2014 one little word…Brave

2014 one little word..brave.2

Just a warning: This post is going to get personal.

Do you choose One Word to focus on for the year? This is my 3rd year choosing One Word to focus on as I try to better myself throughout the year. I actually like making resolutions, I look at them more as life time goals. Choosing one word has helped me direct myself towards larger goals. I don’t always conquer all my goals and often fall short. Sometimes I think about repeating a …one little word… for another year and maybe I will one year. That doesn’t mean I haven’t made progress, it just means I still have a ways to go in that area.

So let’s get into why I chose Brave for my word this year. Like I said, this is going to get personal and I’ve been keeping a lot inside for a while. Hopefully this doesn’t scare anyone away but I want to share how I’m hoping this word will affect me this year.

I’ve had a few difficulties to overcome the past few years, there’s been job loss (several times), health issues, difficulties with teenagers, money problems because of job loss, and then just everyday things to pile on top of an already stressful situation. I’m not going to get as personal as I first thought I would because I don’t know that it will benefit anyone, but I have struggled with depression since my early teenage years. It can be debilitating at times. I feel like I’m in a deep hole and climbing out can be a long, emotionally exhausting journey. But I’ve made it out each time and grown a little stronger each time.

These past few months have been different though. We recently moved to a new state and it was a difficult move for me. While I believe it was a good move for my family it still didn’t make it any less difficult. I felt paralyzed! I started having panic attacks and was scared to leave my home alone. I can count 3 times I left my home alone, except to take Ammon to school (actually he was in the car with me so I guess I wasn’t alone) the first 3 months we were here and it was hard every time. We’ve had visitors and of course since we live in Vegas, they want to go to the Strip. While I used to love visiting the Strip it was now emotionally difficult for me to even think about going there. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone so I would go but usually cry and shake the whole way there, saying to myself I can do this! Crowds are not something that are easy for me right now.

That’s probably enough detail. Things have gradually been getting better. I’ve been pushing myself a little more every day. I’ve found that being outside everyday helps me tremendously, even if I don’t leave my backyard. Seeing my kids excel and be braver than I could ever imagine is helping. And an understanding husband is helping the most. When I haven’t been able to go to the store, he goes for me. When I’ve gone walking in the morning, he congratulates me. He pretty much goes with me everywhere I go right now. I actually went to a few stores right before Christmas and it went rather well.

So, you can see why I’ve picked Brave as my word this year. It’s not just about being brave enough to venture out on my own though, it’s about being brave in all aspects of my life. It’s also about being brave enough to notice what’s going on around me and acting on it. Going through this has made me realize that I usually have no idea what’s going on in someone’s life. I want to become brave so I can help someone else who’s struggling. I don’t want to be afraid to approach someone with a kind word, a smile, an invitation to lunch, or a long conversation. That might be second nature to some of you but for me it’s a stretch. Having a continuous fear of rejection makes it hard to be the one to make the first move, but this is the year I’m going to work hard on being Brave. Through being brave I hope I can help someone overcome a fear or a challenge. We all want to be the best person we can be and we all need help along the way. I have been so grateful to those who have helped me through difficult times, sometimes without even knowing they did. They were just there for me.

I hope to keep you updated here and there on my journey and how this word is helping me this year. Please only positive comments on this post. I will be brave enough to delete negative ones. If you have any questions you don’t want to leave in the comments you are more than welcome to email me.

I’m going to do something BRAVE today!

Also I am thinking of making a printable like the one above. I will offer the flag in different colors and leave it blank so you can add your own word. Would anyone be interested?

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Robin January 4, 2014, 5:35 am

    Wow! You have made a wonderful start, girl…this is a very BRAVE post! You put into words how a lot of us feel sometimes and showing your vulnerability in such an honest way tells me you are already one very BRAVE woman!

  • Patty January 4, 2014, 8:10 am

    Leanne- Anxiety is such a scary thing. For those who have never experienced anxiety, it is a hard concept to understand. Be brave! You can and will conquer this! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 🙂

  • Melly January 4, 2014, 8:55 am

    I chose a word!

  • Katherine January 4, 2014, 9:12 am

    I love your word and you’ve already shown that you are following it with your blog post. I am struggling to choose a word this year, but I really want to as it seems to work some how. I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading more over the coming year. x

  • Melody January 4, 2014, 11:47 am

    I appreciate your honesty and look forward to future posts. I think you have helped a lot of people today myself included. Bravo sweet girl.

  • Melissa January 4, 2014, 12:14 pm

    I’m so sorry for this struggle you’re facing. My friends have a great church there that if you were ever interested in, you can email me for their contact info.

  • Anjanette January 4, 2014, 1:08 pm

    My chosen word for the year is grace. I was so hurt yesterday when I had an experience that didn’t turn out well and someone else took that opportunity to point out my failings. I thought to my self “great I couldn’t even make it 3 days trying to live with grace.” I took some time to cool down and decided that I needed to keep trying because it was unrealistic to believe that I will always handle things the perfect way for all those around me. I responded to this person in what I hope to have been a graceful way and am choosing to move on. What the amazing thing about life to me is those who choose to acknowledge their challenges and work to be better. Thanks for your example.

  • Nicola O. January 4, 2014, 1:42 pm

    It seems to me that publishing this post definitely counts as BRAVE. *hugs* to you.

  • Joni January 4, 2014, 2:25 pm

    You are already succeeding in your Bravery! Thank you for sharing, you are not alone. We all have something/challenges, that we are dealing with, No one is exempt!
    I think being brave to share and brave to ask for help is a huge accomplishment. For me that is one of the hardest things, I don’t want to inconvenience anyone…not smart. 2014 is looking great for you!

  • Cheryl Lea January 4, 2014, 2:31 pm

    Leanne, you are already BRAVE for sharing your difficulties! Have you ever heard the Sara Bareilles called Brave? My daughter and I listen to it every morning on the way to school now, singing at the top of our lungs, because I have similar issues (depression, panic attacks, etc.) to the ones you described and I need more “brave” in my own life, but I also want her to grow up being brave, and that song is a great reminder of that, as well as making us both feel very empowered, even if just for a little while. You do what you can, right? I will keep you and your super supportive family in my prayers.

  • Gail January 4, 2014, 4:13 pm

    Bless you for how you bless us with your ideas.
    I will prayer for you every Tuesday throughout 2014

  • Yvonne January 4, 2014, 4:30 pm

    You poor thing! This has really thrown you for a loop! You WILL come back!

    We lived in LV down in Green Valley. We are not Vegas type people in that we are not the type that go to casinos and bright lights. I really HATE traffic and crowds–they annoy me.

    BUT…You are in for a delightful time once you are up to it!

    We found that even at Denny’s the service is A+! The streets are wide and made to accommodate traffic flow easily. The public library is AMAZING!!!!! I have never seen such a great library! Just wait until you get to go there! And the Hoover Dam is a must see. Did you know that the cement is STILL curing???? That reminds me that somewhere I have a smashed penny from the dam that I haven’t seen in a while. I am so totally into smashed pennies! There is a website where you can go and find the penny smashing machines in your area.

    And have you been geocaching? I bet there are some great ones to find in the Vegas area. There is a website for that too. If you want either one, I would be more than happy to share those with you.

    I really liked Fremont street because they have that canopy that is like a computer screen. We would hit Fitzpatricks and sit outside to eat a sandwich while we watched the show. Fremont is so much more calm, but if you don’t like it, Vegas is so much more than the strip–both the old and new. 🙂

    It is truly amazing what casino money has paid for. When you are ready, it’s gonna be fun for you and educational for the kids.

    You go girl! Can’t wait to hear how you are decorating the new house and what you find. You can do it! 🙂

  • Annie Blair Donaldson January 4, 2014, 7:30 pm

    thanks for sharing, especially about your struggle with depression. there are many of us out here and each time i hear of someone triumphing over the big D i feel hopeful and know that I CAN TOO 🙂

  • Wendy brown January 4, 2014, 9:26 pm

    Thanks for sharing that was bery brave. I enjoy reading all your posts it is the first thing I read when I see them in my inbox.

  • Liz Cowans January 4, 2014, 11:24 pm

    You are super brave. I can relate to some of your struggles. Leanne-I support you and everytime I hear the word brave I will think of you and whisper a prayer. You are a survivor-look what you have already been through. Brave, dear Leanne, that is you!

  • brenda January 4, 2014, 11:52 pm

    just a few moments before reading this, I was praying about having the discernment and bravery and wisdom to meet challenges rather than just let things slide hoping and thinking that I am being a peacemaker who does not want confrontation. so, for sure your timing was Providential. Thank you.

  • Julie January 5, 2014, 10:47 am

    Thank you for sharing. I deal with panic attacks all the time, so I know what you are going through. Thank you for this post. I will be praying for you.

  • Taylor January 6, 2014, 3:19 pm

    I don’t normally comment on the posts I read through various blogs, instead I choose to read and consider the sentiment and how it can be applied to my life in some way. Thank you so much for being brave enough to step out from behind a very personal experience and share it in a way that will encourage others in their own walk. While I can relate to many of the things you’ve shared, I hope to one day be as brave as you’ve been in sharing your personal struggle. Thank you for this, my prayer will be continued strength in our attempt to be brave.

  • Lindsey January 6, 2014, 10:23 pm

    Loved reading your post Leanne! Love your honesty and BRAVERY! We are all a work in progress but you are well on your way to healing just by posting what you did! Hope you continue in your journey of healing by reaching out, and having faith.

  • Sue B January 6, 2014, 10:46 pm

    You are so BRAVE! To be able to make this move and keep going each day, that is Brave. I have Major Depression and Anxiety too. Have had for 20+ years. I have been to the bottom of the pit and back up again a number of times. I understand what you are going through, the depths, the struggle, the dragging yourself one bit at a time, etc. I am so sorry you have to go thru this. It sounds to me like you are doing an amazing job. You might not think that but let us tell you or listen to your hubby. Each day you are moving forward. It doesn’t matter how much it just matters that you try. My heart goes out to you and I will be thinking of you and cheering you on. Sue

  • LindaLou January 8, 2014, 9:16 am

    Your 2014 is off to a great start…you are brave enough to share you struggles with all of us. That makes you brave already 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Joyan January 10, 2014, 10:34 pm

    The first step toward being BRAVE is certainly in what you wrote, as being vulnerable IS being brave! Anyone who read your sharing is being helped, even if just for the realization that they are not alone. Anxiety, fear, perfectionism, feelings of failure or being viewed as a failure – are so crippling, so immobilizing, so life-stripping. I know. I walk that path with you. My word is BRAVE in 2014, too. The flip side of our FEAR is LOVE. Mostly, to be truly BRAVE, we need to love ourselves. Pull down the oxygen mask and love yourself first, for that’s the bravest thing you can do to be truly BRAVE! I support you in your chosen WORD! I’m sure many others do as well. Thank you! For sharing!

  • Marei January 13, 2014, 6:19 am

    I can’t help but admire you for being so brave already! After all you’ve confessed finding it difficult to extend a helping hand and kind words to strangers and here I’ve seen you do exactly that for so long on your blog.
    Hopefully, your readers can give back to you in terms of gratitude. motivation and loads of kind words, and hopefully this will boost your efforts in being just as brave in real life. All the best wishes for you and many thanks for sharing your story! May 2014 be an all around brave year for you!

  • jennifer norment January 17, 2014, 11:50 am

    I would love a BRAVE print out!
    in the last 6 yrs I have lost a husband …… had to relocate with 4 children…… one who was recently diagnosed with autism and went from a stay at home mom of 12 years to a full time working widowed mom with 4 children. I was overcome with anxiety.
    I try to be “brave” on a daily basis but its tough sometimes.

  • Tessa January 18, 2014, 4:21 pm

    What a BRAVE post! My word this year is Believe. It was enough last year.

  • Jamie February 10, 2014, 11:05 pm

    Thanks for being so brave with this post. I have had some anxiety attacks this past year and have never dealt with that before. I was also on a low carb diet and as it turns out, I was low in some vitamins and minerals that were causing my heart to not function properly. So the racing heart led me to panic and it became a scary spiral. I know you are sometimes on restricted diets with your health and such…just wanted to mention this as something to possibly consider. Once I knew what was causing it, I was able to alter my diet some and take some supplements like magnesium and make sure I had enough potassium….electrolytes for the heart. It may not be the same for you but just thought I’d share. Hope the year is off to a great start for you!!! 🙂

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