I know many people choose a “word” for each new year. I have one friend, in particular, who has done this for numerous years and uses her “word” to focus her moments, her reflections, and her writing. I enjoy reading her posts about her word. They are insightful and usually inspiring. If you have read many of my older posts, you might know that I don’t like to journal. I like reflecting on learning and life by talking with other people. Journaling seems like a chore to me. And then, if you add your journaling to a blog it becomes a chore, AND adds an element of “oh-my-gosh-this-has-to-be-deep-and-meaningful-because others are reading it-ness” to the reflections. I have used those excuses in the past to keep from writing, reflecting, and posting. Not anymore (well, at least not today).
When I was stuck at home an extra week after Christmas break due to the Indiana Snowpocalypse of ’14, I mulled over the idea of a “word” for 2014. As in the past, the idea didn’t sit well with me. Instead, actions started coming to mind. So, my actions for 2014 are:
- Be Kind
- Just Believe
- Choose Joy
Earth shattering, I know. (As a disclaimer, I never said this was going to be a deep and meaningful post – just that I wasn’t going to be intimidated by the idea. Today.) These are really common sense, and yet get pushed aside, or out of my mind, during some moments (or some days). Last year I read Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Still one of my favorite books – and I recommend everyone aged 10 and up read it. My favorite line from this book is: “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” – Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. Sometimes we get so caught up in proving that we are right, that we overlook how this position may make another person feel. Being kind also means to be more selfless. Another quality that is worth striving for.
I am going through some challenges right now and sometimes it seems like I won’t make it through the day. I have to make the conscious effort to believe that I will. Not always easy, but by surrounding myself with the right people, they can help me remember to believe in myself, my abilities, and my value. I’m not sure why it’s so much easier to feel less than, or undeserving. But I’m going to stop believing lies, and trust in the truth instead.
Going with the previous paragraph, joy doesn’t come very easily right now. I can either choose to find the joy, or choose to wallow. I am choosing joy. I am laughing at funny stuff, playing with my kids, and relishing my morning coffee. These things are privileges, blessings, and should be appreciated as such. I can just go about my daily routines and miss out on the times to choose joy in these situations. But that’s not living. It’s existing. Just existing isn’t very joyful. I read this post today written by Chris Kennedy (@chrkennedy ). He echoes my thoughts on finding joy in the classroom as a teacher, and as a student. School should be fun. Learning should be fun. Working (in education) should be fun. Are we just moving about through the day, or are we savoring the joyful moments (when that 2nd grader beams at a new accomplishment, when that pre-teen daughter still holds your hand, when that crazy, rambunctious boy gives a huge hug)?
How about you? Words for 2014? Actions? Advice for this learner?