What single word would you use to describe yourself?

I ran into a friend at the grocery store the other day.

This is not surprising because a) I have lots of friends and b) I eat lots of groceries. This particular day I was just running into the grocery store while I was on my way home from … the grocery store. A different grocery store.

THAT’S the way I roll. I am a rolling ball of excitement who visits not one, but TWO and sometimes THREE grocery stores in a row. A remarkable feat when you consider I grow all of my own vegetables. And make everything else out of kitty litter and water bottle caps. What is it I’m buying then?

Well, on this particular trip it was a package of hot Italian sausages, buns, tortillas, sour cream and a copy of Flea Market Style magazine.

My friend Marlilyn who works at the grocery store came up and gave me a big hug and kiss.  This is not surprising because a) I’m very cute and b) Marilyn’s very kissy.

In fact 3 aisles later some man pointed to my lip marked cheek and jovially asked who’d  been kissing me.  I slapped him in the face with my sausage and screamed INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING, INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING.  It’s kind of a blur but I think I somehow got hold of a whistle and started blowing it too.

It was probably an overreaction on my part.  I’ve been a bit jumpy lately. But it’s amazing what people let you get away with after the tiniest of nervous breakdowns. I’m thinkin’ of robbing a bank.

Anyhow, Kissy-Monster Marilyn and I were talking and she described me as having a “steely resolve”.

Really?  I have a steely resolve?  I guess I do.  That’s fun.  I’m not sure I ever would have thought of myself that way, but now that she mentioned it … I think she’s right.  If I were to describe myself, “steely resolve” probably wouldn’t be the words I’d use.  Which got me to thinking … how would I describe myself if I could only use one word?

Kind?  No.  Even though I am kind in a lot of cases it’s not what defines me I don’t think.

Smart?  You bet.  I can spell the word Chihuahua without a dictionary AND I can tell you what temperature it is in Fahrenheit if only given the current temperature in celsius.  And a pen and paper.  And access to Google.

Funny?  Come now.

Then it came to me.  I’m determined.  It might not be a great word to describe myself to other people but it’s who I really am.  Others would probably describe me as funny.  Or handy. Or wildly engaging with just a touch of mystery.

But to me … I’m determined.

You know what I’m going to ask now don’t you?  And I want you to really think about it.  It might not be as easy as you think.

If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

Funny Kind Smart Caring Clever Happy Angry Damaged Mischievous?

Or maybe Steely?

Have a good weekend,





  1. Jen says:

    Loyal (as a Beagle)

  2. Sara says:

    Serendipitous. Such is my life :)

  3. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Searching..have been all my life..not sure what for..hopefully I will know if I ever find it..

  4. Danni says:


    Brenda I’m not sure if this will help but I truly believe this book helped save my marriage, try reading The Five Love Languages. The author has escaped me at the moment but he even has a website called the five love languages. Great book!

  5. janinemsam says:

    Planner/Director… Oldest bossy sister/cousin of many boys and flaky girls, only female rep on sales team, mom to two sullen teenagers. Printed calendars and sharpies make the world go round.. :)

  6. carol says:

    Yeah, you can spell chihuahua but can you spell Albuquerque?

    My word is smart-ass.

  7. kathy says:

    Thank you, Karen. Yes my soon to be ex- is an asshole too. My not-close friends and neighbors love him, as he can turn it on & off so smoothly. I always believed every word he said…. word of advice “beware”.

    And you are right, talking about it opens up a lot of conversations with people that you find really do love you for who YOU are. My favorite times in life are going to my own bed at night (we are still in the same home) and my worst times are waking up in the morning. I have faith that this too shall pass. I remember that I used to be a strong women and will again.

    Thank you for your kind words. And to quit being such a downer, I love your blog… hard to choose a favorite, but probably would be the chickens and Beatles “Hear Comes the Sun”. Also when I enjoyed cooking for us, I totally got into grinding your own hamburger…


  8. Katty says:


  9. Jay says:

    Aw hell. I’m mardy, chippy and stroppy (all great Northern England words for bloody-minded). I’m inquisitive, optimistic and engaged with our exciting world. I’m medicated, clinically depressed, struggling. I’m friendly, brave and compassionate. I’m a cineaste, a book-worm, a gardener, a mum. I’m dedicated, organised, creative, determined, a planner and an activist. I’m a sybarite, a culture-vulture, a friend and an insomniac.

    Oh bugger. I guess my word is… LOQUACIOUS

  10. kathy says:

    Beaten down. (sorry, 2 words) No, not physically but after 24 years of happy marriage, it’s coming to an end. I’m 62 years old, I think I’m still pretty and smart and funny, but losing the love of my life. I get the dog & cat & house if I want, but Karen’s description of “sharing” is what I’m feeling the loss of too. Sorry to be a downer on my first post to this site, but the sadness is overwhelming.

    • Karen says:

      Kathy – Nancy Blue Moon, who comments regularly here, is going through the exact same thing as you at around the same age as well. I can’t say I feel beaten down at the moment, but that could change in an hour, LOL. But it’s been a few months now and … I’m good. There will be an enormous amount you’ll miss. And for a long time. But you’ll also rediscover yourself. You’ll find out how many friends you have that you didn’t really know you had. And my words of advice … don’t keep it bottled up. Don’t hide it. Don’t pretend it isn’t happening. And find someone who just agrees with everything you say, LOL. My niece did that for me. I’d say “He’s an asshole. I don’t even know who he is anymore!” And she’d say, “Yes. He is an asshole. I don’t know who he is either”. You’ll get there. You really will. (I say that will all the confidence of someone who hated it when people said that to me, LOL)~ karen!

  11. Katja says:

    I would say practical. Others (especially shrinks) have described me as self-aware. I don’t think either of those really pop into peoples heads immediately upon meeting me, but there you go.

  12. Ella says:

    labile (in both feeling and being)

  13. Zoe says:

    Independent…sometimes to my own detriment when I become fiercely independent. Drives my husband batty!

  14. Rita says:

    I’d describe myself to be “striving”. Never satisfied with the status quo, always seeking to be better than I was a moment ago. A better teacher, a better mother, a better student, a better wife, a better self. Not that who/what/where I am is bad or wrong, I just have lots of things I want to do and learn!

  15. Miss Momma Me says:

    I am Inspiring. (Oh if only you could see the fire in my eyes when I say that!)

    I left an abusive alcoholic cheating father-of-my-children (all those words are HIS words, except “father”) in the dream house we built together and the job I always wanted to…

    – provide my children a nurturing environment
    – live my life peacefully
    – pursue higher education
    – raise my children on my own
    – do it on my own terms and kick ass doing it!

    How do I know I’m inspiring? I see it in the eyes of my children.

    Good day! Case closed! I am inspiring!

  16. Stephanie says:


    (although on a bad day my nicknames are Impatient and Snippy)

  17. Teresa says:


  18. Grammy says:

    Honest. It’s a curse.

  19. Ellen says:

    Eccentric is the nice way of saying it….and it’s what other people call me. Personally, I think I’m ordinary. I always thought it would be wonderful to be eccentric, and don’t dare claim what I think of as an accolade for myself. But it’s true that I’m not-like-other-people (there, I made it one word!) (is that eccentric of me?)

  20. Emily says:

    You just made my day. I have a quick story to share. At a job interview, years ago, I was asked the same question. Totally unprepared for it I stopped and really thought about it for a minute, and my word was also determined. My interviewer hired me on the spot. The first time she had ever done that in her 20+ years of hiring. Turns out that was her word too. I’m still surprised that I chose that word, and it still feels like the perfect word for me.

  21. Langela says:

    My mother described my two sisters and I when I was a senior in high school. One was beautiful, one was sexy/alluring. And me? I was level-headed. To a practical woman who had no use for looks, my mother was complimenting me. As a teenaged girl, I was devastated. What girl dreams of being level-headed? However I’ve grown to see that beauty fades, sexy gets fat, and being level-headed has given me a good life.

    Now for my self-descriptive words… an organized mess, an ever-thinking disaster, weirdo, under active over achiever, curious, analytical, dreamer, sarcastic, funny, guilt-ridden.

    I am a thinker. That’s my word.

  22. susan says:


    I also like “mercurial” so maybe it should be “undecided”?

  23. Lisa Kuhl-Thomas says:

    Honest. What you see is what you get.

  24. Deb says:

    Happy, even when life is so hard. I’m grateful to be able to feel happy deep down inside

  25. NikiDee says:

    Tenacious. Which I guess is sorta like determined but I know for sure I’m not a copy-cat.

  26. Linda says:

    quirky……stated by a friend, who also clarified “but in a good way”!

  27. ally says:

    “gets it done”

  28. Kristin says:


  29. Nancy Carr says:


  30. nicole says:

    Me? I’d say I am absorbent.

    I’m inspired by everything around me…I always suck in other’s moods (not always fun)…and always reaching to learn…

    great post xo

  31. Dogged.

    Which doesn’t sound very flattering, but is accurate. Whatever I do (good or bad) I do it doggedly. So… yeah.

  32. Kathline says:


    I think sometimes that takes a little more faith and strength than “optimistic”, and that’s what I’ve had this year – a little more faith and strength than usual. :)

  33. Trissi V. says:

    Strategic … ’nuff said

  34. Jeannie B says:


  35. Sandi says:

    Unorganized. (But maybe I’m just having a bad day. Month. Season.)

  36. Rhonda SmartyPants says:

    Further thoughts on this post, if you please:
    Love to see how thought-provoking this is for some of us — shows how multi-dimensional we are and what interesting readers you have;
    This one little question can begin a psychic shift in our thinking about who we are to ourselves, not just how others describe us;
    Recognize that we are changing, shifting, and evolving every nanosecond and revel in that fact.
    I have a plaque on my wall that says it all, “When you are done changing, you are done.”

  37. Shirley says:

    A perfectionist.

    You know what a perfectionist is, don’t you? A person who takes great pains and gives them to everyone else!

    Yup, that’s me to a T.

  38. Tres says:

    Impish or Clutz.

    Either one is true. A little mischievous, typically happy, and always finding something to trip over or run into.

  39. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Need to think about it Karen..tell you later..

  40. Rhonda SmartyPants says:

    One of your best posts, Karen. I especially resonated with the ‘tiniest of nervous breakdowns’ and your thought to ‘rob a bank.’ When I was in a similar state of mind (as in ‘lost’ my mind), I destroyed a brand new Harley Electraglide one afternoon. that would be when my one word description would have been “Enraged.”

    Happy to say, 7 years later; after searching desperately and finding my ‘lost’ mind, receiving much kindness from strangers, being loved from my grown children and wonderful grandchildren, and rebuilding my life one step at a time, I would describe myself as “courageously buoyant.”

  41. saf affect says:

    When I read the headline my mind jumped to ‘single’ describing your new state. So on that line, being single as well, I prefer not to use that word as I don’t want to be in that state and in the spirit of ‘The Secret’ if I label myself as such it is what I will continue to be. I prefer the word ‘available’ – available for a relationship, available for my family, my friends, life experiences. ‘Available’ is a state that is constant, whether in a relationship or not.

    But I digress. So along the lines of this post – ‘Positive’. :)

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