As I worked on a post to discuss my “word” for 2015, I wanted to revisit and bring closure to last year’s word. The purpose of the “word” is to bring focus and clarity to my goals for the year.
2014 Word – Remember
Last year’s word was remember – and what I wanted to remember was TO SMILE. To remember to be joyful, to laugh, and enjoy my life. Last January, I wrote out definitions for it that included, “to not forget, to mind; keep in mind” and synonyms such as, “remind, recall, recollect; fix in the mind; call up.”
My quotes were these two proverbs:
A cheerful heart is good medicine.
– Proverbs 17:22
The cheerful heart has a continual feast.
– Proverbs 15:15
A cheerful heart is good and it’s not something I do very well with. That is why my blog is about beauty and laughter. It’s everywhere – I just don’t do a very good job of seeking it out or enjoying it. My blog helps me to notice and memorialize it.
I also chose that word because I was concerned that the year would become a dark hole with nothing memorable to it. That 2014 wouldn’t be anything special or worth remembering.
To help me, I took Ali Edwards class again “One Little Word“. The class was very good but I thought I never really incorporated it into my life except in February, although my recent wrap-up showed otherwise.
When February Came
In February last year, my employer did layoffs. Every single Wednesday for the entire month plus a few other days as well. My department had one of the very first ones and again at the end, we were the last one to lay off. All through February, I hung onto God’s promises to remember to FEAR NOT. TRUST. HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE.
My notes from the week of February 17, 2014 said:
I cannot control these outcomes. Whether I keep my job or not, God has a next step for me in His plan for my life. For those around me who may lose their jobs, I can offer help and sympathy, but in the end they are responsible for their own lives and careers.
The next week, I wrote:
When I pray, I keep getting that all will be well, whatever that means. It will all be well. Stop worrying and have no fear! Which is easier said than done.
(Interestingly, when I was laid off in November, I was not that upset about it. I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t as fearful as I was in February – see my post here about being laid off).
After February, I did the exercises from Ali’s course nearly every month but in hindsight, mostly just went through motions.
By June, I’d noted that my experience so far had been disappointing and that regardless of my reminders, I was not remembering to smile, be joyful, laugh, or anything else. I reminded myself that I needed to focus on it, execute it, and engage in the exercises that Ali provided each month.
As I did the finishing exercises for December, I reminded myself that it is within my control to enjoy my life more and not be cranky so much. I reminded myself again that I have to actually do it and not just go through the motions. Then I wrote myself a letter and realized that having my one word – remember – helped me make it through the first part of the year. And in the last quarter of the year, I kept a Post-It note on the outside of my daily diary that said, “SMILE – LAUGH – BE JOYFUL.”
I did better with it than I expected. It provided me comfort during some very bad days when I said goodbye to a number of co-workers. And I kept it in front of myself continuously even if I didn’t practice it as much I’d liked.
As for 2014, it was a very good year, despite the layoffs in February and my own layoff in November. Click here to see what good year I had.
So remembering to smile, laugh, and be joyful was good for me.
Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you.
– Anna Lee
Here’s the original photo as well as another one where he was howling to scare me away, not realizing (or caring) it was me out there taking the pictures.