One Really Smart Thing To Do This Year: Choose a Word

My freshman roommate from Cornell, Mary Eldred, whom I’ve written about in The New York Times here, picks a word each year to focus on. In the past, she’s chosen the following words: connections, balance, center, grace, faith, open, and contentedness. Her word this year is light…and, as she told me, “its variations…Enlighten, Delight, Lighten Up.”

I love this idea of choosing a word to focus on for the year. I’m still pondering, wondering, thinking, investigating, and gathering information about which word I’ll choose. Another friend who’s in a Jewish values study group told me that the study partners choose one word for each week depending on what they are studying. Mary said that this “the week probably works too, but for me, doesn’t give time for all the permutations of the word to work out.”

What’s your word? Do you have a word of the week for 52 weeks? Or a word a month? What about a word a year? Send in your words. We can change our lives in little ways just by where we put our focus on. I’m writing a lot on acceptance and considering that as my word. Or faith. I love the phrase, “Keep the faith and the faith will keep you.”

Let me know what your word is and why!

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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4 Responses to One Really Smart Thing To Do This Year: Choose a Word

  1. This is my second year to choose the word “Huckleberries.” It’s from “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail,” the play that deals with the lesson Thoreau taught and learned. Huckleberries is code for a scene with Emerson’s son when they were picking huckleberries and the boy spilled them. It is my code for the lesson that nothing is ever wasted; something surprisingly good will come even from mistakes.
    (English majors are kind of quirky like this…)

    • dianabletter says:

      Huckleberries…Mmm! What exactly are huckleberries? Do they grow near where you are in Kansas or Colorado? I guess you can say, “Don’t cry over spilled huckleberries.” It is true that we learn from all our mistakes. Thanks for writing!

  2. Huckleberries are found many place, but are abundant throughout New England. A friend had a patch on her farm in Missouri, and she made preserves that tasted like a blend of blueberries, gooseberries and raspberries, or so I thought. Their important to me, though, was not the taste but the message from Thoreau.

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