#peace, Link Ups, Reflection

Word of the Year – Six-Month Review

This past January, I set ‘Peace’ as my Word of the Year (WOTY). My goal was to focus on simple ways to bring peace to others as well as to myself. So, how am I doing six months after setting this intention? Please join me in a candid review (gulp here).

Reading

On the top of my list of actions was reading. Early on, I read books specifically focused on peace. Juggling three different book clubs (and now a Netgalley membership), I haven’t kept up this reading, but I have continued to look for peace within all reading contexts. Jane Austen is a perfect (and often cited) example of providing comfort in difficult times. Her books have much to say about resiliency and perseverance. So much so that Austen’s works were often prescribed to World War 1 soldiers suffering from shell shock. Winston Churchill was consoled during his illness by having his daughter read Pride and Prejudice to him. Professor Dr. Paula Byrne (with a focus on bibliotherapy) likens reading Austen to “crawling under a warm duvet on a cold night.” In the reading experience, we are simultaneously challenged and comforted with honesty, compassion and humour. (Source).

Peace Project: The (Travelling) Little Book of Inner Peace

In early February, I sent three copies of The Little Book of Inner Peace to friends in three different countries. To my delight, I recently heard from the current recipients of Book A (originally sent to Surfers Paradise, Australia) and Book C (originally sent to San Diego, California).

Here’s Book A being read on the beach in Buderim, Australia. It then went on to visit Heather in Wellington, New Zealand. It is now hanging out with Samantha in Papeete, Tahiti. Beside it is Book C which is currently in Baltimore with Parissa. I love the backgrounds of both!

I wish Books A, B & C longevity and continued travel adventures.

Thinking

With my mother recently suffering a severe injury, the past two months have been challenging. As a silver lining, I found that much of the work that I’ve done on inner peace proved to be helpful during this time. In summary, here’s what worked for me:

• taking one step at a time
• connecting to the present moment
• recognizing what I can do (and starting there)
• focusing on the positive
• patience
• gratitude
• maintaining (even just minimally) constructive routines, e.g. exercise
• limiting time on social media (and other tasks that could be delayed or did not serve)
• surrounding myself with true friends (even when I was ‘out of touch,’ I knew that they were there)

Accepting what I cannot control has been a more difficult challenge for me, but I’m working on it!

Mom is one tough cookie (and a very determined lady)! This is us out and about at a local coffee shop (we even did a visit to her favourite mall).

Journaling/Blogging

With the hectic pace of the past couple of months, I discontinued journaling. I have found that my blogging has satisfied my writing needs. This post alone allowed for much internal reflection before I even typed a single word.

What About You?

Have you set a Word of the Year (or goal or resolution) for 2022? If so, how has it been going? Please share with my cohosts Debbie, Jo, Sue and me in the comments or by linking up with us.

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We’d love to hear from you!

86 thoughts on “Word of the Year – Six-Month Review”

  1. Great word and great way to keep it current throughout the year. Mine is abundance and I am calling as much of that in as I can! Hope your mom is okay.

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  2. Donna,
    You are to be complimented for completing a mid-year assessment and thanked for sharing it with us. Life happens in ways we cannot foresee and if reading and journaling didn’t fit the plan, you have still plenty of time to get back on track. I love the journey of the three books. My WOTY was health. As the year has progressed, I’m more focused on Helen’s health than my own, but I still exercise and have worked hard to eat better. At least my mental health is good! Thanks again! Joe

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  3. I’m glad you’ve been able to track the books. Your ‘thinking’ list makes so much sense – what a great read. I have been rather neglectful of my word of the year – creation – I blame having Covid this month!

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  4. I have no word of the year, but I sure did reading about how you incorporated “peace” into a very challenging year. Your mother looks fantastic. Best, best, best to her going forward. And to you, too.

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  5. My WOTY is Embrace. I was facing a lot of changes this year (some I chose, others I did not) and rather than resist them I decided to try to embrace them. I have more good days than bad and the little sign I’ve posted on my desk helps to remind me 😉

    Best wishes and quick healing to your Mother 😊

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    1. Hi, Sharon – Your words here are very wise. Throughout this past month, I’ve been repeatedly reminded of the quote ‘pain is inevitable but suffering is optional,’ I don’t know if this is always true, but I’ve been trying to focus on it!

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  6. Even though I don’t have a WOTY, I find it so interesting how life’s happenings – especially those not anticipated – can impact what the word means to the person. Your list of peaceful ways to handle your mother’s setback is a great example.

    I’m happy to see that the C copy of The Little Book of Inner Peace is still making its way around the country. Even though it has been out of my hands for a while, I still feel a bit responsible for its continued journey.

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    1. I know what you mean, Janis. I feel very sad that Book B hasn’t surfaced in its journey, and I feel like I’ve failed somehow! 🙁 I hope it too is on a marvellous journey somewhere rocking its peace message, just too zen to pop up and be recognized.

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      1. Hi, Joanne – I’ve learned that each of the books take their own course, and their own time. I actually had just heard from Book A while I was working on this post. And I heard from Book C just after I had published this yesterday (so I did a very quick edit and addition). When I last heard, Book B was in Port Hope with Jan. I am confident that it exactly where it is meant to be and that it will surface soon! Hope all is well with you.

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  7. I’m happy your mother is doing better, Donna. She looks so sweet! You’ve done a great job of embracing peace. It’s definitely a tool we want to keep in our pocket during challenging times. My WOTY is Undistracted. Last year, I realized I was allowing too many things to steal my focus. Cutting back on social media and leaving Facebook has been a great move for me. Hugs to your mother! xo

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      1. Definitely no downside, Donna. As a result, I’ve had more subscribers to my newsletter which is guaranteed to reach more people, unlike Facebook. Not to mention, I own my newsletter and website. I hope your mother continues to improve. xo

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  8. Good going Donna, in a difficult and challenging time when your time is needing to shift towards helping and being there for your Mum. I know, in retirement, and with us getting older (early 70s) and my Dad in his late 90s I need to be semi-prepared to pivot…I think looking after yourself compassionately as you have done by dropping journalling but remaining blogging is a great example. I am, as they say, doing that “one thing at a time” as best I can with some surgery coming up, and recovery as well as preparing to downsize and move house next year. Thanks for the link up…and those little books are treasures – I have my whole collection sitting on my dresser and they are coming with me to Sydney in 2023. Denyse

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    1. Hi, Denyse – We do share so many similarities. Being prepared to pivot is a very important skill. Good luck with your upcoming surgery, recovery, downsizing and move. I look forward to continuing to follow how everything goes for you. Wishing you all the best!

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  9. Hi Donna – I love how your word is playing out this year (and the travelling books’ journeys are always fascinating). Every single one of the things that worked for you with dealing with your mum’s injury are exactly what I’m using to deal with my hip dilemma. You can’t stop something happening, but you can choose how your respond – and doing so graciously and peacefully is always a winning combination. So glad your mum is doing well again. x

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    1. Hi, Leanne – Your comment is very insightful. Pain is an inevitable part of life. How we view it and deal with it makes all of the difference in the world. I hope that you are doing well and that you are able to get full hip recovery!

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  10. There’s so much that makes me smile here Donna. I love that your book of Inner Peace is on a journey. I didn’t realise that Jane Austens books were given to WW1 soldiers to help in recovery, but I can understand why. I also find them comforting. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a tough time lately and that your Mum has been unwell. I think accepting the uncontrollable is very difficult but it does lead to peace.

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  11. Beautiful (peaceful) post. It did indeed bring peace to me. Sending a beautiful book to friends around the world — and encouraging them to pass it on — is a meaningful expression of peace. Thank you for your example. I also very much appreciate the photo of you and your Mom. I send you and your Mom warm wishes. And peace.

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  12. Hi Donna, Thank you for sharing your WOTY six-month review with us. You’ve done a great job of embracing peace and dealing with your mom’s injury. I’m glad to read she’s been out and about with you. I hope she continues to improve and recovers completely. I linked up my post. Have a wonderful weekend!

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  13. My word for the year 2022 is “Family” mainly because we have a wedding in the family this year. Each month in my bullet journal I have had a member of the family as my monthly theme. It has been great to look at pictures, remember stories and memories and share with the rest of the family what makes us so special.

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    1. Hi, Sue – Thank you for your kind words. When I chose this WOTY I was very outward focused. At that time, when books and friends suggested to begin by focusing on inner peace – I inwardly poo-pooed that. I have now become a believer in inner peace being an important place to start! 😀

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  14. Donna, it is quite extraordinary to resolve your problems within the context of peace after 6 months of intentionally thinking about it. You’ve surrounded yourself with peace and its benefits and what valuable lessons you’ve learned. That you shared your books with friends and family is still up there with the best idea ever! As we age, inner peace is so key to our existence and a best practice for how we navigate the rest of our lives. For me, after our road trip and all the drama, knowing I can come home to my mountain home surrounded by forests makes me incredibly happy and peaceful!

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  15. Hi Donna, I truly believe you were meant to select ‘Peace’ as your WOTY. Although times have been stressful of late taking care of your Mum and being away from home for a time, you have learned to accept and work around the stresses of your life and I do believe it is because you have discovered how to find inner peace when you need it. Interesting fact about the WWI soldiers and Jane Austen. I had read of this but only briefly. Your Little Book of Inner Peace is continuing it’s journey which is wonderful to see – spreading Peace around the world. xx

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    1. Hi, Sue – Come to think of it, I truly don’t remember how I chose ‘peace’ as my WOTY. I am pretty sure that it chose me. Learning to accept, and roll with, the stresses in our lives is an important skill. I am definitely still working on this! Thank you once again for your kind words and constant support!

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  16. I love how you’re able to reflect on what’s working and tweak it accordingly, such as with your journalling. We really are works in progress aren’t we? Here’s to more inner peace in August…

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  17. Donna I always enjoy your posts as you are one insightful and positive person who I deeply admire. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so openly and I love seeing where your Peace books are ending up. Your mum is lucky to have you to help out with such dignity and love. We can’t control what happens to us about we can control how we respond and this is a perfect example of that. Enjoy your peaceful time xx

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  18. I love how you can be so mindful during a trying time, a skill I need to work on. Always happy to read your words.

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  19. I had not recalled your WOTY (thanks for update reminder!)… but my summer study focus is on global religion. I want to become a bit more religion literate. Summer’s here can be brutally hot during the day, so having an indoor activity like summer study/reading was my way to cope with it. Anyway, I just finished The Tao of Inner Peace. (I got to the peace link eventually!) It was fascinating to me how many of the principles are consistent with Positive Psychology, Blue Zones, and many other recommendations on wellbeing and life satisfaction.

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    1. Hi, Pat – Thank you for dropping by and sharing this insightful comment. I read The Tao of Inner Peace years ago. It is definitely time for a re-read. Cool about the core principals being similar to Blue Zones and Posiitive Psychology. That makes a great deal of sense!

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  20. Having been through this with my mom a few years back, I know how you are feeling. She is lucky to have you watching her back. I always chose 3 words a year, these were mine: Learn,
    Calm, Flexible. I still have a lot to learn but I am keeping calm and being flexible, for the most part.

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  21. I’m glad your mother seems to be doing well. Long May that last!

    Your list is very similar to my approach when Mum died last year. I started trying to do everything at once and then got into a panic when I couldn’t. Once I decided to just take one step at a time life was much more bearable – even peaceful. Everything got done in the end.

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  22. No word of the year but I love yours… Peace…. something I need to come to terms with within myself.

    Sorry about your mother and I was just having a conversation with someone the other day about ageing parents as so many of my friends are grappling with elderly parents and healthcare decisions.

    I LOVE Jane Austen. I love her writing (though she’s wordy) but so beautifully droll and snarky. I wish she’d existed now so I could see her engagement in life and social media etc.

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    1. Thanks so much, Deborah. My brain began running wild with your thought of “What would it be like if Jane Austen was alive today?’ Can you imagine having lunch with her?! Just the thought of it blows my mind!

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  23. Lovely words and intentions, here Donna. Sounds like you are finding some peaceful moments amidst a busy year! It sounds like you are made of the same stuff as your Mum! Two strong ladies to admire!

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  24. Hi Donna, sending best wishes and a speedy recovery to your mum. I love how you have pivoted your WOTY to help you deal with the obstacles of life. Often we start the year thinking the word we have chosen will play out in one direction but life has other plans. As usual your photos are beautiful, especially your Jane Austen book. I found the information about how Jane’s books were recommended for those suffering from PTSD after the War very interesting. Thank you for sharing

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    1. HI, Janine – This is so true! In the beginning of January, I was determined to focus on outer, more global peace. I wasn’t ready to focus on inner peace at that time. Funny how our attidtudes can quickly change.

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  25. Donna, I love your word and the fact that it has helped you through this difficult time with your mom is proof positive that WoTY provides what we need when we pay attention. My word is More, and I double-dipped today to express what that means to me through my photography hobby and creativity in general. Have a wonderful week.

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    1. Hi, Suzanne – I agree that our WOTY’s can be very powerful touchstones…when we pay attention to them. I’m gad that you’ve been able to spend time on your WOTY as well – especailly in the areas of photography and creativity!

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  26. You’ve bad such a busy time lately that peace could have easily gotten lost so good job in staying intentional. Kudos to your mom for her speedy recovery.

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  27. I just love the traveling journey of your Books of Inner Peace, Donna! And isn’t it interesting how a planned blog post can dominate and activate our mind for days, weeks, or sometimes months in advance?

    I have found journaling, writing blogs, creating social media posts, and even staying in touch via email hard the previous months. When life throws punches, we have to focus on those issues and they require all of our energy – mentally and physically. I just hope all these chaotic times are swapped for more peaceful ones soon. Priorities, right? I’m glad your mom is doing better.

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  28. Enjoyed this post!
    And I can relate to journaling and how it sometimes takes a break – esp if creating a journal post or doing other activities
    Hope you have a great day
    ☀️😊

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  29. Great post, Donna. I continue with my curation project and try to connect a monthly report to my post on Natalie’s Coffee Share because I’m always late! I can’t curate a calendar, LOL. I’ve been teaching myself Lightroom Classic with the help of Google. I can see where it is helpful in rating and sorting photos. Yvette Prior got me started reading Charles Dickens and I’m reading my third Dickens novel, David Copperfield. I read it years ago, but it is refreshing to read it again. I’m glad you are finding inner peace as you spend time with your mother. She’s a beauty, BTW. You will hold this time together as your most precious after she’s gone.

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  30. Hi, Marsha – Tahnk you for your kind words about my mom. She truly is a beauty inside and out!
    I am so glad that you are continuing to currate — and to read Charles Dickensen. That’s a definite double-win!!!

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