• Reji Laberje

Space . . . My Final Frontier

Updated: Jan 2, 2019

Monday, January 1st, 2018 - Word of the Year

Happy New Year, friends! For those of you who have known or followed me for years, you know that I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions; I do words. Words are so much a part of my life that, nearly a decade ago, I decided that I would choose a word (after praying about it) to guide my year. For that year, my chosen word would partner with my life word: Engage.

"For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice" ~T.S. Eliot

I’ve had the words “Bold,” “Balance,” “Ignite,” “Truth,” and “Transition,” to name a few. I can’t say I’ve lived all of them well, but I do my best and try to reflect on the word throughout the year.

As I go into 2018,

before I was even thinking about my word,

it came to me:SPACE.

It is my frontier for this upcoming year.

It’s true that I’m a lifelong Trekkie . . . proud nerd alert! . . . but this is not really what the word is about for me. SPACE is indeed a frontier that, as I’ve sought so many other goals over the years, has grown small to nonexistent in many areas of my life.

Over this Christmas break, shorter than usual because of the weekend falls of the actual holidays, my youngest daughter said to me at one point that she was bored because she wasn’t used to not having to get ready for a bunch of things. Mind you, this same child has been nearly to tears at other times in our lives because she has so MUCH going on! What struck me is that the lifestyles of my husband and I have actually trained our children to go, go, go . . . even if it’s miserable to do so.

I was thinking about this very thing while driving when my word came to me and then I began to reflect on all of the areas of my life where SPACE is needed.

Excuse my cliché, but I have to start at the most common New Year’s place of all for this first one. MY CLOTHES NEED SPACE! Over the course of several stressful years, I gained 45 pounds. There. I said it. To all of YOU! If I don’t say it, I’m not really owning it, right? The worst of it was, in the midst of a growing business, I did more video over the course of these past few years than the rest of my life combined. There's nothing quite like the wake-up call of seeing your overweight self on camera, and having to get new wardrobe pieces each season, to remind you of the SPACE you need in the waistline of your pants. Mind you, my husband and I were very athletic for years, doing triathlons, as well as each of those three sports individually.

My favorite exercise was weight training and I took pride in being strong, then, but there’s no way I’m showing you a picture of me in a two-piece today! (Thus why you get the ambiguous clipart instead!) They are all buried under the new uniform of shapewear . . . made to slim and suffocate! I can give you all the same excuses every woman over 40 (42 as of two weeks ago . . . yep – I own my age, too) has, but it’s not like I don’t know what it takes to be in shape. More exercise – Less empty calories. This isn’t rocket science. It’s about lifestyle and, as long as those two factors are in place, you do whatever works for you consistently and over the long-term. I may never be in my tri-shape again—an obsessive life that wasn’t healthy, either—but I can certainly get back to a healthy size, strength, and feeling well.

Of course, the reason I was given this word for the year had more to do with time than anything else. I look forward to creating SPACE in my calendar to do the important things in my relationships and service roles and to spend time in nature or with loved ones in conversation. I also want SPACE in the hours of my days to be able to pray, be on time to places without stress, do little tasks that create harmony, and offer my two children who are still young enough to be living at home the time and attention they need. It’s time to dump the things I don't need . . . uninspiring television, unnecessary listicles, and unimportant activities.

Professionally, I look forward to SPACE from those hours, and in my brain, to allow creativity to flow for my writing endeavors. I am SO grateful to work with others, but also wish to be able to write my own stories that will grow the Kingdom, can help others, or have lived in my head for ages. I'm done with the years of writing full-length books monthly, sending them to #1, and not even taking the time to reflect (that was a word I failed on one year) on the positive impacts before having to move onto a next project. LESS will be more!

And the mind doesn’t do so well without the engaged heart. It’s time to release any of the pieces of my heart that are tied up in negative and useless things like grudges, unforgiveness, judgement, or the things I cannot control or change. This will make SPACE to pour into positivity, be that in activities or relationships.

Lastly, SPACE is needed to organize my life! SPACE in my closets and storage areas – time to get rid of and give away the things that aren’t needed so that I can enjoy the things that are! Time to create SPACE in my budget through an organized plan that allows growth in my personal life and professional life! Time to create SPACE in my computers and devices so that I don’t have junk cluttering up my mind and time (both areas that also need SPACE).

What is YOUR word for 2018?

How do you hope it effects your relationships, professional

life, spiritual connections, and personal fulfillment?

I’d love to hear your thoughts (in the comments below)

around how a single word can change your whole

life’s perspective, if even for a year.

By relying on more SPACE in my life, I decided one other thing. My new GRAPHOSPASM CLUB will exist in a way that makes it accessible to EVERYONE! It’s going to be FREE. No, you didn’t read that wrong and no, there isn’t a catch. Right now, the SPACE in time (not Space AND Time, for those Trekkies still hanging) does not allow for all of the administrative pieces, so I am giving you each of the video lessons absolutely free of charge. The first video is coming out TODAY! The quick-video series includes 24 lessons (sent on the first business days including or following the 1st and 15th of each month) covering the full spectrum of writing industry questions, from creative lessons, to marketing know-how, to the ins and outs of the publishing industry and earning an income from your writing. All you have to do is sign up for my email list. (You'll get some free bestseller tips, too!) Don't worry; my formal classes aren't going anywhere, but the love of words can be enjoyed by all through Graphospasm Club. (Graphospasm - noun: the sudden contraction of words; also known as "Writer's Block.")

Sign me up for my FREE writing industry lessons from a Bestselling Author!

Maybe it’s time to make SPACE in your life to move that book you want to write from the bucket list to the bookshelf. Help me make better words for a better world. Consider this your Happy New Year gift from Bucket List to Bookshelf with Reji Laberje!

Yours in writing,



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