I love this time of year. It’s the time when everything slows in the world of school and work and the focus shifts to family. Days and evenings are dedicated to connecting, reconnecting and spending time with people we love. Loved ones from further away come closer.
We remember where we come from.
We remember who we are.
We see growth and change as we experience one another.
Somehow this sacred time catches me a little off-guard, surprised and reflecting. I enjoy looking back across the past year and seeing the many things that have walked through my life. 2015 was a year of many shifts: a long-term partnership ends, a move, new jobs, a long-awaited trip to Europe. Coming outs in my family. Coming cleans too. College for my youngest. Surgery. Whew! Life offering up its surprises like a grab bag full of mystery gifts.
Reflection is important – it helps us evaluate on a larger scale the events of our lives. It helps put things in perspective. It helps to know how resilient we truly are.
I paused at year’s end to reflect on all that my One Little Word (OLW) taught me across 2015. It was a powerful little word that I had originally thought was silly, trite even. How wrong was my initial assessment. Instead, my first OLW ever:
taught me these things:
1) When I can reflect joys, struggles, understandings back to someone, it can be helpful. By reflecting an understanding back to I can give a powerful gift.
2) What I know already is most often enough for whatever circumstance I face. Standing in the confidence of what I already know freed me to continue to grow while also sharing my strengths.
3) Sometimes all I need to do is show up and smile, show up and listen. Show up.
The other thing I love about this time of year is the tendency to look forward toward a whole fresh new year with optimism and hope. In so doing, I considered my new OLW. What would it be I began to wonder towards the end of 2015. And it turned out that finding my One Little Word for this year was simple.
I turned my attention to the year ahead. I asked . . . . and quite quickly the word came.
What is my word for 2016?
What will it teach me?
I know it has much in store. I can’t wait to learn all the lessons from my new OLW,