Thursday 20th January 2022

No (ONE) Word Of The Year For Me. 6/2019.

No (ONE) Word Of The Year For Me. 6/2019.

Dear Readers,

In my earlier post here, I gave a rundown on my success/lack thereof with recent “words of the year”. I said I would be back with what I have in 2019.

Here I am.

I have no (ONE) word of the year at all. I have many and I need to share the story more.

Thank you,


If you have ever wondered why it is hard to come to a decision about something? I have been like this with the notion of a word/intention for 2019.

I have asked myself MANY times why and the response is usually because I want to cover all I need for me in 2019.

This is impractical so I will share the range of words here in this post.

Last year as I went through two surgeries for re-construction and re-modelling inside my mouth after my oral cancer diagnosis in May 2017. In doing that I had a significant need to remember to be B.O.L.D. that is: Be Brave Optimistic Loving & Learning Determined Denyse. It was (and still is engraved on a small bracelet chain I wear day and night. I could ‘touch it’ or read it to remind me of how I wanted to be even in the hardest of situations. Some of these included being told a 4th surgery was necessary and would be a much longer time for me to wear a stent inside my mouth to allow the space to stay open.

I kept my practice going of wearing an outfit, having a photo taken, going out for a coffee and sharing what I got up on Instagram and the on-line support was a boost I always appreciated.

Of course, I did not only rely on the bracelet and already had so much knowledge and experience from the even more emotionally hard days well before my cancer diagnosis. Even though I did not seem to be able to live as I would have liked then I was sowing the seeds within. Many of these titles were listened to in the car and in my then art room as I made patterns and mandalas (another coping mechanism for my anxiety pre-cancer) and meditate along with some of these mindfulness teachers.

I believed I was going well in many aspects as I could face the hard things which I wrote about here and here. I also had greater understanding of what it is to be human! We are not alone at all. My meditation practices helped. Not always. But anything which slowed down my critical voice and over-active mind was a good thing!

In August 2018 the event I had waited over 14 months for occurred. I had the new upper prosthesis of teeth screwed into my new jaw and gums. At last, I could eat more again! So exciting. It was (and still is) and work-in-progress as the mouth I use to eat is so very different to one that has natural teeth attached to a natural jaw.

3 months difference! I like to recognise special days

But I loved trying new foods. Until in the last few months my weight changed. Up. I am continually torn between eating for fun/enjoyment and for nourishment. Sigh. So, not being disrespectful to my professional team at all, I need to take personal responsibility for my eating. I am not 100% confident with that yet (again!) as I have had issues with being very overweight (related to using food for needs other than hunger) and I confessed all that here.

I value honesty and truth-telling and I know some people who read here tell me that they think I am being brave. Well, that maybe the case but I cannot hide. I tried that a long time ago and it does not work. So I must accept my truth is that I am vulnerable and sometimes look to food to be a salve for what I cannot fix. I actually do not want to be like this anymore. I am needing to find the words to help me through and they seem to be based in:

  • self-care
  • self-kindness
  • self-compassion

But even before I can do this well, I have to accept what my ageing body is doing (70 this year) and normalising that is hard! I thought managing cancer was all I had to do. Nope.

  • I have to manage my IBS symptoms when and if they appear,
  • I need to be aware of my regular skin checks, eye sight (I had a wee scare late December which turned out to be floaters),
  • my feet cannot embrace many shoes so I need to care for them better
  • manage my weight. Oh I was so hoping I would not HAVE to go there
  • acknowledge that some foods add weight & were what I used to calm me then I need(ed) to be able to embrace those emotions that are stress/anxiety/worry based …
  • and, in owning up to them, let them arrive, and let them go of their own accord.

This is what I have also learned in my mindfulness, meditation, podcasts and more.

So many wonderful people speaking on these CDs and each has helped (and continue to help) me.

Calm is my latest and the each 10 minutes has something of value to me to shift my attitude and be more at one with myself.

A word popped into my head two weeks back as I considered this topic (where were we….ah, Word or Intention!) and INTEGRATE stayed. I now have this word on a second bracelet and it may look a teensy bit over-done but as a visual and sensory reminder, with the tiny heart bracelet in between I reckon they will help me return to calm(er) waters.

The bracelets don’t stay like this of course but each faces me so I can see them and remember!

What now?

I continue to face what I need to do to live honestly and to embrace the emotions I dislike.

  • To this end, and because I had been learning lots about self-compassion, I have just started on the Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook by Kirstin Neff PhD & Christopher Germer PhD. I shall share progress on this in future blog posts.
  • I remain committed to something creative each day and am exploring different ways of using my small and medium art journal and finding that excellent. I am returning to mandala making. I have, to a greater extent, ruled out Tarot cards. I just am not in a headspace for that right now.
  • I think too, that I have been pretty distracted since Tuesday 8 January 2019 where I had an unexpected mouth check as more skin was growing and it came as a shock that it was done in case it was cancer. THAT in itself is another post. I had pushed cancer to the back and I was jolted back to reality when my surgeon said “I’m a cancer doctor”. Oh.
  • He also mentioned the possibility of further and extensive in-mouth surgery if the lip continues to have reduced room between it and the teeth and when he outlined what they might involve, I was pretty shocked. HOWEVER, nothing is decided yet but it’s there, hovering.

Every 7th week now on my Monday link-up the optional prompt will be Self-Care and I have added this for me and for anyone else who wants to share their self-care. 

I have written a lot and still there is no conclusive one word or an intention  but this is how it is for me in January 2019.

Thanks for reading!

I hope it’s been of interest to you.

It has helped to write it out.


Linking up with Sue here and Leanne on Wednesdays for Midlife Share The Love link up.

On Thursdays I link with Leanne and the crew at Lovin’ Life here.



  1. Integrate is a perfect word, it brings it all together and we can’t move on properly until we integrate what has gone beforehand. Pinning this xx

    • Thanks Jan. I think it is a good one and having it in front of me on my right wrist reminds me to do so when life begins to feel a bit unfair!


      Denyse x

  2. That’s a great round up of thoughts and words Denyse! You’ve had so much going on in the past few years that weight gain is just not fair!!!! I like the word integrate and agree with Jan’s comment! #mlstl

    • Thank you for your kind words Debbie. I have actually made some small but helpful changes with what I am eating and quantity and there is a small loss on the scales after a month. I just needed to give myself a bit of a talk about ‘why’ and for the first time in my life I actually KNEW!!

      Denyse x

  3. I like the word integrate Denyse and agree we can’t move forward until we bring everything together. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and the bracelets are a great idea.

    • Thanks so much Sue. I do think it will help me and having it to see when I glance down sure is an awesome reminder when I might go down a more negative behavioural path.

      Denyse x

  4. I think it’s a great choice Denyse – often there are several areas of life we want to focus on and we need a word that encompasses this – that’s partly why I chose “More” for my word – it allows me room to apply it on several different levels. You’ve certainly been through an arduous time – those photos before and after your teeth sum up how far you’ve come don’t they?
    Wishing you a healthy and productive year ahead xx
    Thanks for linking with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Thanks Leanne you have been such a great supporter of mine through this cancer journey and your thoughts in comments are helpful and encouraging me always.

      Denyse x

  5. Denyse, I really like your word! I was searching for something that dealt with self-acceptance this year, but didn’t like anything that came up. Then I thought about “becoming” but it feels overplayed now with Michelle Obama’s book titled that. Isn’t it interesting when the word suddenly just seems right? Mine this year is Journey. And it’s got a phrase associated with it: Create the Vision. Plan the Path. Live the Journey. I want this year to be about embracing life. Living each day mindfully. Trying on more creative activities. (Yes, I’m still coloring my mandalas but want to try something more.) So, lots of similarities to you and your daily living. Oh, I adore your bracelets! What a wonderful way to keep your focus on your intention. Visiting from #MLSTL

    • Love your response to finding a word for you. That is great and look how much you are incorporating into the search. I always think we need to give ourselves room to move with the word choice and change as we go.

      You sure are sounding very determined and positive.

      Each 7th week I am having a specific prompt called “self-care, share your story” on my Monday link up #LifeThisWeek and you are most welcome to link up about how you are going!

      Thanks so much for your response as it is so positively in tune to what you want in 2019.

      I am listening to Michelle Obama’s book narrated by her when I go in my long trips to Sydney for medical and dental work and I am enjoying knowing more about her.

      Denyse x

  6. Integrate sounds like the perfect word for where you are right now Denyse. You’ve had and continue to have so many things to deal with over the last year or so. Integrate is a word that in my mind assists in bringing a sense of ‘balance’ and peace – what I personally seek, as most people do. I love your bracelets – a lovely visual reminder. xo #TeamLovinLife

    • Thanks Min for “getting it” because for a while there I wasn’t sure I did.

      I think the reasons I chose it was partly in response to the fact that I had another health thing wrong and in some ways I wanted to say “not fair” and then I realised, I need to “integrate” whatever comes along in a realistic and positive way. I suspect this will be quite the learning curve.

      Glad you like my little bracelets.

      Denyse x

  7. Integrate sounds perfect – but so too does SELF. Your bracelets are a perfect (and decorative) visual reminder. #teamlovinlife

    • I need a reminder because how quickly does our brain go down a negative path!!

      I have found that when I am under some stress (eg in Sydney in the dental chair – boring and tedious) I can just gently touch and play with what’s on my wrists and no-one knows.

      I must say I have a few tricks that help like that and I had to use them to remain calm.

      Thanks Jo,

      Denyse x

  8. Denyse, I’ve been having one of those weeks where I’ve had to embrace the emotions I don’t like but have to feel to move on with life. Thanks for the words of wisdom!

    SSG xxx

    • Oh boo to those weeks and so early in the year. Why can’t people just be….(insert your word of choice) for a while?

      I have been doing more walking into than walking away from things which make me a bit/lot anxious and with some extra reminders like my little bracelets I find I am better at it each time.

      Just imagine that I also struggle with you!

      Take care, lovely.

      Denyse x

  9. Food is so easy to turn to when life gets hard. You do a good job of trying to keep yourself in line.

    • Yes it is but this time round at least I have recognised it and taken steps. Before now, this would have been a bigger challenge.

      Thanks for coming by to comment.

      Denyse x

  10. I love this Denyse and love your honesty. I do the self-deprecating thing a lot but am rarely honest about how down I sometimes feel. I kinda hibernate. I write about it sometimes but not always and I really don’t talk much about the fact I suffer major depression and have been on medication for over a decade.

    But I’m also conscious it’s good to talk about the downs as well as the ups and you’ll find people (like me) will get better at being honest about that stuff as well.

    There’s so much in my life I’m grateful for (and I know you feel the same about yours) but the negative stuff drags me down so quickly. I think you – like me – though are becoming more resilient and bouncing back. I can see it in your posts that you might have a down day but try to find some silver lining. And I think it’s definitely possible to feel down and melancholy without it coming across as if we’re whinging. I think we know people who are NEVER happy and they can be exhausting! xxx

    • I have read your very thoughtful and thought-filled response twice and I can tell that we sure would love a chat in person!!

      Until that happens (!) then can I say, your comment was helpful to me and I hope to others who read it as well as letting me know, kindly, that you can see I am making progress,

      There are many days I do not feel that way but when others notice it, it is very buoying.

      Love, Denyse x

      P.S. I know you are not blogging much but wondered if you would like to consider a post to add to my new optional prompt on 7th week? I have deliberately added another regular prompt and this one is Self-Care, Share Your Stories. The more we share, I reckon the less we feel we are alone. xx

  11. Integrate is good…it’s an overarching theme for what you want. I have to read Neff’s self-compassion book — it’s been sitting by my bedside for far too long!

    • Thanks Sanch. Have you done the quiz about your level of self-compassion on her website? I did it a few times over some months and it was interesting to note how I had changed in some areas from the reading and INTEGRATING (sorry couldn’t help myself) into my life.

      Denyse x

  12. What a journey.
    I love the bracelets. That’s such a great idea.

    • Thank you. They helped remind me today of my inner strength and courage as I sat uncomfortable but not hurting for almost 4 hours in the dental chair at the prosthedontists.

      Denyse x