How Are You Living Your OLW?

My One Little Word (OLW) for 2014 is float. You can read about my journey to finding my OLW here. We are now almost five months into 2014, and I am still learning how to live my OLW.

My OLW keeps appearing in my life. I notice the word ‘float’ in books I am reading. I catch students using the word ‘float’ in their writing. Good friends text me a one-word reminder when I feel like I am beginning to drown. And a dear friend of mine gifted me with this beautiful reminder for my desk at work.


I guess that’s the point of choosing OLW, isn’t it? To be reminded of the person we would like to be.

The biggest lesson for me so far this year has been: When I carry too much, I start to sink. My best defense against sinking is to lighten my load, so I am trying to be present and to do one thing at a time. I am trying not to worry about how large the laundry pile has gotten when I am supposed to be playing with my girls. I am trying not to check my work emails when I am supposed to be unwinding in the evening with my husband.  I do try. It is so easy to forget to be present as my To Do list gets longer and longer. Yet, when I hear my tongue get sharp and feel my patience wane, I know that I am sinking. “Float,” I remind myself.  I lighten my mind’s load and focus on the people in front of me. It’s hard.

I have also learned that in order to float, I sometimes need to breathe in deeply and breathe out again. I never realized it before, but a deep breath goes a long way. Breathe in, breathe out. Sometimes, I think people may interpret it as an exasperated sigh, but I promise it is not. It is a physical reminder to slow down. It’s how I float.

I still have a long way to go, but I’m learning.  I’m learning that I don’t handle stress well, but I do have people in my life that are more than willing to overlook that flaw.  I’m learning that exercise not only makes my body healthier, but also my mind.  I’m learning to make time for the things that truly matter.

I have plans to float this summer, both literally and figuratively. Inspired by a recent email conversation I had with Stacey, I am going to unplug this summer. No Facebook, no work emails, no blogging other than here at TWT. I can’t float if I’m constantly connected. I don’t know if I will ever achieve the steadiness and balance it takes to float… but I know I am becoming a better person for trying.

If you’d like to reflect on your OLW journey, please blog about it and copy your link in the comments below!