Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Remember When: Word of the Year

I've been choosing a "word of the year" for the last two years. The first one was "focus" as I was finding myself bouncing all over the place and not finishing anything. I feel like I've gotten a little better but not where I would like to be with that one.

Last year my word was "calm" because of the bouncing around, but also from letting every little thing infringe on my space and time. I just had too much going on. So I made a lot of decisions on where my boundaries were and realized I didn't have to do it all. It's okay. I find myself saying "calm" like a mantra and it really works.

Doug and I have been doing a lot of talking about making a difference. One instance was when he stopped at a local grocery store and when he came out he saw some of the young men who were supposed to be collecting the carts actually crashing them into each other and into the cart corrals, etc. Just generally tearing them up. Doug hates carts that pull and don't work right so he yelled at them, "No wonder the carts never work!" A man behind him said that he was thinking the same thing but he kept on walking. Doug stood there for a minute and the kids just smirked at him so he turned around and went in and got the manager and took him out there. Then he went on his way. Doug made a difference.

I can't believe how often I see things and am either afraid to get involved or just too lazy. I see people stealing things, tearing things up, being obnoxious. I'm tired of it. My first thought was to fight it with kindness but I doubt those kids would have cared if Doug had nicely said, "Young men, you shouldn't be doing that. It makes the carts hard to push."

So I wasn't happy with my first choice of a word: "kindness." The other day while we were leaving the same grocery store I heard a man telling the manager about something else going on in the parking lot. My thought, "He's making a difference." So I had my word: "difference." I'm going to make a difference in small ways. Perhaps with kindness, perhaps with confrontation, perhaps with just letting those in charge know what I've witnessed.

I plan on making a plaque or something to hang in my office. And I have a new journal to keep track of things. I feel good about making a difference in the world around me.

What is your word for 2013?

Seven Memoir Prompts:

Write about a New Year's Party.

Describe a favorite doll or stuffed toy.

Did you ever set off fireworks?

What was the food like at your elementary school? Did you have a favorite?

Tell about being in a flood.

Write about a memorable person.

Have you ever taken special college/community classes? For example; art, cooking, writing.


  1. What a great choice of words. Everything we do, no matter how small makes a difference in our lives and those around us.

  2. I notice a lot of people making a difference LATELY. I'm shocked at how many people have helped me when they see I'm having trouble walking. Doors are opening, there's help with grocery shopping, the best part is I never ask. Maybe we just don't see the kindness until we need it. We should all be more aware of the little things that mean so much.


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