When I started thinking about the one word for me, I naturally looked back. I have this friend, Mona. I call her Peace. She calls me Joy. When we text each other, that's what we call each other . . . Peace and Joy. I love the word joy, but the challenge is to have a new word each year. In my children's bathroom, there's a painted plate that says, "Let your light shine for Jesus." Shine. Now that's a great word. It kept me focused for many years. But I need a new word. A personal motto of mine for the past couple of years has been, "I'm in charge of my own happiness." Happiness. If you know me, you'll know that I've got that covered. A colleague once told me, "Not everyone can be happy like you all the time, Marilyn." Needless to say, it wasn't said as a compliment. So what's my one word?
After contemplating for nearly two weeks, I woke up one morning with the word. Intentional. It fit. It felt good. Yah, I can own that one word . . . for 365 days.
How will I do it? How can I experience the word intentional in all aspects of my life? Let's turn back to the "One Word" book for some guidance. The authors introduce readers to six dimensions of life to focus on in order to bring about transformation.
#Six Dimensions of Life
For most of my life, I have been connected to God and a local church. I love Him. I believe in Him. But I stopped going to church. My "feelings" were hurt. I know, that sounds really childish. But I stopped going. My family stopped going. But last year, I found a new church. Ironically, the church met on Saturday night at my very own school. They were setting up one afternoon and I stopped to talk to them. The pastor invited me to come back that night. I did. He was surprised. I cried. Oh, how I missed my Lord. It's time to be intentional about God, church, and ministering to my family.
A couple of years ago, a parent in my class told me I should start running. I laughed at him but he persisted. I decided to give it a try. Low and behold, in 13 months I went from mile 1 to mile 13.1. I've completed 3 half marathons since then. After my running spree, I did Crossfit for about 2 years. I loved it. I loved, as my husband calls it, "Lifting heavy ****." But I had a hard time running and lifting at the same time. This year, I've made a decision. Rock and Roll Las Vegas is on my birthday next year. I'm running. My husband and I already have it logged into our Google calendars. It's time to be intentional about running.
This will be a two-fold dimension for me. One of the areas I've been working on this school year is being more empathetic. I'm trying to put myself in my student's shoes and see things from their perspective. I'm also attempting to teach my students how to be more empathetic. They're actually really good. The other area may come as a surprise for those that know me. So here goes . . . for all the happiness and joy I show and feel, come the bouts of gloominess. They're not often, but when that ugly cloud comes over me, the tears flow. My husband is a tremendous support. We have strategies to get me out of my doldrums. Time to be intentional about empathy and self-care.
I love people. That's all I have to say! But seriously, I'm made it a commitment this year to build relationships. Relationships with my students and relationships with colleagues. It's gone really well. I've been intentional. My father-in-law, unfortunately, has been ill. We've made more trips to Los Angeles than ever lately. We don't want to live with regrets. I know I have a few girlfriends that I've neglected. I miss them. Time to be intentional about family and friends.
The example given in the book references our thought life. How we see the world: positive or negative. Again, I've got that positivity thing covered. In class, we've implemented Google Classroom and delved into the Growth Mindset. I'd like to dig deeper into our academics and think like scholars. It's time to be intentional about crafting lessons that require mental processing.
Two things here . . . one, I'm a tight-wad and two, talking about money could possibly be a phobia of mine. With that being said, my husband does an excellent job with our finances. He debriefs me regularly on our finances. And he's ever-so-grateful that I don't spend a lot of money. I'm in a three year math cohort that's bringing in a nice amount come summer. The hoarder in me wants to save it all, but I'm thinking about an extra special vacation this summer. With a daughter in college and a son about to graduate, our family time is diminishing. It's time to be intentional about planning a family vacation. (Notice that I said nothing about helping out with the finances.)
My one word is intentional. It's time to be conscious of it, nurture it, and most importantly . . . live it. It's not a goal, it's not a resolution. It's part of who I am, what I will become in 2016. There will be ups and downs. I understand that. But at the end of the day, or the year, it's about the journey. And I'm oh so ready for it.
Will you take the ride with me? What's your one word . . . for 365 days?