Is Surrender the Same as Submission?

At first blush, these two words seem… almost… identical!

Submit: Oxford Languages



To accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person

Surrender: Merriam-Webster



To give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another


For those following along, my word for 2023 is Surrender. I have already had some mighty dealings with the word and what it means to me. This will go a little deeper and that’s because … uh… this morning I almost lost my shiznat. And by that, I mean shit. I love the word shit (it’s my fave curse word) but enjoy shiznat because of that “z” … doesn’t it just add some oomph??

Ahem, anyway.

I have been very sick over the last two weeks. I’m on my second round of antibiotics and finished a blast of steroids (Prednisone) too. I’m definitely better today but nowhere near well. I only mention this to say that it’s probably not the best time to be doing paperwork but the paperwork is what I must do if I want to get paid. See, after a week off, I was switched to short-term disability, and with that comes said paperwork. Eight pages of it that I need to fill out, get to my doctor, have her fill out, and get back to my company within 7 days. No biggie, I thought. I’ll just print it out on the weekend, fill it out on Sunday, and give it to Dr. on Monday, and they will, in turn, fill their part out and get it back to my company.

I mean, in a perfect world.

As we all know, this world is far from perfect.

So, step 1 — Print the forms. Still in my jammies this morning, I pulled the printer out from under my desk where it’s been since we moved on January 1st. It’s wireless and all we have to do is plug it in.


Forty-five minutes later, I had sweat through my jams, and my apple watch was telling me to calm down before I had a stroke.

I had visited no less than twenty pages explaining how to get your wireless printer to show on the list, show online, troubleshoot, uninstall, reinstall, clear this, clear that…

By then, I was in full-blown Office Space mode:

And, oh yeah, no forms printed.

So, I’m huffing around (seriously, just getting over pneumonia) with my hands in the air and kinda yelling (I also have laryngitis and/or pharyngitis) and lamenting because I’m gonna have to get dressed and put on my winter-everything (it snowed like the dickens yesterday) and it’s freeeeeeezing cold outside… and I’m gonna have to go to USP (my husband corrected me, it’s UPS. I had to giggle at that much-needed levity) and get the friggin’ pages printed.

By then, I was fit to be tied.

I heard the word submit in my mind.



Then it occurred to me that submit was not my word of the year, submission was!

What’s the difference, I wondered?

So, I looked online. That’s where I got the definitions above. I read a few other articles and found this neat one.

To quote a small part of it: With submission, which at best is a superficial yielding, tension continues. When an individual surrenders, the ability to accept reality functions on the unconscious level, and there is no residual of battle; relaxation with freedom from strain and conflict ensues. Groff & Associates

Huh. Interesting!

So, with submission, it may be: “Okay, I’ll do it because I have to but I won’t like it!

And with surrender, perhaps it will be: “I cannot control this situation and will let go of the outcome“?

What do you think?

This morning, I think I submitted not surrendered. Right?


PS: So, about my printing…

My husband, who has also been sick but is a week ahead of me in healing, went out and had the forms printed for me. He’d already been out to pick up groceries, so was dressed, at least. He’s a gem… but you already knew that.

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