Saturday, December 30, 2017


I have realized over the years that we do a lot of things without really understanding or knowing where they came into practice. For several years, there was this meme called "Currently" that everyone was super stoked to participate in on the first day of each month (and honestly it is the only thing that kept some of us blogging regularly!). I remember one year for January, the bottom portion (which always changed based on the month), was to select a OLW (one little word) to guide us for the upcoming year.

I have done that since, even when the Currently trend stopped. I had no idea, however, that this wasn't something Farley had just come up with. There are a couple of pretty big movements surrounding the concept of selecting a word to guide you through the upcoming year. I either haven't paid very good attention or have been too distracted by other things in life to really realize where the origin of this idea may have come from.

Last night, however, on Twitter, I saw a trending hashtag (#oneword2018) that a friend of mine had posted about and I dug a little deeper and realized how big this concept actually is. The site I kept seeing was so I checked it out. (There is another site that does a One Little Word challenge but it involves monthly journals and whatnot and I have never been into that scene. The word is just for me as a guiding tool, nothing more or less.) 

At any rate, I already knew what my word for 2018 was going to be when I saw the posts in my Twitter feed.

Let me back track a moment: when I first discovered this idea of the one word, I didn't really put that much stock into it. I did it because it was part of the meme and sort of left it at that. However, last year, knowing that I had some big decisions I needed to make about the direction my career was going in, I was a lot more thoughtful about the word I chose. I even had a background made so that it was on my iPhone screen and I would see it multiple times per day. That really helped me keep that word at the front and center of my life and I do think it helped me make some tough decisions even when sometimes it is easier to say you'll do something and then conveniently find a reason not to follow through.

My 2017 word was inspire. I had to inspire myself to follow a path I know that I belong on. This continues to be something I take seriously. I have some decisions in front of me right now that I need to find my inspiration to act upon. But I also selected that word because I wanted to find my passion to inspire my students and colleagues again. For me, that meant changing schools and making a tough choice to leave a place that meant so much to me for so much of my life. I honestly can't say if I would have found the courage to take that step if that word hadn't been guiding me.

That leads me to my word for 2018. When I saw that trending hashtag last night, I already knew what my word was going to be. I just needed to boldly proclaim it. While the word is for me and for me alone -- basically meaning I do not owe anyone but myself justification for what word I picked and why -- I find that proclaiming it gives it power. It also holds me a bit more accountable to put it out there in the world, even if that is only on Twitter and here on my oft-neglected blog. 

So there you have it. My word is enough. All of these years later, I still have to remind myself I am enough. That the choices I make and the direction I'm trying to lead my life in is enough. It has to be. I have given 100% to everything I have put my name into and that has to be honored. I feel like I am finally in a place where I can do that.  

2018 will be interesting. I will finish my doctorate. I will turn 40. I will discover if the road I am trying to travel on is the one I should be on. In the spirit of making sure I see this word multiple times per day, I have already set my phone background to show the new word. I also ordered a ring on Etsy that boldly proclaims "I am enough" (you may have seen the ads floating around FaceBook; trust me when I tell you the Etsy ones are way better--and cheaper). I will wear that ring daily as a reminder. Everything I give has to be enough because it will always be as much as I have to offer in that moment.


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