Tuesday, January 5, 2016

One Little Word 2016

Thank to Two Writing Teachers for creating this space to share our stories.  Read other slices or write your own and share here. 

A new year.  A new word.  A new story.

Last week I tweeted how choosing a one little word is almost as serious as naming a child. Much thought goes into choosing this word which will guide my new year.  I love reading everyone's stories of how their OLW found them.

Here is my story in three parts.

Part one:  

In December I challenged myself to write a haiku a day.  Writing every day opened my eyes.  I captured life in snippets of syllables and learned that life appears differently when looking at it through the lens of a poem.  

Small things appear big and big things appear small.

If you look at my blog posts, a time span of about six days is void of poems.  That was the time when I was held hostage by the chaos of life and school.  I was not taking the time to see the snippets, and I realized how much I missed it.  I began wondering if I was missing the opportunity to see and live life because I was so wrapped up the chaos.

Part Two:  

During this time I also was pondering my one little word.  I narrowed my list to two words, but felt one was tugging a little harder than the other.  I began looking for signs, quotes, or inspiration to see if this word was truly calling me.

It wasn't.

Everything I read about this word made me feel that I had to change me by adding something or taking something away.  It was do this and do that.  

I didn't want to change me.

I was discouraged, and I began looking for another word.

Part three:

I have a student writing group, and I started making an "I am..." idea prompt in my notebook.  As I was making this list:

a daughter
a sister
a wife
a mother
a teacher
a quilter
a reader
a Christian

I realized that some of these titles were who I am, but most were who I became. There is a difference.  

I decided to change my list to "I choose..." and my list started looking like this... 

to laugh
to cry
to believe in God
to be kind
to write
to read
to teach
to inspire

That is when I realized that my one word I had been thinking about was right all along.  All three of these events became an epiphany.

I don't have to change who I am.  

I get to choose who I am, and I choose to become me by living and capturing my life in snippets.  

In snippets that matter.

In snippets with intent.

My One Little Word for 2016:



  1. Leigh Anne, I loved hearing about the process of finding your OLW. It is amazing this journey we are on. Full speed ahead.

  2. You are so Intentional about everything, Leigh Anne. This fits you well. We are alike in so many ways. Intent is close to the word Present. They each represent being attentive to the world around you. I felt the chaos of Christmas weighing me down and I didn't want it to. I wanted to be present and live through it. Your poem is just right, too.
    Big Magic came yesterday. Are you interested in a Voxer chat about the book?

  3. This is wonderful! I have been pondering what my word of the year will be, and it has not settled out yet. I appreciate you sharing your process of elimination; maybe I will get to it now.

  4. I love reading about your process and the missteps. I LOVE your poem and your word seems to fit what I know of you.

  5. A list poem to go with your OLW - somewhat like a pledge. A lovely way to remind yourself of how you wish to live your life this year.

  6. Leigh Anne, I so like that you didn't want to change yourself but want to enhance your life. Living with intent is a perfect expression of that thought.

  7. What a great journey your OLW took in getting to you. Choosing your word, is as you say, a serious process. I am still working on mine and hope to have it soon,

  8. Beautiful post Leigh Anne. I agree with Margaret you are intentional. And thoughtful. Those are just some of the things that make you a great teacher. Your haikus and student writing group are examples of it. They inspire me. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  9. Wonderful to read about this journey, Leigh Anne. You sound so pleased about your word, and it feels like a good one to take you through the year. I love the art piece of "intentions"-beautifully written. Best wishes!

  10. What an interesting process! You poem beautifully captures your INTENTIONS. I love the idea that you don't need to change yourself - just embrace who you are. Did you see the Momastery post about that? If not, here is the link:http://momastery.com/blog/2016/01/01/best-new-years-ever/

  11. Gosh, I just love the sound of that word! I hope it serves you well.

  12. Such a great way to find your word...or to allow your word to find you! Can't wait to see where this word takes you in 2016!!!

  13. This was so beautifully crafted!

  14. I agree -- this is quite the one little word masterpiece! Love how you crafted it and came to discover your focus for the year. I thought your word from last year was perfect, and here's another word that will lead you to a fuller, richer life living with intention! Happy 2016, Leigh Anne!

  15. Great word. It resonates in so many directions.

  16. Love the stories of how your OLW changed you and I find it hilarious that you and I {almost} share the same word since Michelle and I had the same word last year. I also didn't know you were a quilter -- I am {was} too!

  17. Wow! There is a big difference between "I am" and "I choose." I want to try this. And I love your word(s). Seems like big things could unfold if you choose to live intentionally like this!

  18. I also have been tugged by this word a lot lately. I have been focused on the word intentional. To live intentially everyday toward your goals, decision to live the life you want to live. I love it!!! We must be sisters :)

  19. Leigh Anne, I love this post. Sad that I missed it earlier. Two of my favorites - to share stories, to celebrate small! When did you change your blog? I didn't even recognize you today when I stopped by Celebrate Saturday.