One Little Word 2017

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are
small matters compared to what lies within us.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

All around the blogosphere people are selecting their one little words. Like magic, the words have descended. I’ve watched and tried to listen, look, notice, wonder about what mine might be.

2016 was the first year I faced with a waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop fear. This year, those concerns still hover; those fears and new ones. I learned last year that anticipating the inevitable was a waste of energy. The shoe will drop and unexpected flowers will bloom. The good and the bad, the joy and the sorrow will always be. But, I can’t control or soften the blow of eventuality by pondering it. So thinking about my OLW for this year, I thought of words that would move actions toward the light even in dark moments.

I thought seriously about the word, notice. So much of what I need to do more of is simply to notice. Notice is the simpler idea around the word present. For a while, notice was on the top of my possible list that was long and rambling. Nothing was falling in my lap that felt right.

Last night, I thought of my dad, who at 96, is the bravest person I know. Someone I want to emulate. Someone who is so full of heart. And, I thought seriously about the word heart. I want to be that person who has tremendous heart. Some days I am that person. But I worried about the days I’m not. Days when my heart could not handle the task, and I set the word heart aside.

I wanted a word that could be small or a big. A word that did not require heroic moves every day.  A word that could grow little by little. A word, if there were purpose and energy to sustain it, could get big.  I thought about small actions. Smiling. An act that transforms. Just by lifting the sides of the mouth, everything gets a tiny bit better. Just lifting.

Lift. Could it work?

Lift (verb)
move or bring upward from the ground or other support to a higher position
to raise or direct upward
to remove or rescind by an official act, as a ban, curfew, or taxes.
to hold up or display on high
to raise in rank, condition, estimation, etc.; elevate or exalt
to make audible or louder, as the voice or something voiced

Lift student voices to be heard and honored.
Lift student burdens and barriers so they can take next step.
Lift students to see their possible.

Lift my eyes from the screen, my worries, myself to see, to notice.
Lift my hands to reach toward another who needs help.
Lift my voice to say what needs to be heard.
Lift my heart to help those who are hurting or fearful.
Lift the corners of my mouth to smile.

Small and big acts of lifting.

Welcome OLW 2017.


17 thoughts on “One Little Word 2017

  1. YES! You did it, my friend – you found the perfect Julieanne word (plus, don’t forget to add this to the list – Lifting the spirits of colleagues with my always wise and generous words).

  2. So YOU! YES! And as Tara said, “Lifting the spirits of colleagues” You are always sharing exactly what others are worrying and wondering about. So important to share the good, the bad, and the uncertainty! ❤

  3. Yes, it’s just right! I love that image of the hot air balloons rising. They rise on heated air. Remember that. Sometimes lifting is heavy and hard. I am confident that this is the just right word for you. I’m lifting my glass to toast you!

  4. This post made me teary. I love your word. It can mean so many things. As usual I think all of your thinking is brilliant. I respect you so much. I can’t wait to see how you lift the world up.

  5. Our words and thoughts are very similar this year. My word is Rise. I guess I have more of that hot air that Margaret was taking about! 🙂

  6. […] way.  Our friend, Julieanne Harmatz, master fifth grade teacher and blogger’s recent post: One Little Word 2017  inspired us to take on this challenge. If you’re not familiar with One Little Word, it began in […]

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