One Little Word

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Happy New Year, friends!

Several years ago I was inspired by Ali Edwards, and her One Little Word and started a New Year’s Eve tradition of choosing a word to live into for the upcoming year. The past few years have been framed around peace, grow, balance, happy and brave. I’ve found these words to be an overarching mantra for how I live my life that year.  I’ve thought a lot about my word for this year and I think I’ve found one that speaks to all aspects of my life – my teaching, my learning, my running, my relationships. That word is Now. 

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NOW. This moment is all we have. The word now inspires me to:

-focus on each child I am working with and pay attention to where they are right now; not where I wish they were, or where they need to be for the benchmark, or where they “should” be.

-give my full attention to the child I am with; not taking a picture or video or anecdotal notes or some other form of documentation, but fully listening and engaging with that child – making sure the child knows I am with them right now, and then after that moment I can record my thinking, but when I’m with a child – be fully present and with them right now.

-focus on myself and where I am and what I’m doing right now; not where I wish I was, or what’s on my to-do list, or what other things I should be doing, but focus on where I am right now and who I am with right now. Striving to be fully present in each moment makes me a better listener, a better teacher, a better friend, a better family member, a better runner and a better person. There’s a sense of calm and peacefulness in living in the moment, living in the now. 

-stop procrastinating. If I am living in a now way of thinking, I will do what needs to be done now, not later, or when I feel like it, or when I have a spare moment. I will take care of what needs to be done now. 

-put down the phone, the iPad, the laptop and be present to what is going on in the real world around me right now. I saw this video and it stuck in my head for days. How often do I pay more attention to my phone or device than what is going on in my world, or more importantly WHO is in my world right in front of me? It definitely made me rethink how digitally connected I am and how it may be more harmful than good at times.

As a reminder of my word, I am having a small necklace made with the word Now on it. My friend Jenny makes beautiful jewelry and I am excited to have a constant reminder of my word, and my promise to myself around my neck. It’s going to be a great year…starting NOW!

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What’s your one little word for 2015? I hope it brings you great things in the upcoming year.

PS – Here is the beautiful necklace that Jenny Nichols at Mountain Prima Donna just finished and is en route to me now. So excited!

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  1. What a great little word! In the past I inadvertently came up with the word BELIEVE, and it just sort of showed up. My students noticed that each story we read was about belief of some sort. My colleague wrote about this one little word too, and now I am intrigued. I think my word will be BALANCE. I feel pulled by my many roles. I want to be an artist- a teacher who finely polishes her craft, but I also get really angry about working conditions and my union-leader self comes out and I want to be an activist. Not enough time to do both… or be a mom-daughter, or a wife-friend, or mix up any of those roles, and the need for balance is there. Thanks for planting the seed!

  2. My word is core, and I am focusing on what is most important in different aspects of life in order to gauge decisions on alignment to those priorities. For example, there are a lot of work related opportunities that are of high interest and that I think are important, but then the result of saying yes to too many things leaves me feeling stretched thin, so I am focusing on knowing when to say no (even when it is hard), in order to focus on quality with my top priorities (such as my instruction and the connections with students).

    Now is definitely woven, as far as being able to really focus on my girls when I am with them rather than always being overwhelmed with work to-dos.

  3. This is scarf girl from Rock Hill, SC! With your permission, I may totally steal your word! I am going through Reading Recovery Teacher Leader training and NOW is a perfect fit for my life right NOW! You continue to inspire me with the work you do with your Kinders! 2015 is going to be a great year! Take care!

  4. Katie, I’ve been mulling this for a while now and had decided my word would be focus. It essentially boils down to the same idea as your word. A reminder to me, yet again, that I want to get together with you. Soon!

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