Tuesday, January 21, 2014

UN-word of 2014

Last year I had been planning to join the "word of the year" meme in January.  Although not every minute or every day, I found myself feeling hopeful and joyful for the first time in as long as I could remember.  You know - that feeling that children have when they wake up because it's a day.  That feeling of walking or running and feeling as though with one energetic step, you might escape earth's gravity altogether.  Joy.

And so in the post I was writing in my head (sometimes I get off the ground with these things a bit slowly.  Like, you know, the pictures of Christmas decorations I posted after Christmas last month), I was thinking my word of the year would be something along the lines of adventurous.  I was actually looking forward to the things in my life that might be around the next corner.  Whereas for years - as I think other infertiles will understand - my overall attitude toward the future had been one of burying my head under the covers and hoping it would just stop happening, because the status quo was bad and every new development for a long time had been worse - or, if good, not nearly good enough to outweigh the very bad things that were defining my life.

But before I could write my post on my newly-rediscovered hope for positive developments in life, and excitement to see what might lie around the next corner for us, this happened.  And my little guttering spark of hope was drowned in a tidal wave of, "Please, God, no.  Do not send me any adventures at all.  I will happily accept terminal boredom; I don't want to know what You have up Your sleeve.  SEND NOTHING."

So, no word of the year for 2013.  And I didn't really have a strong feeling about a word for 2014.  Then I heard about the Nester's (and others') "UN-word of the year" for 2014.  Sure, it smacks of needless innovation - a word of the year was cool when it was new and different from those new year's resolutions that other people were making, but then it lost its luster and had to be replaced with something nobody was doing yet, so there was an UN-word of the year.  I don't know; that might not be how it happened.  It had that look about it, to me, but maybe somebody was trying to think of a word of the year and thought, "I'm not getting a strong feel for what I want to be more of, but I definitely have a feeling about what I want to avoid."  And then everyone else thought that was awesome and a new "thing" was born.  It could have happened that way; after all, it struck me that way.

Instead of growing from 2013, having accomplished one goal or made one concept my own and feeling ready to take on larger things, I have stepped back; my goal for 2013 was not only not accomplished, but is much too big to take on for 2014, either.  I am not ready for God to send me adventures.  I know what adventures look like: my husband is killed on his charitable organization trip (blessedly did not happen) and I am widowed before my 32nd birthday.  One of us loses our jobs and we learn to do "more with less."  Someone in one of our crazy families does something even crazier than usual and everyone's life is thrown into serious unpleasantness as a result.  Someone is gravely ill or seriously injured or arrested.  I go from barren as a brick to having several miscarriages, but still no living children.  Someone inundates me with suggestions about adoption and I make the evening news with my totally justified stabbing.  Every single couple getting married this summer conceives on their honeymoons and I am forced to hear about it at length.  You know the drill.

(And the worst part is, even in the middle of perfectly sound reasons for me to fear change, life does send me positive adventures, too.  But I've so strongly developed the habit of expecting sadness that I'm more or less incapable of feeling elation at good things; the most I feel is fear that something I'm happy about will be taken away.  So, even thought I think 2013 was a good year for me, I have relatively little idea what good things happened...I'd have to think really hard.  I would probably still miss most of it.)

So anyway...with all that excessive preamble (baggage?), I've decided on an UN-word for the year 2014 - the thing I hope NOT to be, and will try to work toward not being:


We'll see how it goes.


  1. I like that! I need to work on being unafraid also...too often I hold back or refuse to do something out of fear. Timd to push myself out of my comfort zone!

  2. I like your un-word! Can I pick "secondarily infertile" as my un-phrase for 2014? Tee hee ;-) I think my un-word should be "jealous"... I really need to accept the family size that God has deemed right for us.