One Little Word #sol18

john-green-on-noticing

One Little Word #sol18

“In the first place, you can’t see anything from a car.”
― Edward Abbey

January 9, 2018

I had my first little word in 2010, the year I uprooted my life and landed in New England.  That year’s word was about optimism and pushing forward.  That word was possible.  Last year my word was based on personal growth and coaching and the vibe I hoped would emanate from me to all those around me-linger.  Relax in the current condition and know when you shouldn’t rush forward.  I didn’t want to let that word go.  that makes sense, doesn’t it?

I have had this word floating around in my head for a few months.  I think I really change words in September or August when school starts.  That is my New Year’s.  I tried to convince myself that it seemed too easy,  not a real stretch for me.  As people published their OLWs last week,  I didn’t read any of them afraid that I wouldn’t have an original thought.  That I would push away from where I thought I needed to be.

I worked on synonyms for my word.  It’s so plain.  But none of the synonyms seemed quite right either.  So,  I press on.  After lingering last year,  I realized that the success was not so much the linger as it was what happened in the lingering,  noticing.  Actually seeing acts,  individuals, artifacts, situations, problems, solutions, and the pieces that make up the whole shebang.

I like to think I’m already good at noticing,  pointing out growth and struggle,  intention and exasperation,  kindness and effort.   I could be better.  In lingering,  I was able to let go of that anticipation of what I was going to do next or say next.  When I let go of that,  I did notice others so much more.

I considered changing my notice word to observe, but observe doesn’t have the same feel to it that notice has.  When I observe,  I can be passive,  it doesn’t feel active.  Noticing feels active,  like it’s an action to notice.

The most successful detectives owe their success to noticing small signs. Scouts are natural detectives and never let the smallest detail escape them. These small things are called by Scouts ‘Sign.’ Robert Baden-Powell

So see me this year as a detective  noticing signs.  I hope to not let the smallest details escape me while I’m thinking about something else.  I hope to give many people a degree of attention or recognition.  I hope to be present in this lingering moment,  noticing.

no·tice
ˈnōdəs
verb
gerund or present participle: noticing
  1. become aware of.
  2. “he noticed the youths behaving suspiciously”
  3. synonyms:  observeperceivenoteseediscerndetectspotdistinguishmark
  4. remark
  5. “it was only last year that the singer really began to be noticed”
  6. 2. archaic remark upon.
  7. “she looked so much better that Sir Charles noticed it to Lady Harriet
  8. 3. treat (someone) with some degree of attention or recognition.
  9. mary-olivers-instructions
  10. Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 9.10.00 PM  Thank you today and happy new year to two writing teachers and the slice of life community.  Read more amazing thought here.

3 thoughts on “One Little Word #sol18

  1. My word is admire- chosen for many of the same reasons you chose notice. I keep questioning if admire really fits what I seek- to see and recognize, just as your wrote. I’ll be interested to see where your word takes you!

  2. I think notice is perfect!! I might have to steal linger next year –love that one too! Look forward to hearing about it.
    Clare

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