I participated in the One Word reflection in 2016 (continue) and in 2017 (forgive). Before I declare my 2018 word, I wanted to look at how well I met my 2017 goals. Last year, I divided it up into “forgiveness categories”.
1) Forgive Connected to Faith
I actually went to confession monthly from January until August. I slipped a bit in the fall, but I made sure to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation in December, just before Christmas. I was unable to attend the Christmas Novena masses like I had hoped (and did in 2013) because I realized that I became an unbearable grump when I woke up that early and that this negative attitude was not conducive to a prayerful observation or preparation. It’s not obligatory to attend the novena, so I focused on the tasks that were mandatory and did them with joy instead of resentment, which made a huge difference.
2) Forgive Connected to Health
That online nutrition and fitness support group didn’t work well for me. Thanks to my friend Moyah Walker, I joined a Cross Fit Light class. It kicked my butt and I didn’t see drastic results, but friends and colleagues commented on the positive changes they saw. I’m taking a bit of a break from it but I’ll try and return to some sort of scheduled fitness, and I’m forgiving myself for the lapse in water consumption. Back to the reusable water bottle for me!
3) Forgive Connected to Relationships
This isn’t easy and never is. I won’t comment in a public forum about my private struggles with some folks but it’s getting better. Awareness helps.
4) Forgive Connected to School Projects and Goals
The big tasks I attempted in 2017 went wonderfully well, so much so that some of my later projects looked dull in comparison. Not everything has to be epic. Yes, the research paper got written and submitted to an academic journal. The fashion show generated multiple presentations and a magazine mention or two. The risks were worth it and it’s okay not to be “dazzling” but just “solid”
5) Forgive Connected to FNMI issues
Thank goodness for Treasure Mountain Canada, which did a great job of bringing FNMI issues to the forefront. I still need to read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.
So what’s my focus word for 2018?
I think it will be
And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
(Luke 11:9, English Standard Version of the Bible)
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for
(U2, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”)
This year’s word, like last year’s, is meant to incorporate many different activities. The main idea is that it will be ACTIVE. I will do something to help make things happen.
Seek answers and understanding
I want to dig deeper into challenges or questions. Why isn’t this student succeeding? What’s bothering this person? Why didn’t that lesson go well? It’s easy to dismiss issues with trite phrases like “that’s just the way he/she/it is”. Examining “why this?” or “why now?” may help me comprehend unseen rationales and help answer those questions. I’m hoping to accomplish that with a summer session from the MEHRIT Centre on self-regulation and continued reflection via this blog.
Seek the good in people and in situations
Although I consider myself a pretty positive person, it’s hard to see the silver lining when there are hardships that directly impact you or if/when people inadvertently hurt you. Communicating frankly with my circle of family and friends that help me reframe things will help make this possible.
Seek serenity and peace
Another Bible verse I could have placed in to introduce my word could have been Isaiah 55:6 – “seek the Lord while He may be found”. I’ll continue to work on reminding myself about the important things, not sweating the small stuff, and keeping perspective. I’ll try my best to resume a more regular schedule for the sacrament of reconciliation and make an effort to build in “quiet time” in my busy day. My planned trip to Calgary for March Break with my son is meant to be less whirlwind, more meditative and connected. We’ll see how that goes.
Seek opportunities and help when needed
In 2018, I will end my twelve-year stint as the editor-in-chief of The Teaching Librarian. This is going to be a big change for me and I will need new tasks to accomplish. I have a couple of things lined up, although I can’t announce some of them yet. I will continue my work with Maker Festival Toronto in July, which I will definitely need help with, as the volunteer coordinator. I’ll need to seek out a fitness regime I can maintain without injuring myself.
So, there’s my word and my plan to make it happen. I look forward to hearing other people’s focus words. (As of December 27, based on my Twitter timeline, Carol Campbell said “courage”. Karen Steffensen said “perspective”. Lisa Noble said “expectation”. Elizabeth Morrison said “calm”. Noa Daniel said “breathe”. Jilian Stambolich is “legato”. Stefanie Borsch is “witness”. Kristen Davison said “surrender”. Melinda Phu’ong chose “recharge”. Jennifer Casa-Todd chose “gratitude” and “kindness”. See Julie Balen’s compiled list for a comprehensive collection of words.)