#oneword 2019 – ACTION!

Ta da! The curtain is up on my #oneword for this year.

Created by Wordswag

I’m excited because it’s taken me a while. I discarded two or three potential words after letting them roll around – they just didn’t seem to fit. In past years, I found my #oneword easily. Things are changing though, and that’s good.

Why ACTION?  It’s a combination of reasons. First, I tend to be a thinker (some might say an overthinker). I can get lost in my own reflections and wondering. I’ve been doing that for a while when it comes to my career and my life. Last year, my #oneword was “Explore” and most of that was about thinking. The time has come for me to do something.

I’ve been reading Becoming by Michelle Obama . She is inspiring me to action as well. Her thoughtful reflections through the lens of her, frankly, incredible experience and power as a woman are about accepting and doing what’s right, even when it’s hard.

Another influence is a critical friend who patiently listened to me as I spoke – with maybe a bit of whining too – about where I want to go next. He carefully pointed out that opportunities don’t just happen or come walking by – you have to go out and make them.

So there – ACTION. I need to ruminate less, act more, and to make the most of the times I have to create my own opportunity.

 

See other #oneword posts: 2018, 2017, 2016

Life Isn’t a Holiday and That’s Good

You probably just spent some time reading, hiking, skating, or one of many other activities on the holiday break. Wasn’t it great? Vacations can be truly wonderful. I look forward to them for a chance to disconnect from work and do some things I love. For instance, having the time to read more fiction is such a treat. I’ve always been a reader and remember my parents yelling at me to stop reading and get outside. They were right because I love outside too. Still, settling down on the couch with a book I’ve been looking forward to and losing myself in it is wonderful. It’s easy to forget about the world and indulge.

Some people mistake a vacation for real life. They yearn for retirement when they “can do whatever they want”. I know those who count the days to the next holiday. I just can’t get on board with this kind of thinking. While I love time off as much as anyone and yes, work can be stressful at times, what I am doing needs meaning beyond pleasing myself.

A full, satisfying, and happy life must have purpose. This can take so many forms, and we don’t need to be in a fancy job or have a lot of money to find it. I try to think about what my purpose is every day. A fresh start in 2019 is a perfect time to remind myself of that.

Recently Barack Obama challenged followers on Twitter and Instagram to take up the challenge of making something better.

Obama gives many wonderful examples in his feed, and I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I know where I want to go to try to make a change in my community.

What about you? What is your purpose?

One Drop Can Change Everything

“Mom, last year my classroom had tables – do you think we’ll have tables or desks in grade 3?”  This is a conversation I overheard on Labour Day between a mom and daughter cycling on the waterfront trail.  It reflects the atmosphere in so many homes this past weekend as we wonder what the new school year will bring. Every educator, parent and student begins with expectation and hope as they set off for school on the first day.

I want to share a simple thought.  Former Governor General of Canada David Johnston shared a story a few years ago at an event I attended that included this image.

Fill a glass of pure, clear water. Add one small drop of food colouring. What happens? That’s right, the whole glass transforms. 

You can be that drop in any child’s life, from the one who looks forward to sitting at a table to the one who dreads going to school. What action can you take? What words can you say?

Let me leave you with wisdom from Mother Teresa. She knew the enormity of change needed in so many places in our world and she worked tirelessly to make a difference, no matter how small, to people’s lives.

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

You make the world more through your efforts and your presence. Have a great year!