My OLW last year was light. You can read about my inspiration here. I chose this word because I wanted to celebrate all the wonderful things that bring light into my life: my family, my friends, a hot cup of coffee on a cold morning, my student’s laughter and learning, etc. I wanted my word to remind me to appreciate those things, to remind me to notice the “lights” in my life. I think it was a good word. I don’t think it was the right word. I have been very absent from the writing and blogging worlds. My last blog post was in September, just before the start of the school year. What?! I haven’t blogged, I haven’t written in my notebook, I just have not written anything.
I have continued to appreciate the “lights” in my life. I have enjoyed watching my children grow every day. I have enjoyed watching my students take on learning and improve behaviors. I have noticed all the little things that make me happy and create light, but I have not written about a single one.
My word wasn’t enough to inspire me this year. I don’t know why I haven’t written. I actually feel better when I write with some consistency. I notice more, things feel more in place, and I feel more content. But I haven’t been writing. I have no grand reason or rationale for this. I just haven’t.
As I began to think about a new word for this year, I knew it had to be good. I knew it had to inspire me to write again. I knew it needed to be something that connected to everything else. It had to be a word that wouldn’t easily be forgotten. It had to be intertwined in my life so fully that I couldn’t resist it. That’s a lot of pressure to put on one little word! After some suggestions from a friend and a little soul searching, I think maybe I have found it, and it makes me laugh because it’s a pretty simple word.
There are many stories I want to write. The ones that belong to my children. The stories that are from my students. The stories from my head and my heart. The novel/story I began writing last year and haven’t touched since. I just need to write again and begin to restore the balance that writing helps me maintain.
As I began to think about my OLW, I wanted to find a way to share it. A friend shows her’s through beautiful art. Others share theirs through stories. What was I going to do?
I started to notice quotes that I have around me in my everyday life that are about story.
There is the quote that hangs in my classroom: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” by Maya Angelou. There is the quote that hangs in my kitchen: “Your story matters. Share it!” that was given to me by a great friend. “Know your heart to find your voice,” which is on a magnet hanging next to my computer.
And, finally, there is a new quote I found by Neil Gaiman, that seems to fit just perfectly. “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.”
I hope that my OLW, story, will help me do just that.