Dana’s One Little Word of 2016

I finally found my word.  I had been looking everywhere, but my word escaped me.  I was starting to panic.  Was I going to begin 2016 wordless?   I thought about all the ways I could improve my life.  I could write more.  I could clean less.  I could work on self-acceptance.  I could be a better wife.  I could worry less.  Words jumped out at me from everywhere: write, accept, messy, wife, be.  None of them felt right, and the panic mounted.

I have an app on my phone titled “365 Days of Flow.”  It is from the founders of Flow magazine, and each day offers a quote, snippet, proverb, or idea for a happier life.  I usually read my Flow Card in the morning before I get out of bed.  Last week my card read:

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Maybe I was approaching this wrong.  Maybe instead of looking forward, I should look back.  I lay in bed thinking of all the things that were good and special last year.  The lake house.  Time with my mom.  A writing retreat.  So many moments with my kids.  Dinners with friends.  Conversations with my husband.  There was so much joy in my life last year.

Joy.  My word had found me.

In 2016, I will find more joy. I will spend more time doing things that bring me joy and less time doing things that do not.  I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll revisit many places I’ve already been:  The lake house.  Time with my mom.  A writing retreat.  So many moments with my kids.  Dinners with friends.  Conversations with my husband.  I imagine I am going to find joy in some unexpected places as well.

As part of my quest to be where the joy is, I am starting a new project on Instagram.  Inspired by my friend and fellow blogger, Michelle Haseltine, I am going to snap a photo of my whereabouts every evening at 6:50 P.M.  I will post the pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #tento7.   This little project will serve as a litmus test to see how well I am living my OLW.  How many of those photographs will capture moments of joy?  You can follow along on Instagram at @dmurph2008.

My OLW is simple, really.  Find the joy.

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