5 Ways ONE Word Can Direct and Impact Your Year

Happy New Years.

It’s hard to believe we are already three days into 2017.  I enjoy new beginnings,  the turn of the calendar from December to January offers a fresh start a newness of possibilities.  It’s the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over.  I find myself reflecting on the previous year while considering ways I’ve  grown or areas that need attention.  I believe that we all have the desire to live a life that significantly matters. We want our lives to have a greater purpose and to impact others. Personally, I’m wired to grow by being a better wife, mother, and friend.

Every year I’d make New Year’s resolutions, only to forget about them by the end of February. Or maybe I got past the first couple of months but then, ugh! Life happens. The Unexpected.

I’ve done my fair share of goal-setting at the start of each New Year. My long list of resolutions rarely become a reality.  I always had good intentions with my resolutions. While they sound like a good idea at the time, they frustrated me.   Several years ago I was introduced to the idea of choosing only one word that would help navigate my days.  It’s a one-word vision for the year that inspires me to live my best life and make the greatest impact.

So long to a long list of unattainable goals that often fell to the wayside by February.

Hello to intentionally living. My one word that would help me focus daily, all year long… One word that could sum up who I wanted to be and how I want to live for 2017. My one word that seems to appear everywhere from magazine covers to book titles.

My past words have included

  • Kindness
  • Love
  • Change
  • My word for 2017 is SIMPLIFY

These words shape not only my year but also my life.  Each word became the compass that directed decisions and guided my steps.

Here are five easy steps to begin your journey with allowing ONE WORD to be your guide for 2017

  1. Evaluate your previous year. Spend quiet time alone considering areas where you would like to grow and what to take hold of.  There is no need to rush as you can begin anytime. As 2016 was coming to an end, I seemed to be continually sensing the need to simplify my life especially after lots of volunteering along with family health issues and the holidays.  I’m a people pleaser and perfectionist which translates into saying yes at the cost of not caring for myself and family.   I found myself wanting life to be simpler but how?
  2. Choose just one word or better yet allow God to reveal your word for the year.  There is no right or wrong word.  You can’t mess this up.  It’s a journey of discovering how to allow your chosen word to impact your life.
  3. Consider and apply chosen word as it relates to the six major areas of your life to maintain balance.
    1. Spiritual
    2. Physical
    3. Mental
    4. Social/Relationally
    5. Emotionally
    6. Finacial
  4. Find accountability by sharing your word with others especially family members.  Keep your one-word front and center.  As a family, we have each chosen a word (dedication and focus) and talked about it. Prominently display your selected word.  I have purchased my previous words on artwork that I display in my to see it often.  The word “love” is a light marque that hangs above our fireplace.  I’ve considered tattooing love on my arm as I learn so much more about what love is and is not.
  5. Be open to allowing the one word to transform your life.  Once I chose the word SIMPLIFY back in December I started seeing it everywhere. Last week while sitting at the doctor’s office with my hubby I picked up the magazine RealSimple for January 2017.  The above photo was on the cover so I took a picture and added the word simplify.  Ironically this morning as I was doing my bible study the questions I was to answer were, “why is it so hard to simplify life” and “why do you think we try to impress people with more rather than less”?  My word SIMPLIFY keeps appearing.  It’s with anticipation and excitement that I allow the word SIMPLIFY to direct my thinking and days.
I’d love to hear what word you choose so; please leave a comment and share your word.  Have a great 2017

Accidents Happen

If you have been alive for any amount of time, you know that accidents happen.  Accidents can be big or small.  Thankfully today’s crash, while an inconvenience, it was only minor.

The rain from last night and this morning have created slicker than normal roads.   While sitting first in line at a stoplight, Jon heard the squealing of wheels from behind and begins to run the red light to miss the unpreventable crash of metal against metal.  The jarring of an impact alerted me that we had were rear-ended.  Recently we have had several fender benders as drivers seem to be less cautious, more hurried, and preoccupied.  The first day of school I was side swiped by two different cars while I was sitting in my car at the school waiting to pick up Cayley.

Today I am thankful for a simple fender bender that is easily repairable.  I am thankful that the driver stopped and had insurance.  Often I take for granted that I have a car to drive, so I am thankful for the provision of a car.  How about you, what are you thankful for?


Balloons Up the Nose and a Pain in the Neck

nose balloon

Today, Caryn had the same nasal surgery that Jon had back in December.  It’s called balloon sinuplasty and it’s an incredible medical advance.  According to the CDC, 33 millions adults are diagnosed with sinusitis yearly.  After years of reoccurring sinus infections, Jon went to see Dr. Daniel Slaughter who did an MRI which showed complete blockage. Thankfully, we have health insurance but they required the procedure be done in a surgical facility for coverage.  Can I just say how ridiculous insurance can be?  Our insurance considered this easy procedure experimental when done in the doctor’s office but ok and fully covered at a surgical center.  Hello! someone is making lots of money.  Caryn’s being self-paid was able to do her balloon sinuplasty in the doctors office for 88% less, CRAZY right? Seriously, it took all of 10 minutes and she was done. Her surgery was at 2:30pm and we were home by 3pm.  The doctor said she had lots of infection and was the ideal candidate for this procedure. For two years she has had reoccurring sinus infections that flared up almost every time she traveled. Doctors would simply prescribe antibiotics but never once did anyone suggest an x-ray or MRI. Only because of Jon’s similar experiences and success did we encourage her to see Dr. Slaughter.  If you have reoccurring sinus infections I’d encourage you to see an ENT as many have been trained to do this procedure.  Better yet, see the doctor who invented it, Daniel Slaughter.

This morning I had a medical procedure totally not planned for until yesterday.  Oh how medicine has changed for the better.  When I had a similar  procedure done 5 years ago on my back it had to be done in a surgical center. Now it can be done in the Doctor’s office under a local vs. complete sedation. It was great to walk out not feeling hung over and able to go about my day to help Caryn.

Two weeks ago I began having neck and shoulder pain on the left side.  Last week I had three massages which sort of helped – but not really.  On Monday I was having horrible pain so I went to my acupuncturist and he did electrical muscle stimulation and I left still in pain. I realized that more was going on than muscular alone, so I called my chiropractor over at Texas Spine & Pain Center.  When I got there he first looked over an X-ray he took back in March when I had a small flare up. He told me that I should never have neck adjustments.  I remember him telling me how bad my neck looked and he was surprised that I was not in severe pain but I wasn’t and I didn’t see a need to do anything at the time (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.)  

I considered myself extremely blessed as I enjoyed our April cruise and then the amazing trip to Europe without any pain.  Dr. Bart ordered an MRI to compare to one I had done 5.5 years ago.  Basically, I have degenerative issues affecting the spine and discs. The good news is that the MRI done six years ago showed the same things below but I rarely had any pain because of it. 

neck xray

  • my neck curve is going the wrong way “cervical kyphosis” caused by poor posture (check), possible whiplash from car accident several years ago, maybe falling on my head when I was younger. 
  • C3 mild narrowing and arthritis
  • C4 the nerve is being compromised
  • C 4-6 “marked” narrowing and disc instability with 3mm shift 
  • C5 80% disc loss, bone spur
  • C7 is normal yea!!!

neck cervical c1 to c7

The new findings were seen at C2-C3 which explains where my current pain is.  I love how in-tune with my body I am, just wish I could fix it.  This unfortunately was an unusual finding and often occurs with those who have had surgery to stabilize C4- C6.  I had mild disc narrowing plus a disc hernia at the top of C2 causing the pain.  I have no idea how this happened as I have done anything traumatic to cause it.  This aspect of aging sucks!  On the bright side, my back is not hurting and I am able to do whatever my body allows except no roller coasters LOL!!! Yes, I am temporally moving at a slower pace as I have a pain in my neck.

My Chiropractor, Bart Atencio, fast tracked me to see the pain doctor that comes to Austin from Houston,Dr. Mikhail Fukshansky  Today he did a steroid injection which has provided great pain relief as this morning the pain had been the worse I’ve experienced so far. I will have another steroid injection next Friday and the third one the following week.  This is typical protocol. 

Next week they will conduct nerve testing to see which, if any, nerves are being compromised because of the narrowing and collapsed disc.

They will then follow up with stem cell therapy, which is experimental but well documented with much success. Obviously, surgery is the last thing I want to do so I will exhaust other methods while praying for a miracle.  

I share this because I read about a sweet friend who was going to have the stem cell injection done on the same day it was recommended to me and, while experimental, it gave me hope. Maybe someone will read this and have positive experiences to share.