That was due today?”

“It’s due tomorrow.”

“Sectionals are today.”

“Get out your planner.”

“Quality work matters.”

“Time for bed.”

“Have you played your violin?”

“Whose turn is it to do the litter box?”

“No, no, not like that, like this…”

“Are you paying attention?”

“How long have you been on the computer?”


“Should you be eating that with those braces?”

“When is that due?”

“Be careful.”

“Do you hear me?”

“Do you understand me?”

“What did you say?”

“No means no.”

“What is the problem?”

Anything that begins, “How many times have I told you…,” “Did you remember to…”  “Don’t tell me…” “Don’t forget…,” or “What did I say about…”

From the Parents:

“My bed is wet.”

“Can I go?”

“It wasn’t me.”

“No I didn’t.”

“My soccer game is at 9:00 a.m.”

“The cat puked again.”

“She won’t clean up.”

“I didn’t know.”

“There’s a dance Friday night.”

<At any meal> “I don’t like it.”

Anything that begins, “I forgot..,” “It’s due tomorrow…,” “I got assigned a long term project today…,” “Can I invite…”

Though the words vary, I think our family is in consensus on it’s more fun to play and eat ice cream than do homework or chores in 2010.

I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!

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