Not Quite Like A Boss, But Still Owning It

Two years ago, I decided to choose one word-in lieu of my usual 15 odd resolutions-for the year. One word to encompass 365 days. To guide me through twelve long months. I wasn’t sure if I could swing it. The perfectionist in me yearns for a categorized list, itemizing all the ways in which I am not even close to good enough.

threesixtyfivelargeBut my formula to reach perfection was not paying off. Striving tends to leave me feeling cranky and depressed and hoarding Dairy Milks like a madwoman–kind of the opposite of what ideal Megan is supposed to be. So with nothing to lose, I prayed about a word, silently hoping the Lord would drop a nice one like REST on me.

I learned quickly enough that the word marked by the Lord for me was always the one that made me say, “No freaking way.”

In 2012, my word was RELEASE, a horrible word for someone who can’t even release losing a game of rock-paper-scissors, let alone her life. 2012 just happened to be the year I became a mom, and it was one big exhausting year of releasing every ounce of control I foolishly thought I had.

I thought 2013 would bring a bit of a break. All that releasing had left me a bit spent. But instead, another major word threatened to squash me: OWN.

My word for 2013 was OWN. And, what do you know, OWN has been a big deal for me this year. The short list:

1) OWNING that I am a mom. Not a mom but . . .let me tell you about the four million other things I do. Not a mom and . . .please think I’m still smart and important and valuable. Not a mom or  . . . someone who contributes in a valuable way to this world. I am a mom. Period. And I’m learning to own it for the crazy beautiful work that it is, without feeling the need to explain my life to every complete stranger who asks, “So what do you do?”

2) OWNING that I am a writer. This one was horrifying for me. A few months back, someone asked if I was a writer. And for the first time ever, I answered yes. Convincingly. I realize this sounds trivial. But hearing myself say it out loud was major. I even took the tagline off my website that read ‘writer of sorts’, because I realized I was demeaning myself on my own website. I know. So, in case you were wondering, I am a writer. Boom.

3) OWNING my Big Hairy Dreams. God has given me lots of lovely dreams, most of which I have responded to with, “That is such a super idea. But you need to find someone _____[fill in the blank: prettier, smarter, more spiritual, who doesn’t watch reality TV, with a flatter stomach] to do it.” I often have the names of everyone better equipped than me at the ready for God. You know, in case He needs a few leads. But this year, after a few (many) gentle nudges (shoves) I said, “Yes God. I’m picking up what you’re putting down. I’ve got this one.”

 This one, as it turned out, was raising $10000 for 250 little world-changers-to-be in Uganda. Young women who wanted to stay in school, but lacked the sanitary items and pads necessary to do so once they got their periods. Girls having to drop out of school because of their periods made me insanely angry, so I made up my mind to plan an event to raise the money (read more about the Watoto and Keep a Girl in School here). How hard could it be?

Which bring us to the crème de la crème of my year of OWN:

4) OWNING that I can’t do it alone. This was the worst one. By far. When the event didn’t raise nearly enough money, I wallowed in a super-adorable pity party for days, numbing myself with all the leftover protein bars and Project Runway. I came out of my hole long enough to do one smart, completely out of of character thing: I told people how I was really feeling. And – keep the smelling salts handy – I asked for help. For real. And my people rallied like champs. They wrote essays. The fund-matched. They talked to their friends and to their women’s groups and to their pastors. Two weeks after my Anne Shirley style depths-of-despair breakdown, over $10000 had been raised. And 250 girls get to stay in school and change their nation. No big deal.

My intense year of OWN has left me wondering if perhaps the Lord will grant me a word like PEACE or CHOCOLATE for 2014.

But of course, that’s not the case. I toyed with a few words, and then I got that special one. The one that made me whine, “But that one’s too haaaarrrrrrrd.”

My word for 2014 is THRIVE.

More juicy details on that in the new year. In the meantime, won’t you join me in choosing one word for your year? You can read a bit more about the concept here. It’s been completely revolutionary for me. If you’re up for it, do leave a note (and your word) in the comments.

Much love to you, and Happy New Year!

Image Source: Flickr

16 thoughts on “Not Quite Like A Boss, But Still Owning It

  1. What a cool idea! I’ve never thought of having a word for a year…now you have me thinking. I think for the past eleven years, my word has been ‘SURVIVE’…but I think it’s time to quit the survivor (no, not the show, although I, too have a penchant for reality TV) mode and move into the thriver mode ;).

    • Choosing to shift out of survivor mode for 2014 is a BIG DEAL Anita! The one word concept has really changed my perspective on resolutions. If you choose to move forward with it, I would love to hear more about your word and your journey with it! Much love.

  2. I chose value for 2014. Value instead if setting goals like ‘I will lose that hundred pounds I want to lose,’ or ‘I will run x number of kilometres,’ or ‘I’ll be in a relationship by 30’ (next December!!). No. I value myself and my body and will therefore make wise and healthy choices. I will value my time, however that looks. I will value the people God has blessed me with in my life. This will be a year of seeing, recognizing, and claiming my value that is given to me by my King.

    • Awww . . thank you! OWN is a big one, but I have no doubt you will rock it out! Cannot wait to see how it plays out for you this year. And can’t wait to see you you again soon. You are just wonderful my friend!

  3. My word for this year is EMERGE. I believe this is the year for me to step out of my cocoon and into some of the plans that God has been preparing me for. Thanks for writing Megan! Your words are so inspiring, encouraging and real. Just what so many of us need to hear 🙂

    • Whooo hooo for EMERGE! That sounds completely scary Tammy. . .which means there will be some pretty wonderful payback from it! And I so appreciate your lovely words of encouragement. Means so much to my dear.

  4. Thrive…can’t wait to see where that word (and God) takes you in 2014, Megan!

    My word last year was freedom. As in, I wonder what would happen if I stopped following all the rules and expectations imposed upon my life – the rules that made me feel good about myself when I stayed firmly within the guidelines and the expectations that made me feel bad about myself when I didn’t meet them (or even get close).

    The year was amazing, and God made good on his promise to give wisdom when I asked Him. He set me free to fully pursue Him and Him alone.

    And, I’m a little embarrassed to admit, God placed the word PEACE on my heart for 2014. 😉 I think the Lord has a few lessons about what a peaceful heart looks like in the midst of chaos. And I can’t think of anything scarier than letting go enough to feel God’s peace in the middle of mayhem. .

    Happy New Year, dear!!

    • I think PEACE is wonderful! And you’re doing it in such a challenging way. If I did PEACE, I think it would look more like sweatpants and tv! I think God knows who is going to benefit most from a PEACE-oriented year and, apparently, it’s not me! But who knows? Maybe I’ll pull CHOCOLATE one of these years. So looking forward to hearing how this year plays out for you. Thanks for sharing where your heart has been these last months. I so appreciate you 🙂

  5. Aww honey bear. What a brilliant year it has been too! I have loved standing on the sidelines watching you bloom.

    I love that you took down the tagline “writer of sorts.” Bravo! You are a writer. One of my favourite writers in fact! 🙂

    Being a mommy is NOT a joke. I spend 15 mins with a babe at a party and I need a nap. Babies take a toll on your energy and time. And yet, and yet, and yet, look at HOW much you have accomplished this year.

    I am sosososososososoooo proud of you!


    • Well I wouldn’t quite call you on the sidelines my dear. You were actually rather instrumental in just a few *ahem* areas! Can’t imagine where things would have ended up without you & Kupa stepping up and owning it right alongside me. Verrrrryyyyy excited to do this next year with you 🙂 Much love my friend. And thank you, as per usual, for being my most divine cheerleader. You’re the bestest

  6. Three things I loved about this Megan:
    Boom. You are a writer! (and a lovely one at that).
    The Anne Shirley reference.
    “Yes God. I’m picking up what you’re putting down. I’ve got this one.”
    Looking forward to walking “thrive” with you.

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