It’s time for the TWT OLW! I always enjoy this new year’s act of choosing a word to live by. It feels like a fresh way to start a year. I also find it powerful to look back on words I’ve chosen in past years and reflect on how well I did living by that word. A lot can change in a year, so some years I’ve found that the word I chose in January is not so relevant when it comes to November or December of the year. That was not the case last year. I needed my words all year long, and it’s looking like I will need to lean on them this year too. Last year I chose the word hope, but then quickly added action. Hope plus Action. OK, that is TLWs (Two Little Words), but it’s what I needed last January.
I’ve been struggling with my word for 2022. When the pandemic seemed to be waning (just a few weeks ago), I was sure I was going to choose the word belonging. It’s an idea I’ve committed to working on. I want to build spaces of belonging everywhere I go. Everyone should feel that they belong; in a school. in a family, in a community, in the world. But then late November came. My daughter (fully vaccinated) got sick with COVID and couldn’t come home for Thanksgiving. Then we started hearing about Omicron and the Fourth Wave. My son was sick over Christmas (also fully vaccinated and boosted). The return to school is filled with new safety protocols to try to stave off this contagious variant. We are back to masks at recess, desks in rows, plexiglasss at lunch, and virtual meetings. I’m starting to feel like the good coaching work that was gaining momentum before the break is going to come to a screeching halt again. I’m back to not letting people in the house unless they’ve had a negative result on an at home test. I’m feeling a bit lost. A bit frustrated. My list of words is starting to shift. Maybe survival or persistence or patience are the right words for 2022.
I’m going to keep thinking. Maybe I’ll try to wade through this wave before I decide on my OLW for 2022. A lot can change in a year. Let’s hope that things change for the better.