This month's theme is to revisit the OLW (One Little Word) we chose for the year. Was it a good choice? Has it been helping shape our thoughts this year so far? Would we like to recalibrate, refocus, or even choose a new word? (Or would we rather write about something completely different and ignore the theme? That's fine too!) I am hosting today's roundup of SJT posts; leave your link in the comments and I will round them up. Comment Moderation is enabled, so don't worry when your comment doesn't show up right away. I will get to it as quickly as possible.
My OLW for this year is Flourishing. I wrote about it back in January here.
As predicted, 2021 has brought as many obstacles to flourishing as 2020 did. Well, maybe not quite as many. When the 2020-21 school year started, we were back teaching in-person, at first in a hybrid mode and then with everyone there at once - so that was better than the previous school year, when we were in lockdown all but 15 weeks (political lockdown, then COVID lockdown). And now I am chock-full of Vitamin B12, after being diagnosed with a deficiency of it last year, a deficiency that had been getting worse for some time without me realizing it. But of course, tough things continue to happen. That's just called being alive.
And it's fine not to be flourishing all the time. Someone posted this article the other day which includes the quote: "It is a mistake and a misreading of nature to think that you, a living creature, will be flourishing all the days of your life." (One thing that happens when you choose an OLW for the year is that you sit up and take notice any time that word appears in anything you're reading, and I appreciated this new way of thinking about it.)
Nevertheless, I have been flourishing so far this year, in spite of terrible news, sickness, challenges of all kinds. You can't discount Vitamin B12 as a factor in that; having basically good health is something I don't take for granted. It helps me face difficulties with more strength; it helps me stay cheerful; it helps my body fight off sickness when it comes. And God continues to show Himself to be good. People, not always so much. But God, yes.
One thing I'm learning is that sometimes, you can't evaluate a season until it's over, or even until a few years later. Often, as new information emerges about what was really going on behind the scenes, you have to rethink whether a given incident was helpful or unhelpful in your overall development. You may learn something new about someone you trusted that leads you to question everything, for example. Suddenly you're seeing everything from a new angle. Since this is something you couldn't have predicted or controlled, what's the best way to live to promote flourishing, knowing that at any time you could get thrown off balance?
I keep coming back to an effort to live one day at a time, to make choices that I know are right without trying to look too far into the future and imagine all the possible outcomes, to avoid wallowing in the could haves and should haves of the past. I'm trying to flourish today, with God's help. As I pointed out in my post back in January, the Bible urges us to "abide in the vine," to stay connected to God. It's not always obvious how to do that, but that's what I'm trying to do.
I'm about to face a big destabilizing event, my second (and last) child leaving home to go to college. I would like to keep flourishing as my life changes enormously. I'm trying to do all those things I wrote about in January to help that to happen.
And I'm adding an edit on Wednesday night just because it feels dishonest not to. I wrote this post last week and scheduled it to go live today. We've just learned we're going to have to close school early, and do everything these last couple of weeks virtually, because the COVID cases are skyrocketing here. I'd be lying if I didn't say that right now I'm pretty down about how this super-challenging year is ending. But...let's flourish anyway?!
What about you?
The posts of my SJT buddies started coming in overnight, so now, on Thursday morning, I have the honor of rounding them up.
Fran's OLW is Awe, and here's her wonderful prose poem detailing some of the things that are awing her these days.
Margaret's is Inspire, and here's her update on how she continues to be inspired and to inspire others.
Carol's word is Begin, and she shares some of her new beginnings as she's recently moved. Instead of being overwhelmed, she's rejoicing in the newness!
Karen has received some good gifts and some curveballs. She's giving thanks.
Donna is trying to figure out if she's on track, and what to do next. Sending you love and prayers, Donna!
Chris chose the word Results and is finding the results mixed.
I love that Linda chose the word Ox. She has a poem about what that means - quiet, steadfast, dependable.
Ramona's word was Comfort, and it's so great to read about all the comfort that's coming her way these days!