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Never leave the bathtub running and always choose one word for the New Year

An overflowed bathtub

I was tired. The thought of a warm bath, sounded relaxing.

I started the water running, then I went downstairs for a few minutes to write. After I wrote, I washed a few dishes, then painted in my studio, and moved a few boxes in the basement.

Then I heard water running. Then I was running.

There was two inches of water on the floor and the water was running over the top of the tub.

My first thought was: Do I run and get my camera or run and get a towel? A photograph of the water running over the top and would be so  dramatic.

I turned off the water and threw towels all over the floor.

Never leave the water running

Water dripped through the floor and went along the seams on the ceiling drywall in the living room, and dripped from the light in the laundry room. Thankfully I didn’t stay in the basement painting or I wouldn’t have heard the water running.

Never leave the bathtub running and always choose one word for the New Year

Did you choose a word this year? A word to focus on, a goal to reach for.

Did you choose something positive to strive for this year? Sometimes people focus on a negative trait they want to overcome. Instead of focusing on the negative, be postive, choose a word that symbolized a goal.

Can you guess my word for this year?

Is my word Bathtub? Water? Run? Mess?

No, keep guessing.

Is my word “Towel?” No, it is not towel. My word is:


Yes, my word is focus. I want to pay particular attention to what I am doing.

The other word I want to add this year is FINISH.

Because I can’t focus, the bathtub runs over, I run around the house cleaning seven litter boxes, forgetting where I put my hammer, leaving my paint brushes to dry out, and never finishing anything.

I had to wash all of my towels,  I used up all of the hot water, and I couldn’t take a bath for hours until the water heater warmed up more water. All because I couldn’t focus.

It is time to take a bath and focus on finishing.

Did you pick one word for the year? Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat. 

Here are several articles that talk about alternatives to making a New Years Resolution. I hope they are helpful.

Rewriting Resolutions  & Choosing One Word at (in)courage: home for the hearts of women

Why You Shouldn’t Bother With Resolutions This Year by Jeff Goins at Goinswriter.com

Smart Entrepreneurs Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions — They Do This Instead by Eric T. Wagner at Forbes

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Alison Jane Again

    Hi Pamela, I’ve come over from the Tribe Writers FB page, and I LOVE your blog layout with the Tribe theme!!!

    I also love your story, and sat here smiling, thinking about all the times this has happened in my life, the worst being when my mum had a load of washing going, and the drain in the sink somehow became blocked. She left the house to pick my sister and I up from youth group, my dad had fallen asleep in the chair, and consequently about 1/2 the house was flooded. I remember bucketing water out of the kitchen, during an electrical storm, with the flooring in the kitchen, hallway and lounge room having to be replaced, as well as some of the furniture!! Believe me, I’ve always made sure the drains are clear in my own house!!

    My word for 2014 is Love – I want to see the world through a filter of love, and for love to direct all my thoughts and actions. I want to love as Jesus loves us, I know this isn’t a 12 month project, but being intentional is a start!

    • Hello Alison Jane,
      Thank you for coming over to look at my blog. I am happy you like the colors.

      Oh my Alison, you win the prize for water story damage. I had better always check our drains too!

      Love your word. Sort of a life time word. That is one word I should write all over the walls on my house. If I am too focus, whatever I focus on should be done in love. I raise a toast (a glass of water) to your year of love!

  • Bonnie Kaplan

    Ha My first thought was: Do I run and get my camera or run and get a towel? A photograph of the water running over the top and would be so dramatic.

    That could be me!!!
    Focus, I tired that word last year. Good one.
    For me so far, swimming has been working. I’m swimming 🙂
    Everything back to normal?

    • Hello Bonnie,
      Everything is back to normal, the towels are dry, and I eventually had a bath. The only thing that is not quite right, is the paint that is chipping off in the living room ceiling.
      That is a project for later.
      Swimming? You could hang out in my tub. I pray all is well with you. Swim on!

  • I’m late reading, but loved all the interactions below, too, Pamela. I’ve never done this “in” the house, but left the sprinkler on outside for a very long time, till finally, the noise got through to me! “Focus” is a great word, and you may laugh at mine however, it’s ‘wander’. I chose to do ‘wander’ in order to break into new things, find new ideas to tackle. If you read my post today, you would see that sometimes my ‘wandering’ also lacks some focus because I’m trying to do so many things. What a dilemma. At the end, I’m so glad you finally heard the water!

    • Hello Linda,
      I love your word. Wander. Now I will wander over and read your story.
      Did the grass where your sprinkler was grow taller than the rest of your yard? I fun water story.
      I am glad I heard it too!

  • djts

    I am trying not to ever leave a room with anything happening that someone should be watching! I came very close to melting a pan to the stove when the water evaporated. I have forgotten that I was running the water in the bathroom sink. Years ago I left the hose running in the horse trough all day. Fortunately, we had a good well. And I am glad irons turn off automatically after 5 minutes, though I don’t trust them to always do that.
    I am sorry for your misfortune, but I am also happy to see, it is not just me!

    • Hello,
      Well, sorry to smile, but I am glad I am not the only forgetful one. I have burned so many pans of peas, and walked away from hot oil more times than I want to admit. There is a pan in the oven now that I have to clean with scalded oil.
      Now I am so curious to know about your life and your horse. You may have a book there with your horse and well story.
      So happy to meet you.

  • Pamela Black

    My word is CONSISTENT. I want to be a consistent voice. I want to encourage and focus on God consistently. I realize that when I stray to every little random thing I lose my focus and become an inconsistent mess.

    If Gods messages to me are truly valid, then they are consistent, and mine should be as well. He is unable to speak through me if I am not doing things in a regular, timely, consistent manner.

    I think the main message he has been whispering to me is that it’s time to grow up. If I desire to be used by Him then I have to stay the course and prove my resolve by continuing on even in the midst of difficulty and trial.

    So, similar to FOCUS.

    I have made the bathroom flooding mistake before as well. Thankfully we have a slab, no basement or downstairs to flood 🙂

    • Hello Pamela,
      Consistent. Wow, what a concept. God is consistent isn’t He? If you write about his on your blog, please link to it here. Your comment would make a great blog post.
      God has been whispering to me too. He wants me to grow up and forgive my past.
      Hugs to you sister Pamela.

  • Loved the story, hated the consequences you had to deal with. Had a similar thing happen. Water from the upstairs bathroom came through the light fixture. It made the fan sound funny. Fan’s aren’s supposed to sound at all. What room got affected? my office. I still have paint that bubbled as a result of it.

    It could have been worse.

    What is my word? I have not chosen one, but if I did, I think it would be “celebrate.” I don’t stop to celebrate my accomplishments. Sometimes other people point them out to me, or I hear the word congratulations on your success. I almost look around to see who they are talking to. I need to learn how to celebrate. Could use prayers in this area.

    • Dear Anne,
      Thank you for sharing you water story.
      Praying for you to celebrate and smile. Celebrate sounds like a fun word. A good word as you start this new year.

  • Stacey Shubitz

    Oh, the mess you had to endure. At least it was water!
    FOCUS sounds perfect. 🙂

    • Hi Stacey,
      If you ever need your ceiling repaired, I can help you. I know how and I am about to get a lot more experience!
      Time to Focus!

  • Janelle

    Oh dear. I’ve had distraction floods before too. My word is do. It’s helping me f.o.c.u.s 🙂 on what I want to do this year.

    • Do is a good word. I might add that to my list. The focus is so I will finish and I have to “do” to do that.
      It will be a FDF year, or FDOF year. I raise my glass to your word!

  • Tara

    Oh boy, I had to smile when I read your post, Pamela. Been there…done that…still feel foolish!

    • Hello Tara,
      Isn’t life fun! We can make mistakes and still smile. Hugs to you Tara.

  • Dalton Sheets

    This was a hilarious post. Not because I am laughing at you, but I have done the same thing with a mop bucket, and it was a disaster! This brought me back into that moment when I started filling up the mop bucket and began to do other things. Next thing I know I’m upstairs and can smell the scent of a minty-pine aroma. I sprinted down stairs to find a river of water flowing over the carpet and into a drain. Needless to say not one of my best moments, but kind of funny looking back on it. Focus and finish would be two great words for me to work on as well. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Dalton,
      So funny you did the same thing with a water bucket. Not laughing at your too. May I laugh with you? I did it once in the kitchen sink about 18 years ago too, we had to replace the carpet in the dining room.
      Maybe I should tattoo the word on my hand, or carry around a timer.
      Thank you for stopping by.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Pamela, didn’t you have an “on demand” water heater in your apartment when you were living in Japan?? Seems to me you did. Sorry about your tub running over, now you have a repair job to add to your many other jobs. Good thing you’re so talented. 🙂

    • Hi Mom,
      You are right I did. I forgot about that. I didn’t know they would make them for a whole big house.
      Thank you for your encouragement Mom. I am also thankful for a husband who doesn’t get mad when the ceiling paint is chipping off.

  • Elsie

    Looks like you’ve picked a great word for this year. Thanks for the reminder not to walk away from a running tub. 🙂

    • Good Morning Elsie,
      I am always happy to remind you not to be silly. I hope you have a fun day today on your walk. I wonder what you will focus on?

  • No word for this year, yet. Maybe I need to choose one before I have a story like this one! Have a wonderfully focused day in the Lord.

    • Good Morning Michael,

      Perhaps your word will be bathtub this year. I pray for your ministry in Portugal. Prayers for you and your family.
      Thank you for your prayer for a focused day in the Lord.

  • We do have those tendencies, don’t we – start one thing, only to get caught up in half a dozen more at the same time. I don’t have a word. There are too many to choose from. Have you ever considered installing an ‘on demand’ hot water heater?

    • Good Morning Shelley,
      Perhaps it is the creative in us, to work on several projects at the same time.
      I have never heard of an ‘on demand’ water heater. I will look in to it, or else just stay in the bathroom while I fill the tub. 🙂

  • Oh dear, oh dear. I guess it’s better than leaving a candle burning, or leaving the gas oven on. My word for the year is “friendship.”

    • Kathleen,
      Yes, much better than a candle or a gas oven. At least I know how to repair the ceiling. Messy, but doable.
      What a friendly word. May your year be filled with joy and friendship.

  • Michelle Salerno

    I’m not sure yet. I like the idea of focus. Another blogger is using risk to I courage herself to stretch out her comfort zone.

    • Good Morning Michelle,
      Please tell me if and when you choose a word, then I will encourage you with your word. Will it be chocolate?

  • Brianna Wasson

    I couldn’t figure out just one word for my year. So it’s a phrase from a verse in the Bible instead. “Keep in step with the Spirit.” Because I want to keep up, not miss opportunities I know God gives me. And I want to make right choices and love really living. Also, I could use some focus. Great story, my friend.

    • Hello Brianna,
      Your verse for the year sounds wonderful. A good reminder to focus on God. I hadn’t thought about choosing a verse. May I keep in step with the Spirit with you? We can step and focus together, my friend. 🙂

      • Brianna Wasson

        Oh, please, please, please join me! I could sure use your company. 🙂