‘Word’ of the year (you’ll have to read to find out)

By Don Rush
By Don Rush

In the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Sixteen, I started a new Don’t Rush Me tradition of setting the course for the year, early on in January. As a former ink-stained wretch (our Community Goss Offset printing presses haven’t run in four or five years, so I no longer get inky from helping) and forever the lowly and humble scribe, my way of navigating the upcoming 12 months is with a word. Lucky you, I shall endeavor to continue said tradition this year. (I know, you’re quivering with anticipation, to which I sayeth to you, “Keep your shorts on! Relax, I will get to The Word.”)

Pam Belding even has her own APP for your smart phone!
Pam Belding even has her own APP for your smart phone!

First, a little background. Last year, Hooterville resident Pam Belding offered me a birthday present. Aside from being an author, speaker, life coach, wife and mom, she also reads Oracle cards. Oracle cards “are an ancient, time-honored way to connect with angels.” I reckon she figured I needed some divine guidance. From that session I got my Word for 2016. For the record, it wasn’t my first choice in words. I wanted my word to be “canoodle” because everybody, especially me, needs more kissing and cuddling amorously in their life.
And, while canoodling is cool, it wasn’t the word the angels passed on to Pam to pass on to me. My word last year was valor. It proved to be an excellent “Word of The Year.” With courage and valor, I plugged along 2016, mostly with my head held high as to see the adversity coming my way.
Enter 2017.
I wanted to have this column done for the first week in January, but had not had the opportunity to hook up with Pam to get her input. So, for my 2017 word I did the next best thing. I went to the old, well-used (before spell check and the internet came along), but dusty, Webster’s 3rd New International Dictionary, copywritten in 1961, closed my eyes and fanned through the pages until the spirit moved me to stop. Then, with eyes still closed, I moved my finger around on the two smooth pages of black and white before me. Circling, zigzagging until my finger stopped . . . my word was there, under my left pointy digit, I slowly opened my eyes and read: Naked Bulb.

There it is, right above my finger, in black and white, with the red arrow . . . Naked Bulb.
There it is, right above my finger, in black and white, with the red arrow . . . Naked Bulb.

What?! Naked Bulb! What a gyp! (And, I know that is a term sure will upset somebody, somewhere.) Yup, there on Page 1,500 was my guiding light word of 2017. Naked Bulb: “A plant bulb consisting of scales as distinguished from a tunicate bulb (whatever that is).” So, I got that going for me. Hurriedly, I called Pam and we scheduled a time for the angels to help me out.

* * *

I went to Pam’s pad, said “Howdy” to her hubs, Blake, and sat down in their dining room to await The Word. She sat down, fiddled with getting her decks of cards in order, unfolded a cloth between us and then went to work. When all was said and done she looked at me and said, “Well, your word for 2017 isn’t as sexy as valor, but they are your words.”

Yeah, you read that correctly — words, with an ‘s’ as in plural.

Self Determination.

She was right, not as sexy, however they do having meaning, she said. I am responsible for supporting myself (hopes and aspirations) for my own self determination. This year will be the end, and beginning and “new” way of moving forward sans regret.

* * *

On Monday morning, not really satisfied, I went to the online Urban Dictionary and typed in “Naked Bulb.” Nothing. No matches. I typed in “bulb” and got, “A good idea. Derived from classic cartoons when the characters have a lightbulb appear above their head when they have an idea.” For example:
Guy #1: I’m bored.”
Guy #2: “Let’s go paintballing!”
Guy #1: “Good bulbs, man!”
I then typed in “naked” and got, “Anything meaning bare, mostly, but not limited to: Unclothed; Seeing something with your naked eye; There being no obstruction between your pupils and the event/object; Naked flame, a flame that has no shielding; To be naked of all pride/possessions, to not be proud of yourself or your actions/ to have no possessions.
Interesting . . . maybe it is then a good idea to go into this year naked, new. Maybe I am figuratively to see myself as a naked bulb, one I need to tend and care for if I am to fully blossom? Is that some sort of wang chung, hoodoo or a solid path to follow?

Seth Godin sent an e-mail blog to me at a little after 5 a.m. this past Monday.
Seth Godin sent an e-mail blog to me at a little after 5 a.m. this past Monday.

This morning, before typing this column I opened my electronic mail and in my “in-box” was this from blogger Seth Godin, titled More and Less.

More creating .. Less consuming
More leading . . . Less following
More contributing . . . Less taking
More patience . . . Less intolerance
More connecting . . .Less isolating
More writing . . .Less watching
More optimism . . .Less false realism

I think I do not need to shake my Magic 8-Ball because all signs are pointing in the same direction — move that-a-way, forward. Your thoughts? Send them to DontRushDon@gmail.com

2 Responses to "‘Word’ of the year (you’ll have to read to find out)"

  1. Alys Swan-Jackson   January 11, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I think you should go with ‘naked bulb’ which has connotations of imagination, uncompromising and spontaneity – well I think so!

  2. Pam Belding   January 11, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Great article sir, however, there’s one more thing that needs to be addressed.

    One of the main things I remember from your reading was that you are responsible for ASKING FOR HELP! Not just supporting yourself all by your lonesome! Your responsibility is knowing what you need, using self-determination to understand what needs to be done, and then asking for SUPPORT. You are not a one-man show. This is the year you need to recognize that feeling of vulnerability (AKA naked) and allow it to steer you toward connecting with your tribe, Crew, peeps.
    I’m so glad to be among them! Thanks for the shout-out! xoxo


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