Truth is...

Everyone who's had a lengthy conversation with me knows that I don't do New Year's Resolutions. I guess I figure why wait until a certain day to start a positive trend when, in fact, any day is a good day to do that. I also don't like doing what everyone else is doing. Hyped up things lose my interest. Differences interest me.

But, because I feel rather lame not doing something for January 1, I choose a word of the year.

Lengthy conversations with me will also reveal that I love words. I like to read them, speak them, hear them, mull them around, use new ones, and sometimes create new ones (albeit accidental). I have framed proof that the late 80s and early 90s brought me the title of English Major on UW-Eau Claire transcripts.

My brother, David, and I would call ourselves wordsmiths. We enjoyed intelligent bantering and, even more-so, thoroughly enjoyed laughing at each other should one of us happen to trip on our own tongue and sound like we were speaking Swahili rather than English. No mistake went unnoticed; it's still that way with us. We enjoy it.

And this all explains why I choose a word each year. I never plan on living by this word. Rather, I aim to be mindful of it when I can. So, in 2015, I lived by a word that I can't recall at the moment (observe? persevere? evaluate?) I should record this somewhere. In 2016, the word was "preserve." In 2017, the word was "gratitude."

2018's word is "truth."

You see, there are so many wonderful words in the English dictionary! According to

Siri, there are about 600,000 words, but I'm not sure I can trust her, as she still thinks that when I ask for information on the town of DeWitt, I'm saying "do it." Perhaps she's telling me I should follow my dreams?

In any case, we use a very minuscule percentage of words in our daily lives, and I'd like to use them to speak truth.

For example, I'd like to be more realistic in my estimates relating to frequency of events. Instead of saying, "I NEVER remember people's names," I'd like to be more truthful and say, "I remember the names of about 70% of the people I meet.

We say words like always, never, love, hate, starving, exhausted, unbelievable. I say this too, and I'd like to choose more carefully. I'd like to speak with truth and accuracy.

So, no. My day wasn't horrible because my boot got stuck in the mud mid-step, causing my bare foot to land deeply in the horse manure. It's more truthful to say that it was a very nice day in which one single event was not enjoyed. (Yes, this really did happen.)

No more sweeping generalizations. No more "I waited forever!" when I really waited for six minutes.

Truth only.




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Artist Sharon Larson

S. Larson Watercolors

Long Grove, Iowa