Since the very first day of the year, my social media feeds have been sprinkled with people’s “Word of the Year” declarations. Truthfully, I not-so-quietly scoffed—there is no way I could be focused and governed by just one word for an entire year.
It sounds like a prison.
Anyway, as usual, I’ve changed my mind and decided to pick a word!
I picked Pause because I really often need to take an adult time-out (and time-out is two words and I am already threatening the grammar police, so I don’t need to also threaten the word-of-the-year police.). In December, on the afternoon of my son’s socially-distanced, masked, outdoor birthday celebration, I was running around getting things ready, but not really accomplishing much. I pulled out the box of decorations I had collected over the month for his party and had a total mental break and began to act, like Gayle:
( I think I inspired this video)
My husband walked by and said, “ You cannot start freaking out.”
My children looked at the ground, but were clearly secretly agreeing and stealing themselves for the Gail-like freak-out that was coming.
Because, really what I needed to do was Pause.
I had spent a month planning and prepping. I had spreadsheets and schedules (I love, love, love a well-executed theme party!). I knew what I need to accomplish—but I could not accomplish all at once, freaking out and screaming and sweating. I needed to take a Pause.
(Note: I took a little Pause. Then lashed out at the catering manager at Chick-Fil-A. Then returned home and the party was amazing! Santa came! And I emailed an apology to the Chick-Fil-A manager.)
Anyway, this year, I’d like to give myself permission to Pause (Maybe permission is a better word. . ;but I already said Pause and I am not editing things, so I guess I’ll stick with it). I need to remind myself to Pause when my head is spinning, to pause in the midst of a deadline, to pause before reacting, to Pause even if it makes me late to a meeting, to Pause even when it is inconvenient and to Pause as often as possible. I need to press that pause button and grab a quick snack or hit the potty or put on comfy socks before I hit play on the movie.
After all, great things can happen in pauses and even better things when you’ve started back up again.