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Stacey’s OLW for 2018

My search for one little word to help guide me this year started last month. My search began during the fifth week of my daughter being sick. In addition to being fatigued from being woken up in the middle of the night when she didn’t feel well, I was exhausted from work travel. Knowing what might lay ahead in 2018, I began to cultivate a list of possibilities for one little word to guide me through what I anticipated would be a challenging year ahead. I came up with:

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I tried each of the words on for size. Each seemed to fit like a too-tight pair of jeans. So, I kept searching.

I initially felt relieved when my daughter received a diagnosis* for what was ailing her. Having a name for something means getting treating the symptoms with medication. Despite the relief, I also felt indignant. Why was so much being thrown at my sweet girl? And, let me be honest, I was frustrated to have more being heaped onto my proverbial parenting plate. We’ve had a long road (Click here or here for more information.) that has included hours upon hours of speech therapy, vision therapy, and more. How much more could she or I take?

*= For those who know me in real life, my daughter’s diagnosis is significant, but it’s not life-threatening. She’s told her classmates what’s going on, but now that she’s seven-years-old, her medical information is not something I feel I should be sharing in a public forum.

In November, I shared a slice of life story about a six-year-old girl we knew who lost a courageous battle with cancer. About a month after Sophia’s untimely passing, her mom shared a Facebook memory that included a selfie of them when Sophia was well. The present-day caption read: “Don’t take yourself too seriously… life is too short not to have fun!” That’s when I realized I didn’t need a word like intrepid to get me through the year ahead. I’m already tough-as-nails. I don’t need to brick up my heart with steely resolve. Instead, I need to find the humor in the everyday moments of life.

By nature, I’m a serious person. I read The New York Times and The Washington Post daily. I surround myself with educators who are passionate about education and take the teaching of reading and writing seriously. The most recent non-teaching books I’ve read have been quite serious (i.e., Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden and Juniper: The girl who was born too soon by Kelley and Thomas French). In order to balance my career and family life, I have to stay laser-focused and detail-oriented. While I can be silly – as evidenced by the way I often sing and dance my way through Hersheypark with my kids – my serious side dominates. Despite making solid comedic programming choices (Things I find funny and watch regularly: “Big Bang Theory,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Full Frontal,” “The Daily Show,” and “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”), I spend more time watching hard-hitting news shows and documentaries. Taking life less seriously – when we are living in a very serious time – seems challenging.

However, I’m always up for a challenge. Therefore, I mulled over what Sophia’s mom wrote for a couple of weeks. I came to realize that taking myself a little less seriously wouldn’t mean I’d become irresponsible or numb to the world around me. Rather, it would mean I’d probably enjoy life more since I’d be actively seeking joy.

Attachment-1 (2)Last week, my husband and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary with a long weekend away. During one of our quiet, kid-free dinners, we talked about what lays ahead in 2018. I summoned the courage to try out my one little word on him. I declared the word I will live by to him: LAUGHTER.

He smiled. “I think it will be good for you to laugh more.”

I think so too.

 

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

  • This giveaway is for Ali Edwards’ One Little Word® 2018 Workshop. Many thanks to Ali Edwards Design Inc. for donating this workshop.

  • For a chance to win this copy of the One Little Word® 2018 Workshop, please leave a comment on any (or all) of our team members OLW blog posts by Sunday, January 7th, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will use a random number generator to pick the winner, whose names I will announce on the Two Writing Teachers Facebook page by Tuesday, January 9th.

  • Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address if you win.  From there, our contact at Ali Edwards Design Inc. will provide you with a code for the One Little Word® 2018 Workshop. (NOTE: Your e-mail address will not be published online if you leave it in the e-mail field only.)

  • If you are the winner of this workshop, I will email you with the subject line of TWO WRITING TEACHERS – OLW. Please respond to my e-mail with your mailing address within five days of receipt. Unfortunately, a new winner will be chosen if a response isn’t received within five days of the giveaway announcement.

Stacey Shubitz View All

Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.

67 thoughts on “Stacey’s OLW for 2018 Leave a comment

  1. After reading the OLW posts here for a few years, I’ve finally done it. I’ve chosen a word too! It’s full of expectation and a relief all at the same time.
    Laughter feels like a perfect fit for your year. Best wishes in this humor filled journey!

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  2. Love that you are a Stephen Colbert fan because it’s outright “snorting” not laughter some nights when it is so audacious and pointedly on target! So glad that you have laughter at Hershey Park and with Ari. So much to treasure in life with laughter!

    It’s also a gift to be able to poke fun at oneself. Results-oriented Wonder Women often struggle with that so now you have permission, no a mandate, to laugh at yourself as well. 🙂

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  3. This past year has brought serious issues but thinking calmly and laugh often seemed and still seems to be the only remedy to conquer uncertainty and fear.Thank you for the reminder, Stacey, Happy New Year, smile and laugh no matter what.

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  4. I’m so glad you have decided on Laughter! My husband is a serious type and his New Years resolution is always to Smile More. Every year. It works to lighten the load. So sorry to hear your load is so heavy. Hugs to you.

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  5. Laughter is such an important choice for all of us who do tend to be serious all the time. I have a little note that I keep at my desk that says Remember rule #6 – which is: Don’t take yourself so seriously – taken from Ben Zander’s The Art of Possibility. When asked what the other 5 rules are he states – there aren’t any!

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  6. 2017 was a rough year for me and my husband especially. We have been together 44 years – 37 of them married. If we didn’t laugh life would be a lot tougher. Laughter is good…especially when we can laugh at ourselves!

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  7. As someone who also had a rough year and also tends to be quite serious (although also silly at times!), I understand completely, and I really related to your journey with your word! I initially gravitated to your original words (“intrepid” had really jumped out to me!), and then I loved your realization that that was exactly what you already had! Something important to keep in mind! Hoping you find all kinds of opportunities to laugh this year — goodness knows, we all need them!

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  8. Wonderful word.

    Some of my favorite quotes about laughter…

    A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything. – Irish Proverb

    Hearing your laughter smooths and flattens the wrinkles of my ruffled life. – Tyler Knott Gregson

    Laughter in class has the rare ability to soften hardened hearts, open shuttered minds, and endear students to one another. – Mike Linsin

    By God’s design laughter dissolves stress, relieves anger, eases disappointment, lowers blood pressure, and mends relationships. – Liz Curtis Higgs

    We’re not so different. We all bleed, hurt, laugh, hope, smile, cry, and love. Our similarities far outnumber our differences. – J. Selvidge

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  9. Lovely word! I think we as adults tend to forget just how good it feels to let ourselves laugh.This is my first year of doing OLW and I selected Steadfast. I can apply it to all areas of my life & I’m ready to see what 2018 has in store for me.

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  10. I’m sorry that your daughter is sick, but thank goodness for medicine and therapists that have helped your daughter so much. I am a more serious person too…all I know is thank goodness for Kober with helping me cope before I sleep. xo Have a Happy, Laughing New Year! xo

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  11. I’m sorry that your daughter is sick, but thank goodness for medicine and therapists that have helped your daughter so much. I am a more serious person too…all I know is thank goodness for Kober with helping me cope with laugh before I sleep. xo Have a Happy, Laughing New Year! xo

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  12. I am sorry to hear about your troubles with your daughter. I, too, have a daughter with serious health issues which we learned about when she was five years old. Now she is 34 and still lives with us because she doesn’t have the stamina to live on her own, ‘tho she does work 4 days a week at a violin shop. Thanks to her sense of humor we laugh together all the time, and believe me we’ve been through some life-threatening situations (five open-heart surgeries). Our shared laughter has been a gift from the universe. Hang in there. Your daughter needs you, and she needs your laughter, too.

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  13. This is my first go at OLW. I have chosen the word “Embrace” because I feel it encompasses so much. Embrace change, embrace others, embrace health and fitness, embrace new opportunities, and so on and so forth. Thanks for spreading the word about OLW.

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  14. Great word, Stacey, With the state of the world today we all need a little more laughter in our lives. To me, if we can laugh we can face whatever comes our way. Wishing you much laughter in 2018.

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  15. I, too, am a serious person, and my ability to write humor lies dormant until I’m in pain, but this past year I’ve found laughter indispensable to survival. I love political humor. Last night I lay in bed reading a tweet from Preet Bahara (Resolution: Laugh more at…) and the responses. My husband heard me and came up to investigate. I had the best night’s sleep following the release I experienced from laughing so hard. Laughter really is the best medicine sometimes.

    You have had more than your share of tough times, Stacey. I hope you find lots of happiness, peace, and laughter in 2018.

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  16. The way you culminated this slice with your husband’s sweet response, “I think it would be good for you to laugh more” brought tears to my eyes…life is sad and beautiful and scary and tough and challenging and, yes, funny! Great word/goal for the year, Stacey. Happy New Year!

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  17. This is such an insightful, powerful reflection. For me, my OneWord is a bit more difficult this year as I am most likely at a professional crossroads & need to find a word of power to help me through. Laughter is a necessity in anyone’s life, and I cannot think of a better word to guide you through.

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  18. I love that I had to get all the way to the end before I knew what your word to live by was going to be for 2018. All that you shared here was so thoughtful, and yes, you are tough as nails. I appreciated how you put your self-assessment out that as part of your build up to your word. I think laughter is potentially one of the most significant things we could all do to feel a little lighter and balanced as we face a challenge. Great choice.

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  19. It’s amazing how many times in our search to become “better” we find what appears to be an unlikely solution. It really is all about the balance. Best of luck in your endeavor. Thank you for the reminder.

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  20. Stacey, I love your word for you and enjoyed reading about all the thinking and experiences that led to you choosing the word laughter. Several of your contenders were also on my list. I finally settle on “Shine.” The Jewish proverb you shared is wonderful- and so true. Happy New Year.

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  21. OLW – LOVE your word and graphic! My word this year is RENEWAL. I’ve read 6-8 bible verses, quotes, posts that have had this word in them and it fits for me in the season I am in right now. I don’t feel the need to change so much as to renew the fire and gusto and courage in my quests for more goodness.

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  22. Your OLW is so perfect! I love the lightheartedness of it. We could all use a little more laughter in our lives, especially in these times. I’m looking forward to following your travels into living out your OLW in 2018. Happy new year, Stacey!

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  23. The fitting “like a too-tight pair of jeans” is the perfect description for choosing the OLW; to me, some words like “acceptance” are just way too loose. We need space for growing, but not so much that we can remain complacent or unchanged … what a reflective piece and reminder that we can all use more laughter. Prayers to your fb friend in her loss – what a strong spirit she has! – and to your family, especially your little girl. I recently read a lot of papers from students of all ages on the theme of “Show Your Strength” and it was driven home to me, yet again, how profoundly strong and resilient children are. Strength to all of you~

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  24. Love the way you crafted this post and the ending is so effective! (Marc’s statement- then your final sentence.) Laughter is a great choice. Laughing feels so good, even when so much can be wrong. Here’s to lots of laughs in 2018!

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