In 2013 I said “YES!” to a lot of things.

I decided to “go back” to school via some online classes so I could get my “Plus 30”: thirty credits beyond my Master’s Degree that will get me up to the next level in our pay scale in my district. I have four more classes to go (two this semester and two this summer) until I am done.

I said “yes” to going back to my adjunct position at the local community college. I taught two nights a week during fall semester and I loved it.

I said “yes” to freelance writing.

I say “yes” to my job of teaching every day.

I tried to say “yes” to doing more with my family and my kids–especially during the summer.

As a result of all those times I said YES gave my year some very rich joy and a sense of accomplishment.  But as with anything I do, it also resulted in some tremendous stress and anxiety.

Work and home and grading and writing and family and my time ended up all rolled into one big tangled ball of ugly from time to time. There were times when I fell asleep putting Eddie to bed only to wake up two hours later, trudge upstairs and stand looking from my computer to my pile of work to my bedroom door.

This year, instead of doing a resolution, I am choosing one word to guide me for 2014.

My word is:


Yes, in 2014 I want to “disentangle” myself from the pitfalls of saying yes.  It doesn’t mean I am not still open to possibility, it means that I want to free myself from the extraneous details and the snarls of things that don’t matter.

I want to wander the internet aimlessly less often.

I want to be able to say “no” when I really, truly just want to have a free weekend with my family.

I want to be able to leave work at work.

I want to remember that putting my own children before my students is not a bad thing; in fact it is the right thing.

I want to strip away the things that I do for no other reason than I think I should do them.

I want to rid myself of the piles of nonsense at the end of each day and find my husband–my friend–waiting for me to engage.

I want to shed the shackles that keep me saying “yes” to things out of pride that I can add more to the list of what I can do and what I have done in the hopes of impressing…who?

I want to let go of the things that I have been clinging to that are of no use to me, and may actually be harming me.

I want to unleash the grip of finding comfort in food and other unhealthful things that have woven their way around me.

I want to let myself have room to think and breathe before making commitments.

I want to do things that make me happy, even if other people know nothing about them.

I want to continue to untangle the thoughts on my mind and in my heart here and on real paper.

2014 is the year I hope to Disentangle myself from myself in order to really BE myself.

What is your word for 2014?