One Word: Balance


Last year was my “do” year. And baby, I DID.

I said yes to a lot of things. Yes to a new job teaching piano lessons. Yes to a new church. Yes to writing and submitting a book proposal. Yes to a trip to Moldova. Yes to my first not-at-my-church speaking engagement. Yes to participating in two podcasts.

It was a full year.

But with all of those yeses, I let some things get away from me. My family has eaten way more pizza than is acceptable. I did not take care of my health or my house the way that I had intended. I allowed myself to become overwhelmed emotionally. I left some projects sitting that needed to be finished.

This is how things tend to work for me. I throw myself into one thing (or five things) and I completely neglect others.

Now I know that I can’t do everything. Some things are going to fall by the wayside. I may not have time to watch Mad Men, even though Netflix tells me I’ll love it. I probably won’t get around to playing Skyrim. I have no intention of becoming a foodie in the coming year.

But I can strike a better balance.

When I started thinking about my One Word for 2013, I kept coming back to balance. And I kept pushing it aside, because it is the least sexy word ever. Do was cool and exciting and active. Balance is just so…blah. It’s all responsible and grown-up and boring.

But I know that if I want to be able to do all of things that I want to do and that I think that I need to do, I need some semblance of balance in my life.

I need schedules and charts. I need lists and planners. I need organization and perspective.

These are not things that come easily to me. They are not things that I like. Orderly would never, ever be a word that would be used to describe me.

I think I fought against balance because I mostly like my impulsive, reckless self and I don’t want her to go away. But balance isn’t a call to remove that version of me entirely. I just need to even her out with some order in areas that don’t have to be impulsive, or worse, are harmed by my haphazard attitudes.

So balance it is. Trying to find that sweet spot between chaos and order. I’m pretty sure it exists somewhere, but I’m going to need your help to find it. Thanks in advance for grace while I go searching.


Also, I’m serious when I say that I’m terrible about organization. So what are some of your favorite apps or programs to help you stay organized? And if you’re doing the One Word, what is yours? Leave a link for me! (And a huge thanks to Melanie at Only A Breath for the lovely art on today’s blog! If you want your own One Word bling, you can request it from her right here!)

  • Bob Keeley

    I like to use a free mac application called iProcrastinate to help me organize all of the items on my to-do list. It lets me shift the stuff from day to day easily and it is an interface that actually helps me think about the things I have to do.

    • Alise Wright

      I’ll have to see what the PC equivalent is, since I’m still not on board with a Mac. ;-D

      I do need to get better about lists though. Because right now, I just look at them like they’re the devil.

  • Matt @ The Church of No People

    I think that’s a great word, Alece! Balance is so important. And I am the same way – pouring myself into work at the expense of everything else.

    I’m on the OneWord train this year :) –

    • Alise Wright

      Woohoo! Love your word – that’s a good one. I want to like my word, but I’m still not very excited about it.

      And I’ll be honest. It’s not always my work. Sometimes I’m just pouring myself into Bejeweled Blitz.

  • Happy

    Hi, Alise! I’m participating in OneWord this year, too – inspired by you. :)

    Sad to hear you’re still on a PC – I would totally recommend iProcrastinate, too! It’s simple and easy – and hey, it’s called iProcrastinate – so when i don’t do something on my list, i don’t feel at all guilty… ;)

    I have friends who recommend “Remember the Milk” – – might be worth a shot. Good luck, from one disorganized person to another.

    • Alise Wright

      Just checked out Remember the Milk- looks like a good one! Thanks for the recommendation.

      And compassion is a great word. Tough, tough, tough, but so good.

  • HopefulLeigh

    This is a good one, Alise. I have a boring, grown-up word for this year, too. (Too be revealed next week.) I am hopeless without my planner- just a weekly one from Barnes and Noble. If it’s not in there, it’s not happening. I write down errands I need to run and of course get togethers, concerts, etc. As far as organization goes, do you have a Container Store near you? I like to wander around the store and see how they do things, then figure out if I’ll actually use the suggested bins or if I can modify the system using what I already have. It makes no sense to buy organization tools if I won’t use them!

    • Alise Wright

      I’m not sure where the nearest Container Store is (maybe in Pittsburgh?). That is something I SUCK at. I’ll go to my sister’s house and see baskets with things, so I’ll think, “Okay, I just need baskets and then I’ll be organized.” And then I just have baskets underneath my piles of crap. It’s appalling. I have no knack for this AT ALL.

  • Lindsay

    I smiled reading through this because my word this year is “action” because I have spent too much of my time planning and organizing and writing things down and so often leave dreams un-done on paper. I wish you God’s best as you seek balance this year. :)

    • Alise Wright

      Thanks! “Do” was a great word and I’m sure action will be for you as well!

  • Michelle Woodman

    My word this year is “peace”, particularly in relation to “pray about everything, be anxious for nothing” part, as I have the “be anxious” part down like a boss. :-P

    And Evernote is my favourite app in terms of jotting down ideas and notes. I also have it set up on my computer and iPad, so I never have an excuse for not having it handy. ;-)

    • Alise Wright

      Yeah, I’ve used Evernote for a while for blogging. Really helpful.

      Good luck with peace! Great thing to remember!

  • David Ozab

    We picked the same word! And no I didn’t copy—here’s my post describing how I got to the same place you did via a somewhat different path

  • Kelly J Youngblood

    I don’t know what my word is yet. I feel like it will be something about stepping out of my comfort zone or being bold or really being myself or just…something along those lines. I can’t quite figure it out. Nice that a writer can’t come up with ONE WORD, huh? :D

    Re: organization: I recently started using Evernote. Am reading and maybe implementing Michael Hyatt’s Creating Your Personal Life Plan as well as Laurie Beth Jones’ stuff about finding/creating your mission. Just a little while ago I took a large zippered binder I have and made sections for those things as well as every other regular thing I have going on (classes at church, MOPS, the study guide I am writing, etc.) so that I have everything all in one place rather than in different binders or folders or stacks.

  • Sarah Askins

    I love your word, and it isn’t that grown-up or boring. I loved reading about your DO year and looking forward to following along on your journey.

  • Leanne Penny

    My word is Trust, it’s hard and painful but that’s my word. The of 2012 taught me that I suck at it and I don’t want to live like that anymore.

  • Pingback: One Word 365 | A Deeper Story

  • RawFaith

    I don’t normally have a word for the year. If I did though last year’s word would have been Thankful… thankful to be alive… thankful for incredible relationships… thank you for provision and a place to live etc…. and this years would probably be something like Trust… to remember and believe that God is faithful and to believe that it’s going to be ok.