Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Little Word


My OLW for 2013. It chose me in the midst of family Christmas chaos.
     Dogs were barking
       Kids were giggling
         Adults were cheering on favorite teams
And it all made me happy


I vowed to find little moments of JOY in every day.

And I did. And I shared them.  Sometimes as Friday Favorites. This year, when Ruth started her #celebrationlu on Saturdays, I began sharing there.

What I discovered was that because I looked for JOY it was everywhere. A wonderful thing to discover. And because I spent this past year looking for it, I'm sure I'll continue. JOY will continue to be a part of my life.
This year's OLW was alluding me.
But I trusted it would find me, just as JOY did.

And last week, as I basked in the sun on the island of Maui, it did just that.

Throughout our trip we remarked on the people of the islands....

  • their happiness with what they have
  • their willingness to go out of their way for you
  • the way they prioritize things
  • their pride in their state
When we drove the Road to Hana (the whole thing!), one of the guidebooks reminded us to keep our Aloha spirit while driving this road. It wasn't a place to hurry or be impatient. The CD reminded us to slow down, to not forget to put the camera down and enjoy the beauty around us.

When we first landed on the islands, Aloha was a word used to say hello and good-bye. But I gained so much from traveling there. It's the only vacation I didn't come home exhausted from, the only one where I had tears in my eyes as I had to leave. Hawaii left its mark on my heart. I needed to bring it home with me.

There's a spirit to Aloha that I think you have to find (kind of like looking for JOY). I think it means to appreciate what you have and share with others. It means to be content and in the now, not worrying about what you cannot change. 

And then I looked it up when I began writing this post. I found a great definition for Aloha and why it should be taught to kids! I really liked this section:

  • A, ala, watchful, alertness 
  • L, lokahi, working with unity 
  • O, oia'i'o, truthful honesty 
  • H, ha'aha'a, humility 
  • A, ahonui, patient perseverance

It seemed to say everything I had been looking for! Here was everything I discovered on the islands. It was the Hawaii I needed to bring home with me and make a part of my life. 


The word and the spirit I will bring to my life in 2014.

Want to know more about One Little Word? Check out Ali Edwards site. She's the one who got me started on this. You don't have to join the workshop, but she gives a great explanation of One Little Word!


  1. One Little Word with pictures?!?!?!??! Your posts always inspire!

  2. I love this word choice for the year.

  3. Love your 2014 word! Still searching here!

  4. This will be a great year! What a wonderful way to carry Hawaii with you all year long! A friend a picture from road to Hana this morning. It sure is beautiful!

  5. A long time ago y husband and I went to Hawaii, and I can certainly relate to not wanting to leave.

  6. What a lovely word to keep near, Deb. I'm so happy you had a marvelous trip. And I love that definition you found-will be good to have all the year. Happy New Year!

  7. Joy and Aloha both have a lot of positive spirit. Looking forward to reading whar OLW 2014 will help you discover. Happy New year!

  8. Seems like the exact perfect word for 2014! What a wonderful choice, open to do many possibilities!

  9. Now that I have read yours... I have no idea how my mine will ever compare. Great job, Deb; I hope to hear how you keep the joy all year long!

  10. I nominated you for a Sunshine Award! Participate if you care to!
    Ann Hagedorn

  11. This is a great word! I especially like it when you broke it down into its parts at the end. Alert, truthful, patient, persistent... perfect! May your 2014 be filled with ALOHA.

  12. Someday I will go to Hawaii. Your post encourages me to keep planning for that trip! Vacations that leave a mark on our heart are the best.

  13. Deb,
    Love the word! Love the story! Now I want to go on vacation.