Tuesday, January 1, 2013

OLW on SOL Tuesday

I started thinking about this word for the first time this past June at the All Write conference in Indiana when Ruth Ayres gave the keynote speech.  She brought tears to my eyes, and I wrote the word she mentioned in huge letters in my notebook.

Then I attended a writer's retreat with Ruth this summer, and she mentioned the word again in a chat we had sitting on a porch overlooking a gully in the beautiful Hocking Hills area.  This time, I quickly typed the word into my Notes app on my iPhone.

The next time I heard the word was at a NCTE session where Ann Marie Corgill, Patrick Allen, and Tony Keefer presented.  Tony referenced Ruth's keynote from June and mentioned how much this word had come to mean to him in his teaching life.  I wrote the word again, this time in all caps in yet another notebook, and I tweeted it out for others to know as well.

The word that keeps coming back to me: JOY.

I have been thinking about how to bring JOY into my life since June when Ruth's keynote gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes.  The fact that I kept encountering the word along the way these past six months was just cosmic, and meant to be.

  • joy that I can participate in physical activities that will allow me to lead a healthier life
  • joy in the time I spend with friends and family
  • joy in the time I spend with my students
  • joy in the small moments in life
  • joy in the process of creating, especially writing
  • joy in the fact that my PLNs continue to push and support my learning
  • joy in my time for myself
  • joy that I am going to publish this with yet 20 minutes to go before Slice of Life Tuesday is over :) -- well maybe not joy, but pretty darn happy I have my word before Jan. 1 has come to an end
Speaking of which,  other slices can be found at Two Writing Teachers, Ruth and Stacey's blog, the blog that inspires us all to be here.  Happy New Year!


  1. Love your word, Karen! A beautiful choice for 2013.

  2. An inspiring and beautiful word choice! I am so happy we met in 2012, and you have helped me choose a word here at midnight - 'silence.' I will find more silence...walking, thinking, dreaming. Thank you, new friend! xo, a.

  3. Joy - a shorten version of enjoy which leads my blog title so I think this is perfect. I too chose my OLW and just finished writing out my thoughts. I decided to unplug but as you can see I am lerking a bit on the web. I might do a series of post next week to share. Happy New Year.

  4. Katherine - thanks! Still a huge fan of your word "be".

    Amy - Totally agree about how happy I am we got to meet and spend time together. Loved that! Also love your word "silence". Sometimes we need to be silent in order to truly appreciate and reflect and create. Keep us updated on your word! xo

  5. Mandy - your blog is so aptly named. You bring enjoyment into so much of what you do! Happy New Year to you as well!

  6. Karen,
    Thank you. I'm humbled by your words. Humbled by the reminder that we influence one another whether we intend to or not. I wanted to influence with my keynote. But there on the back porch, that was simply sheer enjoyment of being together. Thank you for the nod about my keynote. I loved delivering it, but often doubt circles, and I wonder if it mattered.

    I love joy. I can't wait to hear how it infuses your life.


  7. Ruth, because you *shine*, your words do matter. I know I left a comment on your blog, but if you happen to check back here, another word I thought about using this year, but so aptly describes you is *ripple*. Your words *ripple* out into the world, affecting people in ways you just might notice in the moment.

    Hugs to you, too!

  8. Finding the simple joys in life are what make our lives worth living. My OLW last year was wonder, which helped me focus on the small things (just experiencing them in new ways).

    May you have a joyful year, Karen.