So instead of jumping right into a word and announcing it here, I've been sitting with it for a few weeks. Trying it on. Making sure it fits. And it really has. So my little word for 2013 is...
(insert melodramiatic drumroll here...)
1: a state of tranquillity or quiet
2: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3: harmony in personal relations
I naively thought that switching to working halftime a couple of years ago would automatically bring peace to my life. But it hasn't. While I no longer get paid to work as many hours, the time "off" has allowed me to fill our schedule with activities and other obligations. After all, I'm only working part time, of course I can take on things x, y, and z. And my children are older, so it's easier for me to do things a, b, and c than it used to be. And the afternoons and evenings fill.
I also live in a house of two very active boys. And as anyone who knows them can attest, quiet and tranquility don't often accompany their natural behavior.
So peace has been missing. This year I'm going to look for it.
Or at least ways to bring a little of it to my days.
Already, my word has helped me to make some choices that are working for me. One of the biggest sources of noise and "disquieting or oppressive thoughts" is the media that I take in. I stopped watching local news a few years ago, and that has helped. But still, plenty of negative talk and attitude and emotion enters my world through television and social media. This year I am going to work at turning it off. Not stepping away from Facebook and the like entirely, but consciously deciding if it is bringing joy to my day or just adding noise.
At Luke's school, they talk a lot about being peacemakers. I absolutely love them for that, because that is how he is coming to view himself. As someone who actively seeks peace. (Like all of us, he's a work in progress...) I want to be a peacemaker. With my boys, that sometimes means being more involved in their play. With my students that means encouraging their kindness and the value of shrugging off the social pressure of coolness. With my husband that means strengthening our friendship. And in all of my relationships, I want to work at finding a harmony that supports.
And sometimes, I just want some quiet.
So, peace it is. And may peace be with you.