I really love the idea of choosing one word to get me through a new year. It provides a focus. It anchors me. It points North whenever I stray.
For 2019, I’m tweaking that one-word formula a bit. I’m choosing two words. I recently read Everybody Always by Bob Goff. Read is probably too fluffy of a word. Maybe analyzed or examined or contemplated or studied, but not simply read. That would infer that I opened the book, read the words on the pages, and enjoyed the message. That wasn’t the case with this particular book.
When I read Everybody Always, it was often during silent reading with my students. I try to model what reading for pleasure looks like because many of my middle schoolers feel that reading is punishment. I may share a quote or story from the books that I read when the timer for our silent reading dings. With this book, my students saw me actively reading- grabbing my pink sticky notes to mark passages that I wanted to read again or share with my family. There were almost too many spots to mark- the lessons are that good, that powerful.
I’ve always tried to be a decent person. I like to see the good in others. I live in a space of positivity. My glass is half-full. As the saying goes, I spread kindness like it’s confetti. I truly believe that people and connections and relationships matter. Have I made mistakes along my journey? You bet! Sometimes they are those colossal missteps that sting when I think about them months later. Sometimes I just can’t seem to get there with another person no matter what I do. I try- really. I do try, but I don’t always succeed.
This book, though, gave me some new lessons. It gave me a few twists on my thinking that it’s time to apply. That’s why my two words for 2019 are the title of this book: EVERYBODY ALWAYS. In all that I do this year, I will keep these two words and the overall message they convey in the forefront of my mind. When I screw up–and, I’ll screw up– I’ll use these words to right my wrongs. When I’m lost, I’ll go back to those pink sticky notes to find my way.
This year, it’s more than just a word. It’s a better way of living life. It’s becoming love…for everybody always.