2014: My Year to Shine

Sunrise in Western Pennsylvania

Sunrise in Western Pennsylvania

A few days ago, very early in the morning, I was running on 3.5 hours of sleep after an 8 hour road trip and my puppy was wide awake, ready to play.  All I wanted to do was sleep.  She was insistent and ready to go outside for her morning walk.  In my tired stupor, I clumsily threw on some mismatched clothes, my gym shoes, coat, and then happened to look out the window.  Over the hills, I saw the most beautiful sunrise.  I grabbed my camera, the dog and we ran (literally ran) outside and down the street.  I then stopped and took the picture above.

It reminded me of a passage from Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolf that reads,

“The day was like gold and sapphires: there was a swift flash and sparkle, intangible and multifarious, like sunlight on roughened water, all over the land.”

In 2014, I am looking to live each day with intention using one small, powerful, daily reminder.  It is called “One Little Word.”  A blogger I respect and admire, Ali Edwards, started “One Little Word” in the scrapbook community several years ago.  It has gotten quite popular.  What is it?  You pick a word, any word, that will be your light and guide for the year.  It is a word that acts as a foundation for the specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-sensitive (SMART) goals you set for yourself.  It is a gentle reminder to live each day with intention.

2013 held transition and new beginnings for me, including:

1.) Wedding
2.) New Job & Travel Destinations
3.) Grad School
4.) New Puppy
5.) More Wine Less Whine

Our Wedding 2013

Our Wedding 2013

Nicaragua 2013

Nicaragua 2013

Stella Bear

Stella Bear

Looking forward to 2014, I have laid the foundation for some incredible opportunities.  I learned through this roller coaster of a year what Malcolm Gladwell articulates so well in his book David and Goliath:

The conquering of fear produces exhilaration”

“What is learned out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily.”

For 2014, I have chosen a word that builds on 2013, a reminder to get out of bed early in the morning and capture a beautiful sunrise before it is gone, to open my mind at work and in the classroom and to push through the bad knowing I will emerge better for the wear.  Not easy, but necessary.

My one little word for 2014?  Shine

The American Side of Niagara Falls

The American Side of Niagara Falls


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