Link Ups, Retirement

WOTY REFLECTIONS

On January 1, I took the leap and announced peace as my Word of the Year (WOTY) for 2022. My stated goal was to create a list of simple actions that can bring more peace to others as well as to myself. So, what have I been doing to help realize this intention?

1. Reading

In my recent What’s On Your Bookshelf post, I shared the above books as part of my January reads. Each of these books addresses the topic of peace from a very different angle. The middle two are the most similar. They each remind us of the Dali Lama’s words, “Great changes start with individuals; the basis of world peace is inner peace in the hearts of individuals, something we can all work for.” They also focus on the power of taking a deep breath before reacting. I’m still working on this.

Although Five Little Indians is fiction, Michelle Good’s insights, compassion and message of hope make this novel an excellent choice for reflecting and moving toward peace.

The opposite of a light read, Peace in the Age of Chaos is both eye-opening and inspiring. Its author, Steve Killilea, is the founder of the Institute for Economics and Peace. He also initiated the Global Peace Index. Find out where your country currently stands on this scale. You can get a quick overview of Steve’s work here.

Also accumulating on my ‘To Be Read Peace Pile’ are: The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (Steven Pinker), What Peace Means (Henry Van Dyke), The Litte Book of Inner Peace (Ashley Davis Bush), Small Wonder (Barbara Kingsolver), Peace Dancer (Roy Henry Vickers), What Can I Do? (Jane Fonda), A New Earth (Eckhart Toll) and The Hill We Climb and Other Poems (Amanda Gorman). What peace-related books would you recommend for me to add to this TBR stack?

2. Thinking

Through my readings, I have gathered several quotes regarding peace. This is one of my favourites — and a great WOTY reminder. It is not enough to set the intention. We need to believe it, talk about it and actively work toward it.

3. Journaling

Other than a diary with a purple construction paper cover that I kept in third grade, I’ve never been much of a journaler. This Mind-Body Peace Journal has been perfect for me. Its short, daily prompts have made me think. Pictured above is a great example. Do your daily activities reflect your values? Again, I have work to do.
Along with this journal, I have kept a daily peace log in a simple word doc on my computer. I’ve successfully gotten into the habit of writing at least one brief line each day. This has been an essential tool in keeping me focused. It has been surprisingly easy to maintain.

4. Discussing

When I am working toward a goal, I often keep it a secret. Less accountability? Embarrassment? Fear that the others will run away screaming? Most probably a mixture of all of the above. In the case of my WOTY, and especially the readings that it has inspired, I have more actively shared with others — including my Mom. Doesn’t she look great?!

5. Blogging

Thank you to Sue Loncaric, Debbie Harris and Jo Tracey for creating this WOTY Challenge and inviting me to co-host with them. (How’s that for accountability?) Do you have a WOTY (or a resolution/intention/reflection) for 2022? If so, we would love for you to join us by sharing in the comments below, posting on social media (#2022wotylinkparty) or including your own post in the handy link up below.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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92 thoughts on “WOTY REFLECTIONS”

  1. Peace is such a great word. Your mom does look great. How wonderful to be able to have a coffee with her. My three words for 2022 are calm, learn and flexible. (I have trouble picking one) xo

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    1. ‘Calm,’ learn’ and ‘flexible’ are such great words, Darlene. And they go very well together. Thank you so much for dropping by this inaugural WOTY post. I greatly look forward to learning from everybody’s WOTYs and intentions.

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  2. These are all such great ways to keep working on your WOTY! I too tend to keep goals, ambitions, resolutions, etc. secret and it really does make them harder to fulfill.

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  3. Donna,
    Lovely picture of you and your Mom! Those are moments to cherish. My WOTY for 2022 is “health” and all aspects of it…body and mind. Not getting any younger…
    Have a great weekend! Joe

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  4. I like the idea of that journal as an accountability tool – it’s a great way of focusing your energy every day. I’m loving how you’re approaching your word of the year.

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    1. Hi, Jo – It’s funny, I thought that I would quickly crash and burn with the whole journal thing — because it’s not something that I am used to doing. I have found both of these journals very easy to maintain (at least for the past 27 days). Ironically, I now automatically reach for one of them to jot down a thought that I would like to preserve. One month down, eleven more to go! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so glad you’re finding your #WOTY to be inspiring you in lots of different areas Donna – that’s really the whole point of one isn’t it? Our world certainly needs more peaceful interactions – and every quote shared, thought voiced, and attitude changed are steps in the right direction. x

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  6. I loved this post! Your mother looks fantastic, Donna! What a great picture of the two of you. “Don’t rush through the day” was something my mother always told me. If you need any journals, let me know! xo

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  7. I use a journal as well. It has evolved over the years, but it always brings me personal peace, no matter what is in my head. Your mom looks great and it great your mom can be your sounding board.

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  8. What a great idea to kick off living your WOTY by reading about Peace. The photo with your mum looks very peaceful and your mum looks amazing. I tend to keep my goals secret except for on the blog. Most of my friends wouldn’t understand.

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    1. Hi, Jennifer – You raise a fascinating point. It’s funny how so many of us will share on our blogs things that we would not be comfortable sharing in person with our friends. I believe that this is very true, and is worth pondering further.

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  9. A great choice for your WOTY, Donna.
    You’re making me look bad here, girl 🙂 My big plans for the year are losing weight and keeping my opinions on how my kids raise their kids, to myself.
    Actually, now that I think about it, that second goal could be my contribution to achieving peace. Yay, me 🙂

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  10. Peace is a wonderful word, Donna and I’m glad that you have shared it with us. I find it difficult to journal and keep trying so you have inspired me to try yet again. I used to keep my ‘goals’ a secret because I didn’t want people to know in case I failed. I’ve learned that by sharing, it makes me accountable and keeps me motivated to keep moving forward. I love the special relationship you have with your Mum and ‘yes’ she looks great! Thanks for being a co-host for our 2022 Word of the Year Link Up. I’m looking forward to reading about your focus on Peace in February. xx

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  11. I am a big believer in having a WOTY, based on my previous years’ good experiences with one. It’s a great way to keep focused throughout the year, and this blog challenge is a great reminder to check in on our progress towards achieving our WOTY goals.
    You are well on your way, Donna. Awesome sauce! Off to write my post now…

    Deb

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    1. Last year, I felt surrounded by WOTY-lovers…and I really didn’t know how to play. But thanks to great friends, I received awesome inspiration. Who knew a simple word could be so powerful? This has truly been amazing to me.
      I greatly look forward to your post!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Fabulous, thoughtful, positive, reflective and honest are the words that came to mind as I read your post Donna! You are a star – so full of peace, inspiration and love that it is a pleasure to be reminded again, that I am your friend! I loved all your points and that photo of you and your mum is just beautiful, you both look so happy and at peace in the moment. xx

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  13. My WOTY is Family. Although it started out using that word because my youngest is getting married this year, it can also be the family of the community, of the world, faith family, etc. So many families we belong to not just immediate family. So I think about what can I do to help all these families I belong to.

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  14. Hi, Ellen – Your interpretation and extention of ‘family’ is so true. We are all a part of so many families — often without realizing it. How we become fully present in these families, and do our part to take care of them, is vital. I will follow your progress with this word with great interest.

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  15. Hi Donna, Both your mom and you look great. I agree with you that “It is not enough to set the intention. We need to believe it, talk about it and actively work toward it.” I used to keep a journal for years. My blog has replaced my ‘paper and pen’ journal since 2016. Last year I read Peace by Chocolate by Jon Tattrie. It’s based on a true story in Nova Scotia. The story hits all the important relationships: Family, friends, and community. I recommend it for your Peace reading. Thank you for co-hosting the WOTY link party. I added my post. Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Hi, Natalie – Thank you for your recommendation of ‘Peace by Chocolate.’ I just ordered it from our local library and look forward to reading it. Thank you also for joining this WOTY Share. I am off to read your post now. See you there!

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    1. Hi, Diane – It’s wonderful to hear from you. I’m delighted to hear that ‘Peace is Every Step’ has been a favourite book of yours and that you are now picking it up again. Speaking of reminders – I am off to your site now to check out what you have been doing. See you there!

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  16. My word of the year is ENJOY. I am trying, but there are obstacles. I shall overcome them but it sure would help if more people leaned into your word of the year… peace.

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  17. Hey Donna! Yes to making your WOTY such a part of your daily experience. I think that is the way to actually appreciate it the most fully. And I’m guessing that those who don’t get much out of the “practice” don’t do that. You will be a ZEN MASTER by the end of the year at the rate you are going. And as you know, my word is surrender and I’m get a lot of practice at it already this year. Definitely looking forward to how 2022 unfolds. ~Kathy

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  18. There is so much here to think about. My word for the last couple of years, and continues to be, “gratitude.” My life is so incredibly challenging (see my blog if you doubt it) that I have to keep reminding myself how fortunate I am to be alive, healthy and loved.

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  19. Peace is such a great WOTY (and just a great word overall) and I love how you’ve approached it from different angles. Your TBRPP has some wonderful books… a few that I’ve read but most not… yet. How did I not know about Small Wonder by my favorite author, Barbara Kingsolver? I love that picture of you and your mom – you both look terrific!

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  20. Always good to see the reflections of a fellow retiree and one who is finding her way. I too have kept my intentions or goals to myself on some occasions maybe, like you, I was afraid I would be caught out if not keeping to them…I reckon that is my teacher-me and eldest child me out together. Lovely shot with your Mum. And Peace…yes, I think in some ways I am learning to be at Peace with myself as I am now. Thanks for the link up, Donna. Denyse

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    1. Hi, Denyse – Thank you for this very insightful comment. Learning to be at peace with ourselves as we are is an important, but often challenging, skill. I am glad to read that this is something that you feel you are learning to do. Wishing you a peaceful 2022!

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  21. I love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote: “one must work for it (peace)”; as it is with all things important, a reminder that it is important to reflect & believe, it ultimately must translate into action.

    Appreciate very much your encouragement through your reflection – it is often so challenging to keep going even with important things … when I see you ladies working through your WOTY, I feel energised and upbeat!

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    1. Hi, Ju-Lyn – Eleanor Roosevelt has such great quotes. She also said “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” So true!
      Thank you for your kind words. Your comment in also upbeat and energized. Win-win!

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  22. Hi Donna and thanks for hosting this link-up! Peace is a wonderful word to work towards, and I guess my own word of year, calm, is similar although the main goal is to create calm in my own life, and mind. I loved this: “ Do your daily activities reflect your values?” It’s very thought-provoking and I’ll keep it to use as motivation every day.

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  23. Donna, your WOTY resonates with me. May we all find peace. You may want to check out Sam Baker’s song, Go In Peace, on his Say Grace album. The handwritten lyrics are framed and hand beside the entrance to my home.
    So clever of you to find books with PEACE in the title. My WOTY is SUSTAIN. I came across a couple of titles – Sustain by Tijan and Deep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet by Nikki Tate. In the past, my WOTY would appear repeatedly in readings, giving me pause. Maybe I was just tuned into the word because of my intention. But you know, build it and they will come.
    The sustain pedal has been activated on this pandemic response calling me to strengthen and support my own physical and mental response. This involves the daily routine and those activities that elevate the ordinary, like a walk with a friend or a new recipe or a day trip. I need to focus on that which provides sustenance physically and mentally. I don’t want to be merely reconciled to this life but be replenished and nourished.
    I endeavor to live my life purposefully and having a WOTY helps me focus.

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    1. Hi, Mona – Thank you for introducing me to Sam Baker and ‘Go in Peace.’ That is such a beautiful song. I’m replaying it as I type this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4vB2CPhBvk Watching that music video, and wanting more, lead me to NPR’s incredible interview with Sam Baker. If you haven’t yet heard it, it is absolutely worth the listen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa8FNwZl5uU.
      Sustain is a powerful WOTY, as are your words surrounding it. “Elevate the ordinary”….I will be borrowing that phrase!

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  24. Hi Donna, I just finished my Sunday Stills post on the “elements” and worked on my WOTY, which will be unveiled Sunday morning. It probably is not as lofty as peace, but it is rather elemental 🙂 Mrs. Roosevelt does have an amazing array of quotes. Mine is “do something that scares you every day”…kind of the opposite of peace, but it sure brings you peace if you can accomplish it! Enjoy all your coffees that you can with your mom, how wonderful that you both get to spend time together 🙂 Ciao for now!

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    1. Hi, Terri – Thank you so much for dropping by. I look forward to seeing your photographs of ‘elements’ in your post tomorrow. I will definitely join you again via Instagram. I also look forward to your WOTY reveal. You’ve made me curious (but I do have a guess)!

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  25. Hi Donna – you are doing a great job with your WOTY challenge with all the different things you are doing. I also like that quote by Eleanor Roosevelt because it reflects that achieving peace is work not just talk. Thanks for sharing these books too. I would especially like to read Five Little Indians. I’ve seen it all over the place and have a hold on it at the library (a month-long wait however). Hope you are doing well 🙂

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  26. Donna – I love your word and how you reflected on it here. Each of those books sounds interesting. For many years “peace” was my go to word – for ending conversations and correspondence. I was a Franciscan – and peace was a big thing for St. Francis of Assisi. Although many don’t know the prayer attributed to him was likely not his. Anyway — thanks for bringing this back to me. The Chinese surname given to me also means peace. Because of your nudge, I’ll be pondering Peace in the coming days. Thank you.

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  27. Your mom looks fabulous, Donna! And how cool you could sit outside together in wintertime. Pun not intended. 🙂

    Looks like you are right on track with your WOTY. I have a hard time sticking to mine (“joy”) so far with Mark having to leave Mexico prematurely for family reasons and the knowledge about how that will end.

    But, I try, and I have been pretty happy here in Baja, all things considered.

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      1. Hi, Amanda – So far, my WOTY hasn’t been about setting goals (at least not directly). Rather, it seems to be an inspiration point for the type of year year that I wish to have…and (at the risk of sounding like a beauty pageant contestant) what I deeply wish for our world. So I think it is more of a guidepost than a goal setter. But check with me next month, I might totally change my mind on this! 😀

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  28. Thanks for the reminder Donna that it isn’t enough to just set an intention, we need to actively work for it. I am similar to you in that I am sometimes hesitant to talk about my goals. I’ve done okay posting about them, but to verbally speak one-on-one with anyone about them is uncomfortable for whatever reason. I am going to follow your example and share what I’m doing with those I love. Bonus–just doing that will make me more connected with that person, which is my word this year!

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    1. Hi, Christie – There are so many of us that often feel more comfortable posting a thought on our blogs than to share that same thought 1:1 with a friend, family member or neighbour. When I began (uncharacteristically) to share my WOTY and my WOTY readings 1:1 with family and friends, it was incredibly powerful and affirming. So far, no one has run away screaming. But I did wisely chose who I shared with in person. Thank you for joining us. I look forward to reading more of how you are feeling connected.

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  29. How old is your mom? She looks great. Sorry what is WOTY? No, I haven’t yet retired yet…getting there. The pandemic is kinda causing me to make excuses…plus the stock market.

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    1. Hello, Jean – Thanks so much for stopping by. A WOTY or ‘Word of the Year’ often replaces a New Year’s Resolution and is used to set an intention or theme on how you would like your year to flow. I am new to using one this year. So far, I have found it to be remarkably powerful.
      I am on my way to your blog now. See you there.
      BTW – about my mom’s age. I’m not allowed to say. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi – I do not have any peace themed books to suggest – but it seems like you have a hearty list to get you going for a while
    🙂
    your mom does look great

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  31. You’ve got a ton of replies here, Donna! Peace is such a big word and it sounds like you are going to work very hard to learn more about it and journal about it. By the way, both you and your mom look great. I’m glad you have this time to enjoy yourself with her.

    One thing you do well to bring about personal peace is to cook and share yourself with your friends. This allows you to focus on things outside of your frustrations as well as to share your frustrations if that makes sense.

    The Bible talks a lot about peace and it is a gift. I have experienced peace in the midst of trauma and trials and that is about the only way I’ve achieved it. It’s like a wave that comes over me. Maybe I could describe it as the way you feel after a great glass of wine enjoyed with a friend only it lasts longer and doesn’t make you giddy or interact badly with medications or affect your driving.

    My word curate is making an impact on both my blog and my home. I’ve put off getting an old external hard drive cleaned and moving the pictures on it to another drive. Doing that has shown up lots of pictures I thought were gone forever. I’m so thrilled. Yesterday the Geek Squad took over my computer and cleaned it out so that it works more efficiently and they moved a few more pictures into my new external hard drive. They also fixed the Google Chrome browser and its interaction with WordPress so I can like people’s posts again and comment. That’s made a huge difference to me.

    Well, I’ve gone on so long here, but I wish you well with your ambitious word and will pray that you have peace in your heart and life.

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    1. Hi, Marsha – Thank you for this very thoughtful comment. Peace is a very complex word and a very simple one at the same time. It has already made a positive difference. I am very glad that I chose it (or that it chose me – which I think is what happened). Currate is an awesome word. I would have never thought of it (I am way too new to the whole WOTY thing). I love how you are applying it in your life and the noteable influence that it is making!

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      1. I am way too new to the WOTY thing, too, Donna. I love what it did for Deb last year. Several people I’ve known have done it but it didn’t impress me as much as it did with Deb. She took it seriously and made decisions based on living out her word, Bold. So we will learn together how to curate peace. 🙂

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  32. Hi Donna – I’m way, way behind … I wasn’t sure what word to use – life seemed upside down – not sure why I waited … as now it is distinctly worse. Peace is needed so much … I need to get my act into gear, and read more … READ is mine to broaden my horizons. Right – off to get myself off to a good start – cheers Hilary

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