It’s time for a new One Little Word post. Last year I ‘cheated’ kind of – and had four. Not posts, but words. Listen, Learn, Labor, Love. This year I’m back to one. But before I explain the what and why behind this year’s choice, I feel I should look back a little at last year’s.
The best thing about last year’s words was that they were easy to remember, and I thought about them often. I like to think I am becoming a better listener and better at remembering that I have one mouth, but two ears for a reason. What have I listened to? Apart from my children, I have discovered podcasts in a, for me, big way. I listen when I am riding my bike and when I walk the dog, and my top favorite three are BYU speeches, Modern Love and Elise Gets Crafty. It was actually Elise’s last episode that reminded me that it was time to settle on a word, and write this post!
Learn. Well, having finally returned to university to get my bachelor’s degree, I have probably been learning more than ever these last few months. It has been equal parts exhilarating and exhausting, but I love it. My new ‘happy place’ is the university library, and I seem to never have enough time to do all the reading I want. In addition to school, I have learned a lot from being a Red Cross Refugee Guide since April. And finally, I had a full year of teaching the Gospel Doctrine class. The curriculum in 2016 was the Book of Mormon, and I know for a fact that I have learnt more, by far, than any of the members of my class. I will be teaching in 2017 too, and the curriculum this year is the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History. I have been thrilled to find new resources available, like this one and this one, and look forward to being allowed to learn so much more about these scriptures and church history. Of all the standard works, these are the ones I’m the least familiar with.
Labour. (Yeah, I made the graphic before I realized it was actually Labor, not Work…) Working part time, going to school full time, taking care of the house and the garden, and still trying to find time to be a wife, mother, daughter and daughter in law – yeah – the labor part pretty much took care of itself. 🙂
Love. That’s what it’s all about, right? But what is it, really? I have spent a lot of time contemplating what it is and what it means and how to do it. Relationships are tricky business, and this past year I have discovered that feeling and showing love does not come that easily or naturally to me. However, I suspect I tend to overthink it somewhat. And not just love, but emotions in general. I can talk about emotions and I have lots of theories about them, but I have a hard time identifying my own, and acknowledging them. Two books have been instrumental in that respect: The Burnout Cure, by Dr. Julie Hanks, and Feeling Good by David D. Burns. Basically, my big aha moment this year was that emotions are not inherently good or bad, they just are. And I can allow myself to feel without judging the emotion itself, or suppressing it, like I have done in the past. Old news for most people, I imagine – but huge for me. I will most certainly keep working on love and loving. Probably forever.
But on to 2017 and the word I have chosen for it: It was a toss up between Steadfast and Steady, but I liked the implied movement action in Steady, and felt that it could include steadfast, but not the other way round. However, I have bought the ebook Steadfast and Immovable: striving for spiritual maturity (Thanks Mari!) by Robert Millet for personal study.
I want to keep a steady course in all my endeavors – slow and steady wins the race, right? Consistency is key. (And my consistency can be somewhat lacking… )
The word steady encompasses both a sense of sturdiness, of being unshakable, but also purposeful movement forward towards a defined goal. Something rock solid. Weighty. Dependable. All things I want to be and become.
Here’s to a year of steadiness.