2017 – One Little Word

Sunrise.jpgWe have rolled into a new year. The sun is out and I sit thinking about 2017.

  • Where am I going?
  • What will I focus on this year?

The last year brought many ups and downs. My word was developing. It seemed to fit for where I was last January. I thought I had found my way in this new retirement life which is not so new anymore. I was developing gardening skills with a new grow light. I was developing my writing with work on a middle grade fiction novel.

I was in action mode for a good part of the year. Then a shift would happen and I was back to wondering what it is I am doing in this part of life. I was wondering if I was just filling in time again. Making life busy without thinking. So I would sit, read and walk.

I then felt like I was spending more time thinking about what I am doing then really living this change. Some of this thinking is great and has been needed. Years of working and running after family left little time to reflect, little time to make choices.

Now I am actually thinking through what I want and need to focus on. I am thinking before doing. I am learning to make choices. I am learning to take my time and breathe. I am learning to be still, to listen to what is around me and then make decisions. I am learning about balance.

All of this takes patiences.

  • patiences to be still
  • patiences to wait before doing
  • patiences to read, research, think and listen

For me to have patiences, to settle into listening I also need to breathe, to quiet the urge to go do. I need to look for the balance between stillness and action.

So here is where I find myself on January 1 – with lots of powerful words

  • patiences
  • balance
  • action
  • reflect
  • breathe

Breathe is a word that I think can hold the other four words. When I remember to breathe deeply I can find patiences, I can reflect on the world around. When I breathe I can take action and move with grace and health.

Breathing is about creating a balance between action and stillness in our lives. When one practices breathing you are both being still and in motion. A balance!

This year will be about breathing, about letting the breath guide me as I find my way through changes and through stillness.



About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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7 Responses to 2017 – One Little Word

  1. arjeha says:

    We can accomplish so much more if we just take the time to breathe instead of scurrying around non-stop constantly.

  2. I enjoyed your post — I will be retiring from teaching in a couple of years and have begun thinking about what is next. Reflecting, planning, thinking — I’m trying to get a head start! Thank you for your post.

    • Joanne Toft says:

      It is hard to think ahead – things change quickly I found out. I would never have guessed that I would be working with a school on testing when I was teaching. (Never was something I liked for students) But it is a great part time job and I would to make the situation as calm and happy as possible. Good Luck as you move into retirement.

  3. terierrol says:

    Very encouraging word. I liked how you expressed coming to that realization. Good luck and Happy New Year!

  4. LSquared says:

    You found your word with wisdom. It takes patience to not jump at the first good idea. You are tapping into such resources by waiting on your breath and listening in stillness. Inspiring. Happy breathing into 2017.

  5. Ramona says:

    i’m still searching for my word. Loved reading about your journey to yours. Breathe . . . the word itself is relaxing. Here’s to a year of figuring out that balance between action and stillness.

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