2014 Word of the Year: Relax

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It is difficult to believe that 2014 is upon us. By the time this post is published 2013 will be over and done. I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to think about the upcoming year and set some goals and make some plans. I am a planner after all.

This year I’m taking a little bit of a different approach to this. I thought and thought and thought. And I always pray that I can see God’s will for me and my family- in homeschooling, in parenting, in blogging- in all that we do. So, I’ve condensed into one word what I striving for in 2014. Another post will detail some of my plans and goals- personally and for my blog. But in this post, I’m sharing my word for 2014.

The word I’ve chosen is relax. This may seem to be a strange word to have as a year’s focus, as a goal. But there really is a reason that this is a good word for me.

Relax has quite a few meanings according to Dictionary.com.
1. to make less tense, rigid or firm
2. to release or bring relief from the effects of tension, release, worry
3. to reduce or stop work, effort, application

I have a tendency to be quite the opposite of relaxed. In fact I usually feel quite guilty as if I do relax. I’m sure there are some legitimate concerns about occasionally being too relaxed. I’m sure that there are times when one can slip into laziness and justify it as being “relaxed” or “laid back.” That isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m typically living in quite the opposite direction. There are two main reasons that I want to focus on this word for the coming year.

First,  I need to relax for my health. I’ve gotten a benefit from eating gluten free this year. Cutting gluten and being more conscious about what I eat has helped me to do more than I was doing a year ago with less pain. But I still suffer from body pain. Sometimes my pain is still pretty intense. And I can always tell when I’ve tried to do too much because my health suffers. I get tired and my body hurts or I have a bad headache.

I need to relax. I need to make sure I have unplanned times. And sometimes it’s okay to let a sink full of dishes wait until morning. Or let a load of folded clothes stay on the couch overnight. I know that I will feel better when I’m not running full tilt.

Secondly,  I need to relax so I can enjoy life and my family more. When I am running from one thing to another or when I am placing rigid demands on myself, I’m not really enjoying much. I don’t stop to play games with Charles or read to the little girls or talk to Kathryne.

I sometimes think, “If I can just get done with…, then I can stop to rest and have fun.” But, after I’ve done that (and usually two or five more things), I’ve missed out on the opportunity to have fun that was right there in front of me. I can enjoy my life and family when I am relaxed.

And so before I even write down my goals and plans for the coming year, I’m writing down this word- relax. And may that guide my decisions for the other things I’ll strive for and plan for.

You can check out what some of the other Schoolhouse Review Crew members have to say about their word for the coming year here.

Word for 2014

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