My word for 2018 was acceptance. It was the perfect word for more reasons than I could have known. Many nights I went to sleep saying the serenity prayer: Please grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Ken has been retired almost a full year. People ask him if he has plans, and he responds no. People ask him if he's busy, and he says no. In good weather he goes for rides on his motorcycle. He putters in the garage. He's content.
At the end of the summer, Ken got hearing aids for the first time. The volume on the television came down. He heard what I said the first time I said it, and we had regular conversations in a normal tone. Then Ken decided he didn't like hearing everything and stopped wearing the hearing aids.
When I returned to work in September I suspected things were not going to change. I couldn't have known that expectations would be amped up and micro-managing by administration would increase. I accepted the reality, but I realized that I didn't have to live with it. There is a difference between acceptance and surrender. I didn't surrender; I made a change.
After a year with acceptance I have made it a permanent part of my way of thinking. This has already been tested and I passed. I have been sick with viral bronchitis for ten days, the sickest I have ever been with a bronchial illness. I was in bed for three days, then saw a doctor who told me to take over the counter drugs that really did very little. That was a week ago and slowly I have gotten better. I wasn't able to be up for more than a few minutes at a time until Thursday. I guess my body was enforcing the "rest" part of recovery. I missed five days of work without pay because I'm not under contract. I feel up to returning to the classroom tomorrow and will take it slow.
My word for this year came clear early on this year. I have tested it out over the last two weeks to see if it holds when life isn't cooperating with what I want to do. I had plans for January! I have projects to finish! I have family to see and places to go! The word for this year held. Through being sick and miserable I was able to find joy.
The word came to me after spending November and December with my children and grandchildren on a regular basis. My children are a joy to spend with ~ they are active, involved with family and friends, and have interesting jobs. My grandchildren find joy in dancing, playing, eating pizza and hot dogs, snow, snuggly blankets, bedtime stories, and skyping with Mimi (that's me).
While I was out of commission, I found joy in my children's regular phone calls and texts. Once I felt better, my granddaughter in Boston wanted to video chat with Mimi. Pure joy on my part.
Joy is my word for this year, and I'm planning to make it permanent, too.