One Little Word: Grow

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Have you seen the One Little Word posts going around the blog-o-sphere lately?  This movement was started by Ali Edwards and you can read her whole explanation of it here.  If you haven’t seen this phenomen pop up on the blogs that you read check out one here, another one here, a previous one of mine here, and a final one here.

 “A single word can be a powerful thing.  It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything.  It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow…a word to focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon…” – Ali Edwards

Recently my church made star shaped pieces of paper with printed words…words like grace, wonder, sympathy, motivation, joy, hope, consideration, peace, solitude,to name a few.  We were instructed to take a star, see what word was on the back of it, and contemplate how we experience, or don’t experience, our word in the coming year.  I received the word patience.  I literally groaned when I read it…ugh!

I am not a patient person by nature.  When I think of something I need to do, I want to go and do it immediately.  Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about something that I think I’ve lost, and I need to go and look for it right then.  But yesterday morning, in the middle of yoga and ruminating on the paper that I still haven’t finished writing with my friends down at NASA, my thoughts turned to the impatient way in which I first reacted to my star word.  Patience.  I recoiled from it.  I felt my heart take a step back and my mind scoff at the nerve of that little word.

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While I don’t think I’ll paint the word patience as a banner on my heart, my mind has been working since then to figure out what word fits better (while not ignoring that I probably could use a bit more patience in my world and in my soul this year).  In the life of a young adult cancer survivor & former caregiver, I have found words to have a profound influence on my perceptions.  Art projects in cancer wards are full of words of hope, courage, and bravery.  Inspirations quotes on cancer survivors’ t-shirts, wall hangings, and pinterest accounts, all have mantras of resilience, vitality, and strength.

When I think of the past year or two, a feeling of waiting has fallen over my life.  I feel like I have been waiting to be 5 years out of my cancer diagnosis (and therefore more statistically likely to stay cancer free), waiting to have more money and financial freedom, waiting to have children, waiting to figure out what happens with Lacuna Loft, waiting to see if I decide to go back to my life as an engineer, waiting to be less sad about my mother’s passing, waiting to feel less stressed and anxious, waiting to have more free time with my spouse…waiting, waiting, waiting.  Well, enough is enough.  In the past few months I have felt myself realizing that the time is now.  It is time to grow where I am, with what I have, and what I am working for.  Time to grow in patience.  Time to grow in courage for the uncertain future.  Time to plant myself where I grow best.

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Have you thought about assigning one little word to your 2015?  Have you set any other resolutions or mantras for the new year?  Being a young adult cancer survivor makes all of this more complicated I believe.  Band together and share what you’ve learned!