This year, I just didn't have one in mind right away like I have in previous years. I thought of speak, listen, think, laugh, relax, to name a few. But none of them seemed right for now. I was thinking that this year I might not have a word to remind and guide me. And though that was fine, I knew I would miss the companionship of a helping word.
Then I was reading an article (sadly, I can't remember where) written by a person who lamented wishing her life away. The gist of it was that, regardless of how good or bad things were, she was still always focused on The Next Good Thing. One day she realized that instead of enjoying the here and now, she was missing it entirely. I related to this, and actually used to do it a lot more than I do now, but I still spend too much time thinking "Next week/month/year ..."
Now don't get me wrong. I think we should all think ahead, and certainly look forward to things that are coming up that we know we'll enjoy. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about only ever thinking ahead, to the point where you fail to see that you are living NOW, and that there are people around you and things happening that you are missing out on because you can't allow yourself to be present. I used to do this too much, and though I have improved, I still catch myself practicing the it-will-happen-next mindset, even though I am only too aware that it often only leads to frustration and discontent.
Then it struck me - I should try to be more Mindful. The Oxford Dictionary defines mindfulness as:
"A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations."
Granted, this is a pretty deep explanation - and maybe somewhat touchy-feely, but the important part to me is the first part - paying attention to the present moment and going with it. Over the next year, I'm going to be working on making this my usual state, rather than one I have to stop and remind myself about.
I think that if I can be successful with my One Little Word, this will be one of the best years - and words - ever. And really good practice for living a better life.