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Monday, January 4, 2016

Just 'one word' for 2016? Here's where I'm choosing to put my focus....

I think I first read about the 'one little word' project on Sheila's blog, Book Journey.  Probably last year or maybe even before that.  I noticed other people joining in and thought it was an interesting concept.  Sheila wrote a very affecting post recently about her 2015 word and how it came to mean things that she never imagined - One Word...What Can A New Year Bring?  She also shared her new word for 2016 - courage - Retiring a Word...Bringing in A New One.  Her life is very different in 2016 than she ever thought it would be.  I look forward to hearing how her word, courage, plays out this year.  I support her and send her my thoughts and prayers and hugs.

For me, my thoughts went in a different direction.  At the end of 2015, the minister at my church did a series on the word JOY.  I found it very meaningful and I shared a series of thoughts on my Facebook page during December.  Yes, I do have a Facebook page, but I don't have it connected with the blog here.  I don't post very often there and I use Facebook mostly to connect with family and non-bookish friends.  Anyway, the word JOY has been on my mind for several weeks.

I decided to continue exploring my thoughts on JOY.  That's my 'one little word'.  JOY.


The definition of JOY according to Merriam-Webster is this:

1.  the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune
2.  a state of happiness or felicity
3.  a source or cause of delight

Well, no offense to Merriam-Webster, but I don't think happiness or a constant state of that is required to experience JOY.  I also think that JOY can be something that comes in short bursts or even pin pricks.  And I think that sometimes, it must be searched for, sought out, almost tripped over.  That is how it has been for me, especially in those times where it was hard to find - those darker days.

I want to share two quotes that come from books written by Louise Penny, a favorite author of mine.  The first illustrates how I feel that JOY comes to us.  It's from her book, How The Light Gets In, and is a quote that was originally written by Leonard Cohen.  He graciously gave Louise permission to use it.


There is a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in.

I think of JOY as that light.  And all of us have 'cracks' in our lives, our personalities, our ways of doing things.  In order to appreciate JOY best, we need those cracks - those life experiences that may not be the most pleasant - that indeed may be filled with grief and sorrow.

The second phrase comes from The Long Way Home and it is repeated over and over in that book:


 
Surprised by joy...

My goal for 2016 - to search for JOY every single day.  No matter what life brings me.  And to consciously attempt to share this elusive thing with others.  Every single day.  So that they might recognize that we can all be 'surprised by joy'.  I look forward to seeing what I can learn from 'one word' this year.


44 comments:

  1. I hope you do find joy every day!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

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    1. It really spoke to me this year.

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  3. "Joy" has long been one of my favorite words. On the wall above my kitchen sink I have a sentence I wrote a few years ago: "Joy spreads more easily than butter." I try to remind myself of this idea, especially when times are hard. I really like Leonard Cohen's thought about cracks and light and your interpretation of that light as joy. I'm going to remember that, too.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sally! I agree with your sentence about joy spreading more easily than butter. :-)

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  4. I love your word choice! Joy and appreciating it is definitely a wonderful way to go into 2016. I'm leaning toward accomplish or proactive. I want to get better at getting stuff done this year!

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    1. Isn't it nice that each of us have a word that whispers to us? I think either of those are good.

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  5. Great post and great word. Wishing you much joy this year!

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  6. Good luck and I hope you get some joy through the cracks!

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    1. Exactly - and thanks, Cleo! Same to you!

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  7. What a great goal, Kay; I love this!!

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  8. Beautiful post! And what a great word to focus on this year. I hope you find lots of ways to experience joy in 2016. Happy New Year!

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    1. And thanks for the encouragement!

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  9. That's a lovely post, Kay! I definitely agree with what you've said about JOY and the things we've gone through to experience it. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

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  10. I love how you tied your word into books you have read. I gave some thought, although not as much as I probably could have, to what my word might be if I chose one. Try as I might, I couldn't put into one word what came to me. My mom, who I shared the idea with, came up with hers immediately. Grateful. She also came up for one for her dog. :-)

    I hope you will share your encounters with JOY this year. I think it's a beautiful goal to strive for.

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    1. I love that your Mom came up with a word for her dog! What was it? LOL

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  11. I love your word and agree with what you said about Joy.

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  12. Lovely post, Kay! It's so true about experiencing joy even in the smallest things. Sometimes we can get so caught up with what's wrong and don't see the small thing. I hope you'll do regular updates on how your one word project is coming along.

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    1. Thanks, Iliana! I'll try to update as I can.

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  13. Like you, I find that joy comes in short bursts. I can be somewhere, perhaps with my grandkids or in a beautiful place and feel a momentary burst of joy or happiness. It's hard in the world we live in feel joy constantly but I truly believe that those of us who try for it now and then make a difference to the way the world is, or will be. I hope you do some blog posts about this, Kay, as I'm very interested to see how it goes for you.

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    1. Thanks, Cath! I'll try to share more thoughts on this as the year passes.

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  14. How wise you are. Yes, I completely agree. And I love your choice of the word "joy" for this year.

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    1. Thank you! I'm curious to see how joy will make a difference this year or the quest for it anyway.

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  15. It seems that several of my friends have chosen JOY as their word this year. Hope you find your joy!

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    1. I like that. The more JOY the better, right?

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  16. This is a fabulous alternative to the traditional resolutions! It's a great way to focus your year and mind. Good luck with this year Kay!
    Thanks for stopping by the The Local Muse

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    1. How kind, Mallory. Thanks so much!

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  17. I love this Kay! Joy is a great word and I'm sure this year you will find joy when you look for not) and spread it because that's the kind of person you are :)

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    1. Thanks, Stacy! Knowing you and hearing about your life brings me joy - plus your quizzes! LOL

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  18. I think Joy is a great word to focus on! I have never tried this project and keep thinking I should. Maybe I will. With how different life is for me this year, a little mindfulness is probably what I need.

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    1. I'm loving having JOY as my word already. Honestly, I'm seeing joyful things around every corner. From what I can read in your posts, you guys were definitely 'surprised by joy' this last year with your little Shreya!

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  19. Love your word choice Kay and I agree with you, sometimes it's there in bucket loads, sometimes it's a pinprick and sometimes you have to search for it. I've been doing OLW for 3 or 4 years now but I'm still waiting for my 2016 word to choose me lol

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    1. I'm sure it will arrive when it is supposed to. I liked selecting it - although I had really had my eye on it for several weeks ahead of time. It picked me early.

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  20. I agree - I often think of joy as being something that comes in suddenly, but not necessarily a feeling that is sustained or long-term. For example, the joy I used to feel when I heard my son and his friends laughing in my basement when they were all together. I loved that sound!

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    1. Yes, exactly! I love this little story, Lisa. Thanks for sharing it!

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  21. Wonderful post and a great choice for your word, Kay! I try to find joy in the little pleasures of life and, I suppose, my Gratitude Lately posts are representative of this.

    I've seen others share their word for the year and late in December I decided to pick a word, as well. I didn't blog about it, but maybe I will later this month. My word is PEACE. A friend made me a sign from recycled wood and that's the word that she painted on the boards. As soon as I saw it, I knew that was my word!

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    1. Les, I think your Gratitude posts perfectly illustrate the concept of JOY as I see it. I love those. And I love your word too. Wouldn't peace be a great thing to share and look for not only this year, but always?

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!