#SOL16 and Revealing #OneLittleWord16

So what do you see?

joy glass half empty or full

  • Is the glass half full?
  • Is the glass half empty?

(Or does it only matter when you know what is IN the glass?)

Perspective matters.  It matters every second of every minute of every hour of every day . . . you know the rest.

Like many bloggers, I was in search of my #OneLittleWord when Thanksgiving break arrived.  I was searching, checking out the thesaurus, reviewing blogs from last year and YES, fretting about that poor little word that would focus my actions and thoughts for the next year.

Where did #OneLittleWord come from?  You can read about it here from Ruth Ayres (2008) and even see how Margaret Simon used it with her students in 2015 here.  You can also read some early announcements of words here, here, here, and here.

My word found me as I was making decisions about wrapping Christmas presents.  Presents were everywhere.  I had diligently removed the price tags.  I had organized them by recipients.  Then I added post-its (yep, color-coded) by the “recipient” as I considered those individuals who would be at multiple, multiple Christmas exchanges:  my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandson.

Easy Part – all gifts had to be prepared to travel.

However, there is a difference between gifts that travel two hours on a balmy 50 degree afternoon and those that had to be prepared to travel more than 8 hours without being crushed, torn, or so disheveled that they would need “re-wrapping”.  This was an organizational nightmare.

And to compound the issue, the not so distant past included being “called out” by the blood relative (who shall remain nameless) who received about half as many gifts as the family newcomer at a previous Christmas. But names are not included in order to protect myself!  🙂

Hmmm . . . what to do?

Easy decision.

As I surveyed the gifts and thought about every logistical concern. (How do the gifts get home?  Is there really room for big gifts?  What if some gifts really need to be exchanged before leaving town?) Simple questions. Multiple issues.

My solution

Gifts for the Iowa family Christmas would basically be wrapped individually in their “own” paper and too bad, so sad but the 7.5 month old grandson would have more gifts than his parents.  Equal number of gifts for all three was not the major goal because after all Fair Isn’t Always Equal according to Rick Wormeli.

Then the gifts that were traveling to Kentucky would all be gift-bagged.  One bag per person with the  collection of gifts to be basically “tissue-wrapped”.  WHEW!  Major decision!  I believed that DISASTER was averted and I had a wonderful plan.  (Truth in blogging – Gift cards for books for nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews were not included in this decision.) All other gifts for Kentucky Christmases would also be gift bagged.

Seriously, what did this have to do with #OneLittleWord?

Well, it was all about my perspective.

What solution allowed me to designate the gift locations and collections and fill my needs?

It was all about my JOY at finding a solution that met both my needs as the giver and (I hoped) the needs of the recipients!

Joy is truly in the eyes of the beholder – whether it is the gifter or the givee!  And my heart was so full of JOY at finding a solution that I knew JOY needed to be a part of my personal and work life every day for the next year.


This Christmas gift to me said it all.

joy gift pic.JPG



Why JOY?

joy one.JPG

Not convinced?

joy two.JPG

My life every day this year will include:  happiness, success, delight, gaiety, bliss, or the source of delight – wonder!  (And see how sneakily seven other words fit under this umbrella of JOY!)

Schools and learning need to be filled with Joy, happiness, success, delight, gaiety, bliss, and the source of delight – wonder!  And I will be looking for Joy in all its formats every day in schools and in my own learning.

So I will be looking for JOY each and every day and with my “half-full” perspective, I am sure that I am going to find it!

Have you found your #OneLittleWord?

Has your #OneLittleWord found you?

P.S. [Truth – three days of wrapping and organizing (after one day of LOCATING) and I was close to buying/repurposing boxes in order to scrap the bag idea. I had a hard time getting the exact number  and sizes of bags that “matched” the recipient.   New Solution:   I just bought extra large, medium and small bags. After all my gifting, I used 31 bags and that was more math than my JOYOUS brain could handle.]


Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Thank you, Anna, Betsy,Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Stacey, and Tara. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

22 responses

  1. Your voice always shines through in your writing and I feel like we are having a conversation. I like how you explained the many aspects of your (our) word!

    1. Such a great word that we all chose (you, Dana and I). And I love that our journeys were ALL different and that’s the BEST part of JOY!

  2. Joy is a beautiful word to live by, Fran. Glad your word found you!

    1. Thanks, Stacey!
      I am looking forward to seeing what your word is – loved “YET” and use it often! 🙂

  3. Joy fits you perfectly. What is in the glass matters as well as who you give it to. Fabulous slice. You made me laugh. I could see you coding presents by color. I could hear you say, “too bad so sad!” Just great!

    1. Julieanne,
      I didn’t even think about who you give it to. . . but I did think of “who you are sharing it with” even across the miles.

      I am so glad that I could bring some laughter to your world today! Enjoy your day!

      Thanks, my friend!

  4. Love your journey in finding your OLW and your choice. If we all took the time to find the JOY in our lives every day how much happier we would all be. I am still searching for my word. Hope it finds me soon.

    1. No rush to find your word – you will know it! “Good things come to those who wait patiently” and that darn cat justmay be hiding it temporarily!

  5. Great post Fran! I love your word and how you chose it. I’m still searching for mine. It’s harder than I thought it would be. Hopefully, I’ll have one by next week. 🙂

    1. Lisa,
      Finding your word is not a race with a definitive finish line. You will be fine!

      Ideas from others may help you make your decision!

      Happy 2016 – it’s the perfect time to be in search of a word!

  6. What a fun Slice – I was swept away by your descriptions! JOY is going to make 2016 a wonderful year for you!

    1. Thanks, Holly. It was a fun slice to write although I worried about which details to include after reading Dana’s beautiful narrative about “looking back” to find her “JOY” which you can find here: https://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/danas-one-little-word-of-2016-2 … pic.twitter.com/B1NprLF153. She’s such a talented writer. And then Ericka also had “joy” as her #OLW today in her slice here: https://msvictorreads.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/olw-joy/ . So much joy AND fun to see the different views!

  7. Christmas can be so complicated! I’m glad you found the “joy” and that serendipitous gift plaque is awesome. You’ve made us all realize that even in chaos, “joy” can be there.

    1. Linda,
      It’s truly perspective and refusing to let the negative overpower our thoughts, words, and actions! We can do this! We can BE the joy!

      I know the plaque just totally cemented it!

  8. Wow, you’re serious about your gift-giving! 🙂

    We have matching OLWs this year, Fran! Can’t wait to see where JOY takes us.

    1. Dana,
      There’s so much Joy in thinking about folks and choosing a gift/s that “match” or meet their needs. (And I have a huge family-base!) I think 2016 is going to be the best year ever.

  9. Joy completely fits you — I am smiling with just the thought of it!! Enjoy!!

    1. Clare,
      Thanks so much! It really “fits” well! I’m so excited to see exactly where it takes me! It’s going to be a fabulous 2016!

  10. This slice made me smile – so much of your spirit shines through: the way you think and the way you love your family. A perfect OLW, my friend…happy new year!

    1. Thanks, Tara!
      hmmm…. spirit shines! I like that!
      Happy New Year to you as well!

  11. We met once at TCRWP and you left a lasting impression on me that was warm, like joy. Thank you, Fran.

    1. You are so welcome! I love your word nourish – 7 grandchildren – LOTS of joy!

      Happy New Year and may this be the best teaching year ever!

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