Looking for the Light (Word-of-the-Year Update)

March 28, 2011

This is my second year to choose a “word of the year” to guide me, and I wanted to stay more in touch with my word than I did last year, when I pretty much let “open” recede into the background. To do that, I’m keeping some brief notes, and performing a quarterly evaluation of how things are going. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

The concept of light can be applied to many areas of my life—my home, health, relationships and attitudes. Each of these areas could use a little “light therapy.” In my home, I’m lightening up by getting rid of excess possessions—pretty obvious, and an ongoing process as I fight my pack-rat-ish tendencies. In addition to getting rid of stuff, I’m incorporating things that bring light to my life, like the simple act of opening all the blinds in my bedroom each day because it lifts my spirits to see the room flooded with light when I walk by.

I’m working to eat lighter (another ongoing project) in hopes that I’ll eventually be lighter; I’m striving for a light touch with family and friends by doing more listening and encouraging and less advising and correcting.

And most important of all, when it comes to my attitudes, choosing light as my word of the year has reminded me to look for the bright side, to focus on the good I find in daily life. When two or more courses of action present themselves, I choose the one that feels “light.” When I feel myself spiraling down into melancholy, I remind myself to look for the light. I think that’s my take-away lesson of the first three months of 2011: Look for the light.

Do you have a word of the year? How is it working for you so far and what have you learned?

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  1. I love where your word has taken you so far, Kathy. :)

  2. Good to hear from you, Meredith. I have to say it's been a helpful word, though it hasn't taken me exactly where I thought it would. But isn't that always the way?

  3. Love this! Interesting the way you're working different versions of light into different areas of your life. My word for last year was "action". As in, quit overthinking it Teresa and just do it! I think it helped me a lot... so I'm going to stick with "Action" for another year and see what happens!

    I'm on the mend. Thanks for visiting and for your sweet comments... you're a peach!

  4. I didn't end up picking a word. Last year I did but I didn't do anything with it so a word choice went the way of normal New Year's resolutions for me, lol. It sounds like you are doing pretty well with yours.

  5. ...you've chosen a great word. Mine is simply "more," for "more painting." I kept it simple. I did a bunch of lightening up around my house the first month of the year, getting rid of so much stuff. It feels great to lighten up! (I also like the words from your previous post, terra incognita!)

  6. Teresa--Glad you're feeling better! Your word is similar to Laure's ("move"). There's definitely a time to stop (over)thinking and start doing.

  7. Timaree--That's pretty much what happened to me last year, too. I wanted to give it one more try this year. So far I'm incorporating it into my life more. (I never make New Year's resolutions because I tend to forget all about them after about two weeks!)

  8. Kelly--I like your choice of word--it could also be applied to many areas of life. I'm glad you're doing more painting, because I really enjoy seeing your work on your blog.


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