Friday, January 2, 2015

My One Little Word for 2015

For the past three years I have chosen a single word to help focus me for the coming year. In 2012 my word was CAN. In 2013 my word was BALANCE.  In 2014 my word was LIVE.    (click the links if you'd like to read why I chose those words).

So how did I do with my 2014 word?

There were so many sides to 2014 for me, some great and some not so great.  What is unfortunate is that what stands out most when I reflect back on 2014 is how my best was never good enough . You can read more about my 2014 year here.  This had a huge impact on me January - June, and continued during our teacher strike in September.   I actually think some people started to see me differently in 2014 because of the choices I had to make for myself just to keep moving forward. It bothered me when people excluded me from events because they felt I was too busy. I can assure you I was not busy at all,  I was broken.    And the way I was, and how I was feeling was so out of character for me.  I'm a fighter, a survivor. I can see the good in all situations. As my mother was dying from Cancer I focussed on what she could do and not what she couldn't. I'm the half full type of person but for so much of 2014 I was not that person at all.   I can't say LIVE was at the front of my mind.

Thankfully July and August brought a nice change of pace for me with the stress of work on the back burner. I did my best to take all the opportunities that came my way.  There were many highlights and samples of living during those months.  My 2014/15 school year is also very different than 2013/14 year so the year ended with my ability to LIVE. But overall I'd say LIVE was not how I'd describe 2014.

So what about 2015?

If you know me at all you'll know that as often as I get knocked down, after a bit of healing, I come back stronger and more determined.  2014 sucked a lot of happiness out of me.  I clearly remember walking the picket line in June with my new colleagues and being free of my classroom stress and saying "look, see, I'm actually a happy person".   So, after coming off one of my most challenging teaching years in a very long time my focus word for 2015 is JOY.

I want to see JOY in the actions of my students and celebrate it.
I want to see JOY in the interactions I have with the people in my life (near and far) and celebrate it.
I want to see JOY in the little things in life such as sharing a meal with a friend and celebrate it.
I want to see JOY in the natural beauty that I am surrounded by and celebrate it.
I want to see JOY in the changes I make in my classroom and celebrate it.
I want to see JOY in working hard in what ever I do and celebrate it.
I want to see JOY during my most challenging times and celebrate it.

I know longer want to feel broken, I want to feel joyful.

I'm excited to see what JOY is in store for me in 2015.

What is your focus word for 2015?


  1. An uplifting post Karen! Your focus on Joy for the 2015 year has obviously come out of your willingness and determination to live through the struggles you have had to endure from last year!!
    Over the past few years I have used core qualities like engage, inspire, create to fuel and lead me. As I begin my new journey as a vice principal in 2015 I will focus on encourage to lift others up and give me purpose.

    1. Sounds great! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. Best of luck in your new role as a VP too. Happy New Year!

  2. I think you did "live" in 2014. There is more than one definition. It also means to survive, to live one's life in a particular way. Your struggles last year made you stronger and all the better. In my eyes, you did live! Good luck in your path for joy!

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. While I did survive 2014 (thank goodness!), my goal was to do more than just survive. Am I stronger this year, for certain. Am I more aware, for certain too. Focussing on JOY will be such a great healing process for me too. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my blog. Happy New Year.