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.

3 thoughts on “Pause”

  1. Great word. I think that with teaching we are so focused on getting things done in a certain time frame that we forget to hit that pause button which is so critical to us and our students. It is amazing what we see and learn about ourselves and the world around us when we just pause.

  2. I lover reading OLW posts. Over and over I see how each person finds the word that fits just what they need at that time of their life. Softer nurturing words for the ones who are busy and more action inviting words for those who need to shake themselves up. You have clearly given thought to your word. Pause as much and as often as needed.

  3. This is a good word for me this year as well. I am in danger of rushing through my life without embracing the small pleasures. Thank you for reminding me to pause in my own life as well.

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