The OLW I decided on last January was pause. Can you even believe it? I certainly didn’t realize when I wrote this (https://wordpress.com/post/ebgriffin1119.wordpress.com/769) last year that the whole world would push pause due to a pandemic in March of 2020. I was definitely able (really forced) to slow down, be more mindful, and listen more actively. After all, there was really not much else to do. I actually believe that if there is any good that is going to come out of this pandemic, it might be that it forced us all to pause a bit and pay attention to what is really important in this life.
So now it is time for me to pick this year’s word. A word to live by in 2021. I was hoping that the pandemic would be behind us (or at least heading in the right direction) by January and that I would be able to pick a word like restart. But no, the situation in the United States seems worse today than it was last spring, so we are not restarting. At least not for a while. Then I thought maybe persevere would be a good one. We are all going to need to “pull up our socks” (as my dad likes to advise when things get hard) and just get through this second very challenging year. But perseve didn’t feel too inspiring. Necessary, but not inspiriting. I thought of others – learn, embrace, participate, love. All have potential. All are something I want to live toward. But I’ve decided that the OLW I am going to live by in 2021 is hope. I’m going to hope that:
-People stay healthy and safe.
-The vaccine is effective and helps to slow this virus down.
-I can see my family members who live far away.
-I can have a meal with friends and family around one big table (inside with no masks).
-I can once again use people’s facial expressions to anticipate how they are feeling.
-I can hug and kiss my grandchildren.
-My children continue to thrive even in these challenging circumstances.
-We work together (as a world community) to crush this virus.
-Our political change will move us in a positive direction.
-Our world grows kinder and fairer for all who live in it.
-My students learn and grow and flourish in our remote classroom.
I could go on. I have so many hopes.
So as Emily Dickinson wrote, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” I’m looking to my OLW to act as supportive feathers as I try to fly through the crazy wind currents that the upcoming year is sure to bring.