Word

Posted: January 3, 2017 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

By Tricia Lunt, English Faculty

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Another new year, another new strategy to improve my one wild life: everyone should be so fortunate.

Over the holidays, I spent time in Cleveland, concluded with an evening drinking with friends, Emily and Holly. Holly shared her plan to take on the “My One Word” challenge of selecting one word as her guiding principle for 2017, a yearly mantra, encapsulating the entirety of her intentions to live her best life. Naturally, Holly’s idea invited me to join in the important work of living well, beginning with  reflection and reaffirmation.

Having recently reviewed the contents of my 2016 Happiness Jar, I am keenly aware of the experiences that make my life meaningfully good.

inspiration

Motivation and inspiration

In class this morning, January 3, 2017, I sought a strategy to energize reluctant returning students. I began with an honest confession of my own negative feelings about January (wake me when it’s over?). Then I reminded my students that although we can’t change January, we can change our response to it. We can spend more time snuggled up with a good book, or loved ones. We can recommit to our fitness regimen, “summer bodies are made in the winter,”  after all. We can enjoy seasonal treats, too; hot chocolate with marshmallows makes the greyest January day more tolerable.

16-marshmallows

I use precisely this many too many marshmallows

Ultimately, we must find ways to inspire ourselves and each other, or being willing to accept an uninspired string of moments that add up to not really living at all.

Autonomy and agency

I value the time and space and freedom that I am capable of providing for myself. I understand the absolute gift this is, especially when compared to what unmarried women my age would have endured in the past. I make my own living, and am therefore able to make my own life.

Community and engagement

My neighborhood, my city, my nation, my world. Everywhere I go, I seek out the manifold, magnificent expressions of a place and a people, articulated through the arts, and in the many arenas of public life, parks and markets, and every other good thing that brings people together. My love of festivals and parades is well-documented.

Connection and celebration

Relationships with family and friends rule. Spending time with people I love is of paramount importance. Luckily, my friends regularly make time for each other to get together to eat, talk, and most importantly, laugh!

Thus inspired, I considered what one word could inform the many aspects of my life that I’m actively trying to invest in throughout the next 52 weeks. Words could be a thousand pictures, too.

In 2017, a year that promises numerous challenges, when far too many will allow themselves to be distracted by what things cost, or how much people make, I will remain undeterred, pausing to consider the fundamental nature of all things, knowing that lasting value has less to do with money and far more to do with worth.

worth

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Comments
  1. Nancy Nau says:

    You remind me why I’m glad I’m awake…nice, Trish. Happy New Year!

  2. Jackie says:

    Hi, it’s Jackie. Nice article. Stay warm and have a nice winter quarter.

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