US: My One Little Word for 2014

Us how it is supposed to be

We’re in our 50’s. Ideally, by now, our home should look and feel exactly like we’ve dreamed it should be. Ideally, by now, our savings and investments should be plump and promising. Ideally, by now, all of our relationships with family and friends should be wonderful and fulfilling. Ideally, by now, our respective degrees should have provided a path to the successful careers of our individual dreams. Ideally, by now, we should be indulging in our hobbies, going on weekend jaunts, inviting, and being invited by, friends to weekly dinners and outings. Ideally, by now, we should be in that place that we can watch and entertain our grandchildren at a moment’s notice — certainly at a week or month’s. Ideally, by now, we should be looking forward to retirement and those “golden years.” Ideally.

But life is messy. Perhaps messier now than it’s ever been before when it comes to marriage, raising a family, and preparing for retirement. Messy and financially uncertain.

Us life we have plannedFor years it’s been about working one, two, sometimes three jobs to provide the basics for a family in the raising. A modest life: no frills, no extravagance. Decades of going to school, to better ourselves and, hopefully, our employability. We haven’t failed, but we haven’t arrived at our dream careers either.  At what point is the reality of accomplishing your dream a foolish pursuit, or a bona-fide possibility? And can dreams and reality ever really exist side-by-side. Here’s to heavy sighs and high hopes.

Over the years and decades of our marriage, family (his, mine, and ours), school, and work have consumed our life. I use the term “our” loosely, for there are many times when it hasn’t felt like our life at all. At least, not when it comes to just my husband and me.

As the popular John Lennon quotation emphasizes: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” Where we ideally planned {dreamed, thought, intended, hoped} to be is not where we are. Not right now.

Us a movie

Our life as individuals and as a couple has been worthy of a good read. Our own Indie flick in the making. We have had good times and not-so-great times. We have had crazy days and lazy days. We have been sure and we have been puzzled. We’ve had a life full of the big US {family} and not so much of the medium Us {friends}, or the intimate us {you & me}.

US Lucky

We are lucky to be in our fifties and still breathing. We are lucky to be in touch with, and close by to, our adult children and grandchildren. We are lucky to have family and friends who not only love us, but actually may even like us, too. We are lucky to be slightly skinny, or slightly pudgy, and still be generally healthy. We are lucky to be able to voice our opinions with family and still be open to discussions. Some would say that because we live in Southern California we are lucky enough.

US love you

But it’s time — for US. We can still be generous with our family {learning to say yes when it’s feasible and not feeling guilty when we want to say no}. We can start being spontaneous with friends {“We’d love to have you over for dinner this Saturday, is your calendar open?”}. Perhaps most of all, though, we can begin being more conscientous of our life together as a couple. This couple — right here, right now.

And, as always, we will continue to give thanks to our glorious Lord — because only with Him will all things, especially us, be possible.

So that is why I chose US as my word for 2014.


  1. Us is a great word. As I started to read I thought, “oh I have to share my OLW quote, it’s perfect.” Kept reading and found you had already included Joseph Campbell’s words. Best wishes as you continue on the yearly quest to bring US into your life. I love how you have found it in so many important words.

  2. Robin you did a great job of this post.. So interesting how you ran the thread of US through the words that didn’t stand alone as “US” words. And from my perch on my hill, I understand where you’re coming from. My husband and I started out as 2 , then had 3 children, all paired up now who have 6 children between them.. That’s a total of 14 ( counting me ). Good for you for going back to US.

  3. As always Robin, I enjoyed this post because I have been trying to get back to “us” in regards to so many of the areas you referred to as well! It will be a great year for all of “us”!

  4. “US” has planned and saved for the future only to fall upon ‘cut backs’ in government and many ‘cut backs’ in health plans from Ford Motor Co. And to face a growing young lady through college, needing a car for her first real job. And then there is a need to live some where, hopefully close to her work. Plus she needs that first month rent, the deposit, and of course she needs to eat. Being in our middle ’60’s, it’s harder to replace all those saved $ amounts. I’ve gone without for so long, I will continue to go without. But I do have my health, and for how long, only God knows. So to nite, I will have a little talk to my creator and ask, ‘where did I go wrong”. I feel as though I missed something. Maybe in the next world, I will get it right.

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