play it again: in a word

Addressing my holiday cards, I found myself searching for a particular address. I knew I had it here somewhere, I mean we exchanged cards last year but it wasn’t in my address book. Then I remembered, we direct messaged each other our addresses so that we could exchange holiday cards. Scrolling through a year’s worth of private conversations on Twitter, I find the address.


I also find a conversation we shared last January 4 when I found myself needing to just unload all my worries and fears…and as always, Kale listened; as Kale always does. You’re a good friend, Kale. I love you! If only you and I were geographically closer. Reading our exchange from that day I can’t help but think that January 4 must have been a pretty intense day.

It was.

Surely I blogged about it because…

I did.

Writing out my thoughts helped. They always do. But talking about what was on my heart, what was really on my heart and knowing that someone was listening was even better…so much needed. I honestly don’t think I could have chosen to “embrace” this year…this year with lots of good, some bad, too many feelings and a whole lot of adventures with laughter, tears, fears, silliness and joy.

Originally published January 4, 2013

Oh 2013, a brand new year!


Four days into it and I am finally considering a reflective post about the start of another new year for me. I have no resolutions. I don’t believe in making them. I’ve said that before here…over the last eight years around this time of year. I don’t. But like so many others, I can’t help but consider this a good time to reflect on what lies ahead. Like my friend Kristen said, they are “days full of wonder without any mistakes in them. Yet.” Others are making plans to run big races or get organized or maybe to break a bad habit or to lose a set number of pounds and those are all good things to work on…for them. As for me, I choose to look ahead.

Okay, fine, there is a little bit of personal navel gazing…but no resolutions.

My hair is now long enough for me to twist it up into a braid…a thick strong braid because my hairs are so dang thick. I like it. I like it a lot because, well, it doesn’t take much to make me happy sometimes. Being able to plait my hair is one of those simple things that puts a smile on my face. So while I took a break from my navel gazing, I regarded this braid of mine. It is pretty cool. It is thick and it is strong.

A braid is indeed a particular type of decorative hairstyle or an embellishment that is created by entwining or twisting round and around three or more strands. This intertwining of the smaller, weaker strands of material or hair creates a bond woven together that is stronger than the singles could ever be alone. In their unyielding embrace they are made substantial and strong.

Yeah, I was looking up the meaning of the word “braid” and as I was I came across these words: embellishment, entwine, intertwine, weave, substantial, strong, unyielding, embrace. And yeah, I was seeking a little inspiration while reflecting on my awesome braid and the start of a brand new year. While I fiddled and twirled my braided hair between my fingers it came to me…


My one word for 2013.

One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.

For 2013 I choose to embrace…embrace who or what? That is to be determined each day in this coming year but I will embrace each day and whatever that day presents to me.

My well-being and my happiness is no one person’s obligation but my own so it should be my responsibility to embrace this life I am given, this life I have created, this life that I am responsible for each and every day. My life is full blessed with my talents, abilities, my darling husband, my beautiful children and grandchildren and the people I hold dear and call friends but none are the key to my happiness and well-being. No, not one of these.

I have been working hard lately on me for my own health and well-being, as well as for those around me whom I love and who love me back. In order to be a better me, to the me that I deserve and certainly the me that they deserve I must embrace every day.

EMBRACE is my word for 2013.

Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self worth. Only you can be responsible for that. If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen. Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as YOU see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.

Stacey Charter