I have been thinking about a word to choose as a North Star for 2022. What came to mind was the phrase: “Walk with purpose.” I say these words over and over again this year, guiding our students down hallways, across the campus, and out to the playground. I noticed that some students walk quickly to their destination, almost like they are in a race. Others meander and wander from point A to point B. They take their time; they are not in a hurry. And then there are ones who almost drag their feet – the procrastinators. They are happy where they are and don’t want to move on to another destination. I realize this is much like how I walk through my life. Sometimes I run head down into the unknown. Sometimes, I wander here and there, stopping to take in beauty or a sudden surprise. And other times, I slow down, happy where I am and not eager to move on. Approaching sixty-six, I feel the need even more sharply to walk with purpose. I slow myself down, take a breath, and make sure that where I am going is where I really want to be.
The more I thought about choosing my OLW, the more I felt like it would be cheating to choose a phrase. I sat myself down and told myself that this was not a time to color outside the lines. This was a time to be thoughtful and deliberate. This was a time to choose just one word.
The older I get, the more I try to hold moments in my memory and try to remember moments in my past. The remembering for me is a time to take a breath and savor the pieces of my life. Some of those pieces are traumatic, but many are sweet and healing. I know many aging family members whose abilities to remember are waning. It is a sad thing, a great sorrow. I think one reason I started this blog was to help me remember my teaching days and the way approached life in my sixties. It is a kind of testament to my life in education, art, and poetry. It is a touchstone where I can look back and remember. That is important to me. To remember is to be mindful, to walk with purpose in this life, and to be happy at my destination’s end.