According to her website, in 2006, Ali Edwards began a tradition of choosing one word for herself each January – “a word to focus on, to live with, to investigate, to write about, to craft with, and to reflect upon” as she went about her daily life. Since then, she has turned this concept into a creative project that centers around a year-long workshop “designed to inspire that offers creative prompts and encouragement as you let the word into your life.”
I believe the first time I heard of the concept of One Little Word (OLW) was in 2014 during my college CHAARG days. It wasn’t until 2019 when I started listening to the Crafty Ass Female podcast that I was inspired to participate in OLW. I had just started listening to podcasts during my daily work commute when I came across this episode (originally posted in 2017) where the hosts discussed their OLW history and thoughts on picking a new word for 2018.
In late 2019, when I decided I wanted to pick a OLW to focus on for the coming new year [and decade – holy cow], the word document immediately jumped out at me. At the time I had already decided I wanted my brother to purchase me a One Line A Day: 5 Year Memory book (inspired by Elise Joy, linked here) for Christmas, so the thought of daily documentation and journaling was at the forefront of my mind, or at least my Christmas wish list. I had been journaling daily since November 2018 and was really enjoying this practice. In November 2018, I was 1 month into my first job as a new grad physical therapist and I started using my Happy Planner to journal about the ins and outs of my job – the patient successes and failures, the good days and the really really hard days, a habit I have continued but has changed along the way.
Irony and Intention
Quite frankly, this is an ironic OLW given my career as a physical therapist where there is so much emphasis on daily documentation, both the accuracy/attention to detail and the time commitment. If my memory serves me, I think both members of my #girlgang (also in healthcare) chuckled when I announced the selection of my OLW. Irony aside, I also recognize how monumental this next decade of life will be. Between the years of 2020-2029, it is likely the following life events will occur: adopting a pet, changing jobs, getting engaged, purchasing a home, getting married, going on a honeymoon, starting a family – to name a few. What better time to document and have record of my life?
When I sat down at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 to set some intentions and goals surrounding my OLW, the following 5 categories and plans emerged:
Meryn Made blog
Happy Planner daily fitness planner
Happy Planner daily journal
Card/invitation ring book
Beer stickers pocket pages
Travel stickers pocket pages
One Line a Day (OLAD) journal
Letterfolk passport update
2018 South Dakota/Wyoming road trip Mixbook
2019 Denver, Colorado trip vacation Mixbook
2020 Breckenridge ski vacation Mixbook
There you have it, a look into the history of OLW, my selection, and expectations for the word document in 2020.
Until tomorrow, Meryn
photo source: AMXO