Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Word.

Here I am, in the last moments of 2011, and guess what just occurred to me?  My One Little Word.  It has been eluding me, but just as I anticipated -- though jokingly -- it really did come to me all at once tonight: 


As in, making a difference

...Am I focused on what matters most? 
...Am I living a life that matters? 
...Am I spending time with my family in ways that matter? 
...Am I creating pages that matter to me? 
...Am I shaping my thoughts into words in ways that matter? 
...Am I planning lessons that matter to my students? 


As in, substance.  
As in, that which occupies space. 

I want to be more conscious of the spaces that I inhabit, personally, creatively, and professionally. 


As in, importance

Fascinating:  the etymology of "matter" reveals that it originally referred to "material of thought, speech, or expression."   

Often mind and matter are considered opposites, or exist in an uneasy kind of duality -- mind over matter, it is said.  This is different.  I want to be mindful of what truly matters, and keep heading in that direction, body and spirit.   

When it comes to this word, however, I do want to keep in mind what Shimelle mentioned on a Two Peas thread today: 

And although the specific project is a word for the year, don't forget that life isn't really ruled by a calendar. I think it's okay to roll with the punches and change things when they need to change. I often focus on a guiding principle for a season or two and then move on when the energy to work on another part of life seems to be calling me.
Brilliant, no? 

Since I am on the subject of words, I am really excited about a project that I have been working on using the JBS Mercantile January mini-album kit.   The gallery reveal was tonight, and so I can finally share my work-in-progress -- or words-in-progress, actually: 
The album was inspired by David Levithan's The Lover's Dictionary, which I read in a single sitting a few days ago.  As I explain in the gallery comments, although I had already been at work assembling this album when I started the book, I did not really have a vision for it until I started reading The Lover's Dictionary.  In reading the book, it became so clear to me that couples have their own unique language, and so I decided to create my own compendium of the words and stories that characterize my relationship with my husband.  

I was also inspired by the cover design of the book: 

I riffed on that design in the preface of my album: 
The contents themselves aren't organized like a book, however.  I included envelopes to house journaling cards: 
Just as a dictionary is never finished, since new words are added all the time and language constantly evolves, so this album is designed to be a work-in-progress as well.  Here are a few of the cards that I have included so far: 

This month I also contributed a year-in-review layout (shared in a previous post below) as well as this page about my sweet, sweet girl: 

Well, it's less than 30 minutes to midnight, so I'm off to gather the family, calm my shaking dog (homemade bombs have replaced illegal fireworks this year in our neighborhood), open the cider, and toast 2012.  

Here's to the new year, and making it matter! 


  1. jill! i love your word! so perfectly chosen (no less than what i would expect from you).

    hope your doggie has recovered. so funny you mention homemade bombs. my friend was complaining abt the fireworks last night and i said, "oh you should hear the homemade bombs in honduras on new year's! it sounds like a war zone!"

  2. Holy beautiful! That album is incredible, Jill

    Happy 2012!