Today I finally get to Vicki Vinton’s blog post and her discussion of One Little Word. I remember opening the school year with this idea, using my eighth graders’ slides of their words as a Back-to-School Night introduction to goal-setting and the importance of striving. I’m absolutely certain I didn’t use it as a perpetual touchstone for my students—and I regret that. So much goes on in a classroom that often we stray from our best intentions. And I shouldn’t have. The students did reflect in January, returning to their “one word” and in June. I’ll take that as a win for us all. Which brings me to my one word that, like Vicki, will undoubtedly need oh, maybe a decade, to wield its necessary influence in my life.

My word is pause. It is not unique to me; I know others have selected it. Discovering their reasons would perhaps echo mine in some ways. At my recent physical therapy session post-hip-replacement, my wonderful therapist Jennifer said, “You’re a fast mover, Trish. That can be good, but in this case, before you set out, you need to square yourself, get your feet fully forward.” At the time, I applied her wisdom to my safe recovery, but now I see its breadth. So pause it is—I am a verb in my heart. Therein lies the rub.

I find myself at the frustration tipping point way too often. My life is good, great in fact, especially when I consider the plight of others, so there is no reason for outburst to be my default. With pause as my guide, I will venture forth, squared and fully forward. It will take a concerted effort; I know I will stumble. Defaults are tough to reset in real life. There’s no simple “settings” screen, no box to check, no “save” button. I will have my ONE LITTLE WORD though and my will, both formidable.

Last year I chose something much less taxing as I wrote about here at the end of 2018. I focused on my strength rather than my weakness. I chose an “atta girl” resolution. Not so this year. This word plays to my weakness, and like climbing stairs to rebuild that new hip, it will tax me. I’ll keep myself honest tho,’ writing about it here.

Change, improvement will give me pause.