OLW 2018

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hIn 2016 after much deliberation, I selected my first OLW–Choose. Last year, for no real reason, I skipped the entire process. In all honesty, I hadn’t given it much thought this year either. Then on January 1st, I sat down to write and my mind wandered to OLW.  Did I have any ideas? Almost immediately the word, Pause, popped into my mind. Hmmmm…. Where did that come from?

The word pause always reminds me of my youngest daughter, Lydia. When my children were young, we did not have television, but we did watch videos. Lydia quickly picked up on the value of the pause button and integrated that word into her life. We’d be playing a game or reading a book and she’d suddenly yell, “Pause it!” and dash off to do something (often involving a bathroom visit). Then a few seconds or minutes later, she’d return, say “OK” and we were free to resume our activity. The word pause certainly worked for her.

I started writing down some random thoughts, exploring the possibilities.

notebook OLW (1)

As I wrote, I realized that within a pause, there lies a world of possibility. Just think of how powerful a strategic pause is when reading aloud. We use pauses to gather our thoughts or to emphasize meaning.  When one pauses, it’s an opportunity to make a change or to stay the course with renewed vigor or determination. While a pause can be seen as hesitation, there can be a deliberateness to pausing that appeals to me: A pause adds weight to whatever comes next. It creates space to make a better decision–to choose a more thoughtful response, silence a negative comment, decide not to push send, etc.

You also need to pause to notice and appreciate. Too often I get caught up in the day to day rush of things and forget to pause, to take time to connect with others or simply to relax and breathe. I rush past people, things and ideas without noticing them. Pausing opens up a space and makes room for these things.

Finally, pausing is a prerequisite for reflection. Nudged by my new OLW, I decided to take some time and look back over my year of photographs and then share and write about my favorites. (here) I’m so glad I did! The process was enlightening and crystallized some of my thoughts about photography and writing.

So this year, I’m going to take a page from my daughter’s playbook. I’m going to try pushing that pause button and see what happens. So far, so good.


23 thoughts on “OLW 2018

  1. More pauses needed in life, for sure. What a great sense of calm that brings, doesn’t it. I say “We have to press the pause button” so often in my K class that my students now say “Let’s pause this!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like your OLW found you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Adrienne says:

    WOW! That is a good one. I could use more pauses, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great OLW. I use it often with my kinders..I press my finger into the palm of my hand and calmly say, “Pause, please.” I find it’s a more calming attention getting technique than others I use. Your multiple focuses on how we can use pause in our lives are all excellent. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. judyman says:

    Amen. Taking a pause is so powerful in so many ways — everything from mindfulness, breathing, heart rate. Thanks for the reminder, my wise friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jcareyreads says:

    It sounds like pause is already guiding you in the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. cvarsalona says:

    Great that you finally arrived at your #OLW! I agree wholeheartedly with this statement: “Too often I get caught up in the day to day rush of things and forget to pause, to take time to connect with others or simply to relax and breathe.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Maureen says:

    Love that you added a pause button at the end! Pause is an excellent word – great choice!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski says:

    I love your word! I hope it brings you joy this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mgminer says:

    I love this so much. There is an art to pausing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. margaretsmn says:

    I am pausing here to read your slice. Pause is such a nice calming word. It helps to calm the frenzy of each day. Pause is like prayer because we stop to pay attention, to catch a breath, to reflect, to be thankful.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bevbaird says:

    What a great choice. Love the idea of pausing, reflecting, weighing in. Have a wonderful year with your OLW.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I could really use a lot of “pause” in my life. I associate it with mindfulness and being present. I need a lot of that deliberateness now. Thanks for planting that seed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I’m so glad you commented–you reminded me how I’ve already let this slip a bit to the side. I think I need to create a visual to keep on my desk. Thanks for the nudge 🙂


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