Monday, December 31, 2012

One Word 2013: Light

Think about it: 2013. What good comes of something, anything, even a new millenium, becoming a teenager? While my personal experience as a parent has not been such that the teen years are horrific or earth-ending, by any means, there's a reason why teenagers have the reputation they do. Boundary stretching, arrogant, annoying, impatient with everyone older than 20... If we think the past few years have been challenging, what is ahead in this coming year? Hmmm. Between you and me, I am not holding my breath for 20-THIRTEEN to be anything other than a hormonal temper tantrum of a year.

That being said, I *also* think it could quite possibly be a great year (yes, I can have it both ways). Mostly because, dammit, it needs to be. It HAS to be. And, frankly, we can either let the teenager rule, or we can show it who is boss. Am I right or am I right?

On the heels (and pardon the whiplash after that slightly gloomy intro) of my Grace recap yesterday, I offer you my One Word for 2013: Light.

Light (as a child of God):
"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light." Ephesians 5:8

Light (as a wife and mother):
"There are two ways of spreading light…To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it."
-Edith Wharton

Light (as a friend, colleague, fellow traveler):
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd."

Light (as a woman):
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
-Elizabeth K├╝bler-Ross

Light (as a citizen of the world):
He who would travel happily must travel light.
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So, what does another word for another year really mean? Well, for one, it gives me a handy jumping off place for goals. It's when I am able to align so many of my current thoughts and inner workings with One Word that I know I've arrived at a word that will work for me (theoretically) in the coming year. I usually turn over any number of words for a month or two in my brain before landing on one that really resonates.

The past couple of months I've been mulling over 2013 and where I'd like to go:

*Lighten up (see what I'm able to do with one little word?) means working toward a few fitness targets.

*Being light also means getting organized, paring down, cleaning out those sock and makeup drawers that I've been meaning to get to, for years. When I read the Saint-Exupery quote above, I think about having less of a footprint on the earth, consuming less...

*Lighten up also translates into taking myself less seriously. Seriously.

*Being a light (lamp) to others, at home and away: I think about my abilities to listen, to empathize, to show compassion, and my need and desire to grow in those areas.

*I'd like to work on my devotional time (focusing on my Creator as The Light), finding ways to make prayer and scriptural meditation meaningful and consistent as my life requires additional balance.

*To shine light on a topic is to gain wisdom; there are a number of areas, professionally, where I want to learn and grow.

And I know the list will expand and morph over the year. I'm very much looking forward to seeing where it grows to.

Always, there are a few online resources to help in the journey:
One Little Word: I just signed up for this year-long class. I think it will keep me more on track in a gentle way (not like some online classes that are all-in for weeks at a time). (Come join me! That would be awesome!)

My One Word

One Word 365

Here we are, on the brink of another year; a year destined to be filled with joy and sadness, challenges and opportunities, the full range that every 365-day cycle provides. But rather than wishing for a good year, or even a great year, I wish for you the strength to meet whatever your year brings--and I wish the same for myself. If it is good fortune, so much the better. If it is less than that, may you (and I) be surrounded by love and comfort and courage. And light.

‎"I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being." 
-Hafiz of Shiraz


  1. How perfectly perfect!

    It is so appropriate on so many different levels for you. From what I have read about your new camera light is a great word for your new year.

    Thank you for the light you share all the time.

  2. Welcome to 2013, you and your lovely word :-)

  3. Okay, this post excited me on so many levels!! First of all, new camera?!?! I have to know more about this. I, too, am signed up for Ali's OLW class so we will have to hold one another accountable and motivate one another on the monthly prompts. I am struggling with narrowing down my One Little Word and the irony does not escape me being that my word for last year was FOCUS. When I get it, I will let you know!


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