As the new year approached (three weeks ago!) I started to read blog posts about the One Word Challenge. I panicked. I couldn’t remember my one word for 2014. I could remember words from other years, but 2014’s word remained unattainable.
I returned here. With a burst of relief I realized I never chose a word for 2014. Perhaps it was because I ushered the new year in from Athens. Perhaps returning from Greece with a cold and subsequent allergic reaction to the meds put me out of much thought until sometime in February. Perhaps I wasn’t supposed to have a word for 2014.
After I recovered from the shock of having a wordless year, I started to ponder if having a word for the year was worth it. After all, I’d survived another year of the 21st century without one, did I really need one? After contemplating it for a few days, I thought I’d settled on one.
Once again, I was wrong. It was not the word for my year. In fact, it was so much not the word for 2015 that I can’t even remember what it was.
A friend (and former student) posted a challenge on Facebook about the same time I was chewing on and spitting out possible words for the year. She asked for five people to respond to a “Pay it Forward” challenge. If you agreed to be part of the challenge, she would send a surprise sometime during the year. The catch? You had to find 5 friends who would also agree to pay it forward during the year and send each of them a surprise.
I read the challenge over and over before thinking, “This is it! My word! GENEROSITY!!!”
For once I didn’t skip over it while thinking, “That’s cool” or “That’s interesting.” I thought, “If my word is truly generosity, I have to be in.” And I am.
Dreaming of a way to bless my five people has been fun. I don’t think I’ve let a day slip by without considering possibilities of how to be generous to not only the five who responded to me on Facebook, but to others, too.
One of my first negative reactions to my choice of “Generosity” was, “Oh boy. This is going to be an expensive year.” It may be. It may not. That was followed by, “If I tell people, will they expect more than I can give?” They might. I need to be OK with that just like they need to be OK with me not giving what I can’t give.
As I’ve ruminated on this word, I’ve been reminded that there are so many ways to be generous that don’t include money. I can be generous with other resources, too. Kind words and thoughts don’t dent my checking account, but they make a difference both in me and their recipients. Generosity with my time–probably one of my most precious commodities–is a place I need to challenge myself.
I’m not sure what 2015 holds–except for a more generous me.
Do you have One Word for 2015? What is it?
PS If you missed my Facebook Pay it Forward challenge and want to get in on it, let me know. I can take on a few more people. 🙂