7QT: Word of the Year: Unintentional Pun Edition

I’m so glad that Jennifer is doing Seven Quick Takes this week because I have been so worried about her. She is still in my prayers, as are the Poppe family, Kelly from The Careless Catholic, and several of my close friends who have experienced terrible loss and suffering recently.

And now, uh,  here’s my flippant blog post. It’s what I do.

1. Announcing: the nominees for Word of the Year.

Well…actually, I got nothin’.

Or, rather, I HAD nothin’. I kept reading all the cool kids, with their blogs, and their words, and all I felt was envy. I don’t NEED some stupid WORD I have lots of WORDS already and I have too many THINGS to be thinking about ANYWAY.

And then, because I am oblivious to the puns around me, I had an epiphany.


Yes. Limits. What a felicitous happening, that this word should spring into my brain just as I was beginning to give up hope. I mean, I could always make up another word for this year, but – no. This word felt right.

Then I did an image search on Morguefile for “limits” and realized: Oh. That is why it seemed so perfect.

Speed limit

Yes, I get it now.

2. Okay, so: fine. Sometimes I forget what my last name is. Maybe I’ll just continue this theme and choose “of light” or “skating” or “bump” as my word next year. But in the meantime, here are five reasons I like this word.

3. Overcommitments. It’s a congenital problem with me. I’ll never fully recover, but perhaps I can treat the symptoms. I can stop. raising. my. hand. to. volunteer. I think part of what’s happened is that there are a couple of activities in which my children participate that I really am not involved in at all – most notably, the arts immersion program they attend once a week, in another town (where my husband works, so he’s the one who knows the staff and the other kids). And I feel like all those people must think I’m a slacker, never showing up to help out unless I’m specifically asked to do so. I can’t be seen as a slacker mom.

Or maybe…it’s fine, really, and everyone is getting along just fine without my leadership, and I should enjoy my day “semi-off” with just my youngest. There are limits to how much outside stuff I can take on.

4. Time management. Totally related, this is a serious problem for me and I’m kind of getting fed up with myself. I’m always running late, mostly because I’m terrible at estimating how long it will take me to do something. “Limits” is like a brick wall standing in the way of me doing just-one-more-thing-before-we-head-out-the-door.

5. Goals. How I love goals. “Limits” here translates to “you cannot reasonably expect to achieve X if you do not stop doing Y.” Y usually means “staying up way too late working because I was so tired during the day I couldn’t really concentrate.” I mean, it’s not rocket science to figure out why that might be counterproductive. But just acknowledging – there are circumstances of my own creation in which I cannot do what it is that I want to do – this is a big thing for me. I’ve always been a “I don’t care what other people say, I can get this done if I put my mind to it” kind of person, which has definite benefits, but is becoming more self-destructive now that I’m not super young and really can’t do the all-nighter thing, at all.

Thunderstorm of emotion

Photo credit: photojock from morguefile.com

6. Thunderstorms. There are limits to my moodiness. Sometimes – usually when tired and overcommited – I just get in such a funk. I get really mad at imaginary versions of people and  inanimate objects that have wronged me (in semi-reality or possible futures), or I get really down, and I start thinking “this is how it will be now, for the rest of my life, this frustration.” Kind of like how I always assume a newborn who gets a runny nose must think, “dang, I guess this is going to be how my nose works for the rest of my life now. And things were going so well.” But then I get a dollop of grace plonked onto my head and I just feel – better. The hard times have their limits.

7. Calculus. I might have a kid taking this class in seven years or so, and I will need to brush up.

No, just kidding – threw that one in for my vast engineer readership.

I would love to know if you have a word for the year, especially if it involves a pun. And please head over to Jennifer Fulwiler’s to catch up on more quick takes!

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  1. says

    #3 brought to mind the song from “Oklahoma!” which goes “I’m just a girl who cain’t say no/ I’m in a turrible fix!”

  2. Monica says

    So #7 cracked me up, yet I am not an engineer. Nor do I remember much about Calculus. So when my kid needs to take it in <7 years, I'll just call you.

  3. says

    Limits ought to be my word for the year. I’m remembering that for next time, since I already committed to one I know the Spirit was pointing me toward this year. My husband and I were just talking about this at length last night, and this morning he had to send me an all-caps NO when I asked him whether we ought to do something else. I don’t learn very well, do I?…. sigh…

  4. says

    I have been laughing out loud throughout this post! What a welcome relief to all those lofty words those lofty bloggers blog about. (Note – I just posted my own lofty word this morning so I can mock!) Tweeting this now. Perfect word for so many of us these days.

  5. says

    oooh, LIMITS is a great word for the year! You know I’m a kindred spirit on the time management thing; I stayed up ridiculously late last night and didn’t even get 7 QTs written.

    In 2011 and 2012 my words chose me – they were clearly Spirit-given (EMMANUEL in 2011 and JOY in 2012. and Cardinal Dolan preached a fab homily recently about Emmanuel AND Joy!! – I think my words are building on each other) But the trick was that the words didn’t come to me until the 2nd half of each year. For 2013 it seems that my Random Saint (John Bosco) is leading me to a word (or concept), which seems to be something like HEED. Heed what? I guess that’s TBA, probably in the second half of the year.

    So I’ve written a dissertation here in your combox, but it doesn’t really fit the LIMITS of my blog content!

  6. says

    I love your word for the year and not just because it’s punny! 😉

    I don’t have a word but I do have a phrase, which I blogged about in detail on the 1st. It’s Shakespeare and it’s “To thine own self be true.” I hope I can make that a real theme for this year.

  7. says

    I so relate to this. All of it. Yesterday, due to lack of sleep and frazzly behind-scheduleness, I had had total Thunderstorm Day all freakin’ day, convinced that Everything Will Always Suck Forever and The Universe is Full of Idiots Who are All Out to Get Me. My man came home and gave me hugs and chocolate and did the dishes while I read Jane Austen and of course things are better today. Dollop of grace indeed. Sigh.

    No puns, but my word is unencumbered. Mouthful, but it’s already making a difference. Unhindered, unburdened, unbound, untangled… unencumbered. May it be so.

  8. says

    I get really mad at imaginary versions of people and inanimate objects that have wronged me (in semi-reality or possible futures) . . .

    Hilarious . . . and totally me. I got myself in such an imaginary huff last weekend. I like the idea of putting “limits” on this. Bleassings on your efforts.

  9. scotch meg says

    Don’t worry, if your child(ren) get to calculus before college, your engineering readers will to the teaching.

    Seriously, I worried about high school when my kids were in preschool because it was more fun than facing the preschooler problems, being hypothetical. If you’re doing the same thing, enjoy! If not, if you’re really worried about this issue, let me assure you that there are good calculus courses online and in community colleges. They’re not free, but they’re affordable. And they might save your progeny some bucks in real college. At least, that’s our current justification for shelling out.

  10. says

    Ooohh! I have a word this year – habits. Starting to actually DO the stuff that I always say I wish I could be better at. Picking one small item at a time and making a new habit…. in theory at least.