The Question I’m Asking Myself

Last week I revealed that I was joining the OneWord365 “resolution revolution”. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (something I don’t do anyway), I said I was going to choose one word that represents a trait I’d like to nurture in my life in 2013.

The word I chose is HARMONY.sculpture in the park Holland

The idea is to focus on the idea of harmony every day throughout the year and in the process, possibly change the sound track of my life. For me, relational chaos is exhausting and unhealthy; I recognize this. (It probably is for you too.) But encouraging harmony just might add years to my life (or, as it’s been said, life to my years).

And since I committed to updating my progress on the 15th of each month, here’s the first status report.

I WON’T LIE. HARMONY IS HARD.

It’s like there’s a conspiracy to keep my life noisy and dissonant, especially in my closest and most important relationships. It’s already become clear to me after just a week how much opposition I encounter in the average day when I decide to try and live a more peaceful life.

I opt to make the pursuit of harmony my goal for the year and the next thing I know:

  • the pork chops didn’t pass the “test”;
  • the thermostat is set too high (or too low);
  • I’m told I’m valuing the wrong things;
  • I’m not fully informed, therefore my opinion is worthless;
  • the explanation I gave regarding (pick a topic) wasn’t sufficient;
  • I asked one too many follow-up questions and now I’m “accusing”

. . . and so it goes.

For me, it’s easy to default to “Oh, what’s the use?” and then check out emotionally. I’m not proud of that passive aggressive response . . . it’s flat-out immature and does nothing to promote a healthy relationship.

So if I’m going to achieve harmony, I need to change that.

The only part of the equation I have any control over is my own response. Faced with a potential conflict or even just a challenging question, I have to take an extra half beat before I say or do anything. In that small pause, I ask myself:

 “Is the response I’m about to give going to help or hurt this situation?”

In that tiny flash of time, the answer is usually crystal clear. I can see the options available to me to either promote harmony or damage it.

With that in mind, I can consciously choose the non-harmonious response and accept the consequences (and believe me, I sometimes do), or I can exhale silently and let it go in the interest of peace-keeping.

Sometimes an issue IS worth fighting for and I’m not advocating “stuffing” the important things. Trust me, stuffing doesn’t work for me, either. But more often than not, I’m finding that a little self-control goes a long way and the payoff of a less strident environment makes up for relinquishing my “right” to be right.

MonthlyOneWord150I’m still working on this, I’ll admit. I mean, after all, I’m only a week in. But the pork chops? I died on that hill. And they weren’t even worth it.

How are you doing with the “one word” challenge? Did you choose a word for 2013?

About Diane Rivers

Diane is a native Floridian whose career as an FBI Agent got her transferred to the North. She's retired from that gig now and "repurposed" as a freelance writer, author, and sometimes poet who blogs about the bumpy, bone-jostling ride of her “workaround” life. She loves Jesus, her family, black coffee, kayaking, biking, and hiking, and she looks forward to eternity with the One who will make all things beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

10 thoughts on “The Question I’m Asking Myself”

  1. I love the word you have chosen, and goodness, it is hard. There have been many “hills” I have “died” on that I look back and shake my head (and sometimes chuckle at the absurdity of it). I agree, there are some battles that need to be battled! However, I’ve discovered for myself personally, more often than I’d like to admit it’s really about me, my willingness to have a grateful heart that is not set on perfection, and my ability to practice self-control. “Harmony”. LOVE IT! And go you for not emotionally checking out! What a wonderful year it will be as you grow and watch “Harmony” begin to blossom in ways you may not have even imagined. ^_^ Dropped by from the OneWord link up.

    1. So glad you dropped by and what an encouraging comment! Thank you! I, too, chuckle at the absurdity of some of the things I choose to take on, especially in retrospect. I’m hoping to be more aware of these as I go along in 2013. I might save myself a fair amount of angst.

      I’m heading over to your blog to see what word you chose…

  2. What a wonderful post – I got a lot out of this due to intermittent conflicts with son Ming. I need to breathe before reacting.
    The word I chose was laughter – one laugh per day – again, not always easy!

  3. Thanks for the update! it’s good to know that others struggle with their word. i chose curiosity, which is strangled by busyness. I what I need to attend to is balance, balance, and balance. What really matters? Or, to revisit a theme from your post: What hills will I die on, and which ones will i dance on? Both matter. Good luck with your venture!

    1. Funny, I hadn’t thought about dancing on the hills; I was just trying not to die (!). Balance can be especially tricky when there’s a dance step or two involved. I hope the busyness abates so you have room for curiosity~

Your feedback is welcome!