grow

Grow: One Word For 2019

Grow is my one word for 2019.

I’m not into resolutions. At all. I’ve broken them far too easily in the past, and I’d guess that most people have failed at one already in 2019 – and we’re only 11 days in!

Resolutions are a setup. We make decisions at a time when we think we’re supposed to change as if what we are already isn’t enough. We think in a scarcity mode – ‘if only …. I had more money’, or ‘if only…I worked out more’, ‘if only…every day at 6:00 a.m. was journal time’.

And then, you miss a day. Or forget what you set out to do and make excuses for yourself. Inevitably, resolutions break when you’re too tired to get off the couch, apply for that new position….you know how it goes.

Five years of words

In 2014, my word was change. I explained my strategy for no resolutions to my son in this post – and he decided on a word for the year, too.

In 2015, I declared an intention to practice courage. It was my first year of living without one of my children at home, and I was kind of a mess.

2016 told me to trust the journey after Cameron skied into a tree and sustained a serious concussion.

I needed/wanted to do less, to focus, to simplify in 2017, so I chose the phrase ‘Be here, now’

And in 2018, I decided I needed to embrace change as I transitioned from partly-full to empty nest.

My one word for 2019

Your mind is like a piece of land planted with many different kinds of seeds: seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love; seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness.

These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind.

The quality of your life depends on the seeds you water. If you plant tomato seeds in your gardens, tomatoes will grow.

Just so, if you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow.

When the seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will become happy.

When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry.

The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong.

– Thich Nhat Hanh

The quality of my life, of my children’s lives, and the lives of the students in my classroom depends on my ability to grow.

I know what it feels like to not have children at home to care for.

I adjusted to the empty nest, mostly. I’ve now got to transform into my next self. As e.e. cummings said, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”

Grow. The quality of my life, of my children's lives, and the lives of the students in my classroom depends on my ability to grow.

Change is hard, scary, messy and often, exhilarating. I’m going to grow parts of me that haven’t been watered in a while – or ever.

I’m going to grow peace of mind. Happiness. Adventure. Novelty. Love.

It’s not a resolution. I’m not tracking it on my calendar or measuring my success. To me, my one word means when I’m at a tipping point, or when I feel like I don’t know which way to go, I’ll pause, breathe, and decide to GROW.

I can’t wait to see what happens! What’s your one word for 2019?

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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