An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One Word

The title for my New Year’s Resolutions could be this: Ditto.

There. All done. No sense in re-writing a list that is the same year after year . . . ditto covers it all.

Then e, from Mrs. Paproth’s Barn, shared something that got me thinking. She wrote how she whittles down her New Year’s Resolutions to one word. That’s it. One word to live by during the brand new year. She mentions “forgiveness” or “slow” or even “security” as examples.

The one word idea intrigued me. I am a big list maker: daily “to-do” lists, grocery lists, spring cleaning lists, vacation lists . . . the list goes on. Unfortunately, I am also a list ignorer; just because it is written down doesn’t mean that it gets done. Honestly, I have grown tired of lists.

But one word, something that I could carry with me during this year . . .

The hard part was finding that one word as there were so many possibilities: faith, an area I could always improve in; music, to inspire me to pick up my neglected guitar and join a folk choir again; writing, to remind me get up early in the morning in order to make time to write.

While reviewing the past year I began to realize something about myself: it seemed that all too often I didn’t fully appreciate an event or a moment until well after the fact.

It wasn’t until I was telling someone about our summer vacation did I truly realize how much fun we had; or only upon reviewing Christmas photos did I think, “Wow. Having the entire family together was such a blessing.”

It bothered me that many times I didn't fully appreciate the moment in real time.

I remembered a weekend I once spent with my Nonna when I was a little girl. We had just gone shopping together, and when we returned home she pulled out a brown, paper bag containing the reddest, ripest, juiciest tomatoes. She picked one up, and holding it like an apple she bit into it. She closed her eyes in bliss as she chewed, and when I giggled, she opened one eye, looked at me, and took another huge bite.

She was so completely in the moment, and that is something I understand only now, as an adult.

So my word, my single, solitary word that I am going to live by this year is embrace. I didn’t choose carpe diem because the word denotes certain desperation, that you have to seize the day while you can, grab it, hold on to it because it could be gone in an instant.

No, instead I want to embrace the moment . . . to welcome it with open arms . . . to savor it . . . to be fully present in the moment with no conscious thought of yesterday or tomorrow.

So, whether it’s reading a book on a quiet Sunday afternoon, or listening to the conversation between two four-year-olds, or running my hand over my son's new haircut, or smelling the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans, or even eating a vine-ripe tomato I want to remind myself to be aware and embrace the moment, right here and now, with my entire being.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said, “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

And so I shall . . . a New Year, a new word, a new beginning . . . I embrace it all.


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

This is wonderful!

Lisa said...

I have one word for your resolution and how you have shared it with us, Bia. Perfect.


Lisa said...

Oh, btw... I have something for you over at my place.

GrandmaK said...

AMEN!!!! (See I can do "one word" on occasion too!) Truly enjoyed this! Cathy

McMemo said...

Great thoughts! I really enjoyed reading this entry!

Kathryn said...

This is a wonderful idea, if I had to zero in on one word our family word would be consideration...because our resolution as a family was being considerate of one another! I may just find a cute way to hang that word up in a central place as a've inspired me, AGAIN!

Debbie said...

This is such a great post with so much to think about. Yes, if we take time to really be present and look at our blessings, we would all be happier.

Laura said...

this would be the greatest meme ever!!!
A one word meme?
You'd be a hero to all.

Melissa said...


This is one post that I'm sure I will reflect on a great deal in the coming days and weeks. Embracing the moment is so important and you articulated it perfectly. Thank you!

Soutenus said...

You inspired a post! :-)

tizianaavesani said...

Cara Maria è meraviglioso che tu ti ricordi tante belle cose della nostra nonna, penso che lei ne sarebbe veramente contenta.

E said...

What a great choice.
I think I want to pick again.....

Deacon Ken said...

Forget packing the 'to do' list with a laundry list of items. Your answer is right here-- Funny how the simplest things in life can be the most satisfying. Look for those moments of God's grace to be your goal. Lot of spirituality in this essay. I enjoyed it.