When I began this blogging journey last year, my opening post discussed the One Little Word I had chosen for myself in 2015. Wake Up. It was the first year I used this concept in my New Year goals and I found it to be a successful one. Thus, as November came to a close and December rolled in (and you know how that month was) what little quiet personal time I had, I spent it scrolling through a word Rolodex hunting for that perfect term to be my next guide. But despite the hours and miles logged on the road with my thoughts (again, the best moments for pondering are while running, and showering but I don’t do much of that really,) I had not yet landed on a word that made since. I wanted the word to “choose me” as I had heard others say and I was not there yet.
On Christmas morning I opened up a new camera lens, a 50mm f/1.8 STM lens to be exact. A toy for an adult. What fun. I had watched with jealousy as my sister’s images just shined and she claims all thanks are due to this lens. So I was thrilled to get the chance to play around with this toy. The images truly are remarkable. The level of detail and light that can be captured is amazing. As I scrolled through the random shots I took of little Elliott busying himself around the floor, what struck me the most was how the focus of the shot was so specific. Then suddenly that word “Focus” jumped out at me. That is it. My One Little Word. Focus. I could definitely use more of that.
As I did a quick look up for focus, I regarded the photographic definition of the word.
Fo•cus. verb. 1. Created by light converging on a point.
As light hits a point just right, the image becomes so much more clear and detailed. I see the long eye lashes on his inquisitive face. I see the chubby hands turning a ball around and around. I see the faint wisps of hair on his head. The images themselves aren't all that interesting. But the way the light captures your attention on certain details, I saw things I don’t notice enough, but never want to forget. Light is an absolute necessity in photography. It drives focus. Without light, there would be no focus. But beyond focus, light gives an image life. And as I delved more into this word I discovered so many more meanings that needed a place in my life this year.
I don’t need more focus in my life. I need more light.
Light. verb. 1. To make vision possible
I need to illuminate areas of my life that don’t often get to shine. A flashlight in a dark room allows you to focus on what is important, allowing the rest to fade away. I need more flashlights and less overhead light.
En•light•en. verb. 1. To bring spiritual illumination
I want to ignite and enlighten. I would love to learn a new craft or ignite old ones.
Light•en. verb. 1. To make easily endurable - requiring little effort
I also want to use light as a weight. I want to lighten my load by making choices intentionally and learning to say no.
Light•en. verb. 2. To make not abundant
I want to lighten my space by organizing and letting things go.
Light•en. verb. 3. To make or become cheerful or less serious.
I want to lighten my heart. This means seeing more of the good and less of the bad. I’m usually pretty good at this. But I don’t often lighten up on myself and I want to practice more of that in this year.
I already felt lighter (see what I did there?) having found a word that seemed to speak to me but I was still hesitant to write it down, make it official, let it begin its work. Then I received an email from the library. A book I had placed a hold on was waiting for me. All the Light We Cannot See. Well if that wasn’t a sign I don’t know what is.
Light is one of those great words with many definitions and many directions it can go. I like its focus but I also like its possibilities. I hope to explore how it comes in and out of my life this year.
If 2015 was all about just waking up, 2016 is about finding that light. In other words, last year I focused on raising, this year I hope to do more shining.
What is guiding you this year? Is it a word, a phrase, a goal, a bucket-list? I love hearing what inspires growth in people.