I decided my Word for the Year would be Acceptance…but then I changed my mind…

When Megan told me she wanted to be a tattoo artist, my first thought was “what am I going to tell people?”

The first few times someone approached me with “so I hear Megan wants to be a tattoo artist”, I either shied away from the conversation, or talked about her desire to live a creative life. I felt judged for my parenting as my daughter was giving up both volleyball and university while at the same time, asking for a tattoo gun for Christmas! If I’m being totally honest, I felt as if those who were asking for details, were simply enjoying the show and getting a kick out of my discomfort.

It took some time, but I’m currently screaming from the rooftop that MY KID WANTS TO BE A TATTOO ARTIST because why the heck not! And while we’re on the topic…that same kid has a crazy large tattoo of three roses on her shoulder with plans to get a full “sleeve” (plus a “sibling tattoo” on her other arm) and guess what…I think they’re BEAUTIFUL!

My view changed when I saw a post from Meryl Cook about how proud she was of her son while sharing a video about his successful career as a tattoo artist. I messaged both Meryl and Keegan asking for advice and they were both so warm and welcoming while offering me some insight.


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When it hit me that my daughter’s choices were all about her and nothing to do with me…I felt like I’d failed her. As if my ill-perceived notions and fear of other’s reactions were more important than supporting my daughter’s dream!

I’m beyond grateful, that it didn’t take long for me to come around!


All of the above was the beginning of a blog post I’ve been sitting on for the last few weeks titled “Word of the Year”. I’ve chosen one of these “guiding words” for the last few years rather than making resolutions…and I’ve rather enjoyed the process. (Check out my blogs about Courage in 2017 and Nurture in 2018).

In the days leading up to the new year, I did a little soul-searching and made a few lists, to figure out how I’d like 2019 to unfold as I worked on choosing my word.

Basically…I looked at my life and the things I wasn’t happy with…the fact that I spend a lot of time worrying about what others think of me…how I’d lost a friendship a few years ago and was still allowing it to affect me…how this month, I’m ten years from my marriage breaking up and I still rehash things in my mind…the fact that I’m overweight and don’t like the body I live in…and the fact that I’m miserable dealing with things I can’t control. I looked at all of these things…plus a great deal more…and decided that my word of the year was going to be ACCEPTANCE. Then, I wrote a solid 1200 words and sat on the post for a number of days reworking it, rewriting it, rearranging it…not happy with something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on and unwilling to hit the publish button until it worked.

After all…my whole year is depending on me getting this right!

“Did you publish that blog post about your Word Thing”, Megan asked me the other day.

Side Note: When I write something about one of my kids…I typically share it with them to make sure they’re ok with me talking about them and I’d read this one to Meg a few days before she’d asked me if I’d published it.  

“Nope…I’m still working on it.” I told her. Then, I went on to explain that I wasn’t totally happy with it and couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong.

“It’s probably because your word is stupid,” she said.

“Excuse me?”

“Acceptance,” Megan continued…”It sounds like you’re giving up.” Then, she went on to say that she appreciated that I was accepting and supportive of her dream…but she didn’t want me to “accept” it just because I didn’t have a choice in the matter…she wanted me to EMBRACE it…and be happy for her.

Well crap!

I’ve sat with the word Embrace for over a week and while it completely works for embracing my daughter chasing her dreams…it didn’t seem to work for embracing my divorce, embracing that a friend I thought the world of no longer likes me, embracing that I don’t like the body I’m living inside of or my need for control.

Or did it?

Maybe I was looking at the word all wrong?

For starters, it definitely sounds more positive than the word ACCEPTANCE but along with the positivity…there was something about the word that was poking at me…making me feel a bit uncomfortable and think a little harder about the way I look at things. It took a bit…but I came to the realization that I didn’t just need to accept a few things that bothered me about my life…I needed to wrap my arms around myself in a massive hug and EMBRACE my hard-working, beautiful self!

I needed to tell myself that everything was going to be OK the exact same way I would for a friend who’d just listed out all of the things that were bothering her.

I need to forgive myself and move on from the past. I need to be kinder to myself and take the pressure off. I need to believe in myself and pat myself on the back from time to time. I need to be proud of my accomplishments and not feel I’m unworthy of them. I need to love myself as much as I love the people who surround me.

I need to EMBRACE myself despite what others think of me, despite my weight, despite things that have happened in my past…I need to give myself a massive hug…love myself for the good, kind, wonderful person I strive to be…I need to celebrate who I am!

I need to embrace my failures. Embrace my strengths and weaknesses. Embrace that I’m not perfect but holy crap I try to be pretty darn awesome. I need to embrace the fact that things don’t always go as planned but maybe God has a different plan! I need to embrace every single day…all the little moments and the big celebrations because they’re an amazing gift! Because life can change in an instant and it’s not worth sitting around being negative and miserable when you could choose to embrace the life you’re living and work to make it even better!

I need to stop worrying about whether or not people like me, if I’ll ever find love again, my insecurities as a parent, what I see when I look in the mirror, every mistake I’ve ever made and a past that haunts me.

I need to embrace the chaos, the mess, the successes, the struggles, the opportunities…the past and the future.

This year, I’m EMBRACING everything about my life because it’s simply not good enough to just ACCEPT the things I cannot change. I need to EMBRACE this amazing adventure I’m on, the people who are part of my journey…and me.

For 2019…my guiding word is EMBRACE!

And to be honest, I’m rather thankful I didn’t get Meg that tattoo machine for Christmas as I’m so excited, I might be convinced to write it on my skin!


Photos by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

I’d LOVE to know what your word of the year is and why you chose it.
Tell us about it in the comments! 

14 Replies to “I decided my Word for the Year would be Acceptance…but then I changed my mind…”

  1. I think it’s a wonderful word. I’m still laughing at Meg calling your word stupid… sounds like something I’d do ? I have an old tat that needs covering, maybe she can fix me up!

  2. If you don’t already have a tattoo, you soon will. And then… you’ll want another and another. Congrats to Megan for following her dream… and congrats to you for being so supportive.

  3. That’s the greatest thing about words. They challenge us in ways we’d never expect. All the best for the coming year, sending you an embracing hug

  4. TBH, I thought you were embracing life. ?You are an inspiration and continue to be! Your blogs are so honest! I enjoy them so much. Congratulations to Meg for finding out what she loves, having the courage to follow it and for having a supportive mom. Happy new year Colleen!

  5. My word is growth. I plan to continue to improve myself everyday ( the past year has been great for my physical changes but it’s time to focus on my personal goals). I am setting some big goals and working on sharing my purpose

    I love that you share your beautiful journey. I know it’s hard sometimes and I want you to know that you are always thought of with a smile ?

  6. Great word for the year, and honestly I feel like your daughter and I are similar in SO many ways hahaha! Congratulations to her for finding something that brings her joy – too many people work their life away at something that makes them unhappy simply because they feel as though that’s what society expects them to do.

  7. I think your daughter is right – embrace sounds so much better than acceptance. Embrace gives the feeling of being positive and that you are in control of your future, that you can make choices to steer your own direction.

    My son too decided to become a tattoo artist and began an apprenticeship almost one year ago. I have to say I felt a little worried about his choice because he had just finished a two-year course in Police Foundations and was thinking of becoming a police officer. He does have a natural drawing talent and this choice has led him to use his talent for something he loves to do. He is really enjoying it and has done some beautiful work. I did get my very first tattoo by him and I love it. He did tell me it will become addictive, and I guess he’s right because I’m booked with him in February to have my second tattoo done. So beware if you do have your daughter do a tattoo for you, you may want another!

    • Oh my goodness…that’s fantastic!!! I love that you’re a tattoo in and going for another. I can’t fathom getting one…but stranger things have happened. Thanks for your wonderful comment. Is your son’s work on Instagram? I’d be happy to follow him.

      • Yes, he is on Instagram – thanks for asking. You can find him at trevor_rodrigues. He has a number of other tattoos that he has done but has taken the pictures down so what he has pictured is only some of the tattoos he has done. I’ve always wanted a tattoo but never did it until he started tattooing. I thought it was kind of neat to have one that my son did.

  8. I love the word ‘Embrace’, such a strong word! It encompasses everything – past, present and future. ❤️