Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Choice Words

My good friend EB has selected her word for the year for 2008. What is a "word for the year?" It's a guiding word. Sort of the rudder on the ship of your entire next fifty-two weeks. Or, put into English teacher jargon, it's the thesis statement of your 2008 essay, which will be titled "My Life." (Please double space it. Use 12-point font and 1-inch margins.)

When I read her post, I started thinking about what my word would be. I couldn't decide. The first word that came to mind was "focus." Because it seems that 80% of my problems are a result of my not being able to keep my mind on something in particular.

I try, for example, to finish an essay I've been working on for months. I sit down and look at it. I write a sentence. I change a couple of words. I go check the clothes in the dryer. I get a glass of water. I come back to the screen. I check my email. I look on yahoo for the latest celebrity bullshit and to see if anyone has died. I go back to the essay. I'm bored. I wonder what there is to snack on. I wonder what other people are doing.

It makes me feel like a chipmunk that's had hot sauce and Drano poured on its ass and is frantically running up and down a tree trying to escape it.

"Focus" would also be useful in my lukewarm spiritual/prayer life. More focus might actually transform my prayers from the drive-by shootings that they are, to something fully thought out that might possibly transform me. God must get annoyed by this:

"Yeah, it's me again. So. Things are sucking right now. I know that you know that I know you're in charge of things. But could you just fix (insert topic of highest anxiety here)? Or at least help me stop chewing on it like a gerbil with a frozen waffle?"

My prayers are like the irritating friend who calls only when she needs a ride to the airport. After you help her move.

I'm also considering "bagworm" for my word. In case you've never seen one, they're plant eating larva that wrap themselves in these silky, icky, dead-grass little bags about the size of a Brazil nut and then hang onto shrubbery and do nothing. No, wait. They eat. They hang there in those bags and eat and contribute nothing of use to the world except being exceedingly gross because there they are, all these tiny bags and you know there's a worm inside each one. Like a slimy Barbara Eden inside her genie bottle. When I was a kid, my mother would pay me a penny for each bagworm that I picked off the shrubs and threw into a paper grocery bag. Yes. Bagworms in a bag. She would do anything to get me away from the TV.

"Bagworm" would be a cautionary word. It would be saying "Candy, don't just hang around eating and doing nothing while your bulbous ass gets bigger. Get on that elliptical. Wake up. Live in the moment. String some shiny beads. Make something of yourself."

I could go warm and fuzzy and make "Love" my word. But as is always the case when I try to go warm and fuzzy and nice, it would backfire. I would last about 4 minutes in the "I will be a nice person and spread love to all those around me" mode. Then I would stab someone in the thigh with a javelin.

What will your word be?


  • At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think my word should be 'finish'. As in, "finish any of the zillion things I started last year".

  • At 10:47 PM, Blogger Citlali said…

    "Freedom". Always the first word that comes to mind. We can enslave and enprison ourselves in so many ways. That for me is the most important battle. I feel good about it this year... = ]

  • At 11:43 PM, Blogger EB said…

    Maybe you should go with a phrase, Candy, like "focused anti-bagworm." For the record, bagworm seems to be a more Candy-style choice than focus does.

    I miss you and your non-bagwormy ways.

  • At 11:51 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I could use "finish" too.

    "Freedom!" Sing it, girl. :) What a battle that one is. You're right. I am an enslaved bagworm.

  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Miss you too, EB. Big time.

    Bagworm IS a much better fit for me than focus. Focus is a Ford.

  • At 7:57 AM, Blogger Dana said…

    My first thought was inspire. So many people inspire me, and I want to inspire others. In the Christian realm, it means God breathed. My walk with Him has been more of a sit and ignore Him lately and I need His breath.

    But then I thought is that a cheesey Christian term? So maybe breathe is my word. I need to remember to breathe.

    Breathing should be one of those things one doesn't need to remember. It should just come naturally.

    But I find that I hold my breath like some little pouty toddler trying to get my way. Or life will seem to really suck and I will realize I am sitting there so wrapped up in my little world I am not breathing, living.

    So. Yes. I think breathe.

  • At 11:22 AM, Blogger Carin said…

    Zombie. As in, whenever life gets tough, I'm just gonna turn into a zombie and keep plugging along.

  • At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My word will be "trust".

    I will trust that the universe is unfolding as it should, if not the way I would like.

    I will trust that I can handle whatever comes my way in the next 12 months and that the things I catastrophize in my mind will, most likely, never actually happen. I will trust that good things will happen to me instead of bad things, if I would only just let them unfold.

    I'm going to trust the universe to reveal its plan and I'm going to be more laid back and less controlling, letting life come to me instead of me going out to capture life like it was a video game to be conquered and mastered.

    And . . . .I'm going to quit lurking on Candy's blog and start contributing.

    Yeah . . . . . right.

    banjo picker

  • At 12:34 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Dana, "breathe" is a good one. And I don't think "inspire" is cheesy. Sometimes I just need to be inspired to get out of bed in the morning. It's very hard at times.

    When I went through my worst time ever (hopefully ever) I'd go sit at my desk and take 5 deep breaths. Life was too shitty to do the "one day at a time" thing. I had to take much smaller bites: one minute at a time.

  • At 12:36 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Carin, I need more of that attitude. Just turn on the bulldozer and move the pile of dirt kind of strength. Just what I know about you tells me your zombieness works, since you get enough done for 3 people AND you still seem sane.

  • At 12:39 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    WELCOME, Banjo Picker!

    You don't ever have to "contribute." There's no offering plate here, and I'm too unorganized to put together a proper hazing. But I'm glad you wrote what you wrote. "Trust" must be the hardest word ever. Harder even than "love."

    "...letting life come to me instead of me going out to capture life like it was a video game to be conquered and mastered."

    Great stuff. Even if I felt like I could deal with life via a video game, my Ms. PacMan would get its ass kicked by all the Grand Theft Auto players.

  • At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Um, Candy? I don't have a draft of my 2008 essay because I couldn't, like, get the printer to work when I raced to the computer lab, like, 35 seconds before class? Could I, like, e-mail it to you?

    Are you mad, Candy? ...Candy, put down that javelin! Don't stab me in the juicy white thigh!

  • At 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My word is relax. I want to do more bagworming this year. Read books and eat M and Ms. Talk to my kids and really talk to them. Make life slow down somehow. Spend time with relatives. Go on a trip somewhere. Win the lottery to pay off the bills. Guess the word for that would be dream.

    Christmas is put away so I am ready for more Candytime. Thanks for having a blog to read today. I needed it.

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I'm going to beat you, Jackie O. And NO there is no extra credit work.

    Mad??? Of COURSE I'm not mad.

    [sharpens javelin]

  • At 2:27 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Thanks for reading, Belle. It's a tough start to the week here, too.

    Viva la bagworm!

  • At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What would my word be?

    I have been thinking on that one all day and still cannot come up with one. I honestly feel like I could cry right now because I feel overwhelmed just thinking about all of the areas of my life that need improvement.

    My word just came to me: Overhaul.

  • At 6:31 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I'm SO there, Futuresis. Today and yesterday AND the day before I have spent phenomenal amounts of time in bed, thinking about everything I need to do/change/be, too exhausted to ramp up to any of them.

    You are not alone. Also, you're pretty safely within the realm of awesome without the overhaul.

    Now OVERALLs, that's different. Git some OshKosh.

  • At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks, Candy! You're the awesome one! :-)

    Overalls. Now THERE'S an idea! Yee-haw.

  • At 10:49 AM, Blogger Norma said…

    my word is going to be debt. trying to pay it off and not accumulate anymore!

  • At 11:59 AM, Blogger prairie biker said…

    My word is "ideate". Contrary to proper belief this word is not synonymous for "thinking" or "hypothesizing".

    What it really means is "I am a pop-culture influenced moron well into the process of becoming a full-fledged idiot".

    It is a lexical signal that when used in a sentence in a subject - verb - object format, everything after the verb can be ignored because the person attempting to express some thought is too stupid to do so in a coherent format.

  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    No, YOU'RE awesome, Futuresis! Ewwwww, we sound like cheerleaders.

    Oh my god. Don't forget we have practice tonight. We're learning a new pyramid. Come early so you can take your penicillin treatment!

  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Norma, PLEASE share the secret if that works.
    Not that I have a big load of debt.


  • At 4:20 PM, Blogger Tony from the Bronx said…

    "Senior Citizen Discount." No, it's not a word, but to me it sings. Look, I go to a theater, say the Loews. The ticket costs the palooka in front of me $10.00. Then I step up and Viola! price drops to $7.00. Now, sure, there's Bush and the war, and Bin Laden, and Hill and her inhuman ambition--but to me, just like Dinah Shore used to sing, America is the greatest land of all. "Senior Citizen Discount."

  • At 4:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    No. Way. Candy, you are, like, TOTALLY the awesomest!

    I am soooo excited for our new pyramid!!!! But I hope that I don't get dropped on the head again.

    Also, thanks for the reminder about the penicillin....I'll make sure to purge BEFORE practice.

  • At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Having just finished consuming Eat, Pray, Love (a-hem), I think that my word is release. As in let go, Groceries. I want my word to be contemplation, but I have two children to love and educate and feed and introduce to holiness and meditation and basic hygiene so what are the chances? Release. Un-effing-clench already. Let it go. You aren't going to birth it if you're screaming so high up in your head like that. I'm going to go read some Anthony DeMello, too. Because I have all that spare time.

    Look what you done, Candy.

  • At 10:15 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Ana, I'm right in the middle of that book. It's excellent, no?

    I'd love to "release" everything. It is mofo-ing tough to do.

    That screaming high up in your head? I don't think I ever stop. I must.

    If you can take it on with 2 kids, I should be able to at least make an effort.

    [still screaming]

  • At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That book was eaten up whole. I no sooner got it into my hands than I snarfed it down. Tasty with dip. Mmmmm. I was going to really savor it, but I totally binge on writing like that. Anne Lamot is something like that only absurdly liberal which makes me sigh a lot and wish she'd just lay there and write pretty instead of having to say something. Alas. So, yes. Release.

    I have a new toy! Yes! A paraffin heater (it's like a little crockpot for your hands) so I can dip my worn out farm-worker hands in warm wax and let them get all soft right before I scrub the bathtubs! Oooohhh it's a nicey-nice. And it's great fun in a snake shedding its skin kind of way to peel the wax off my hands. It's even nicer to just sit unable to do diddly squat for ten minutes while my hands get their treatment. So good. So good.

  • At 9:56 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Those paraffin things are so freaky. The first time they "peeled" me during a manicure I thought they were skinning me.

    Yes, I agree about Anne Lamott. Just shut up about politics and write, you hippie scum. Love a lot of her stuff. When she annoys me I abandon her for years.

  • At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes! Exactly! But you've got to admit, the girl can make the words dance and spin. I also like Jill McCorkle but for different reasons. And also the Sweet Potato Queen's books. Julie Brown, I think. She's good, too. But in a fluffy light way.

  • At 3:10 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I've started to read Jill McCorkle several times and grabbed something else instead. I'll try her stuff.

    I've just started reading May Sarton's final journaling book. "At 82."

  • At 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    May Sarton. Doesn't even ring a bell.

  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    She wrote about 40 books: nonfiction, poetry, fiction, plays. Makes me want to puke. I haven't read ANY of her stuff, but this memoir looked good so I grabbed it at the used bookstore.

  • At 7:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My word would be "moist"

    xxxooo Mr.Bill

  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Mr. Bill!!!!!

    I heart you big time.

    Come to the desert and drink peyote smoothies with us!


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