Clarity – 356-*005

Sunday Assignment 1 ~ Word:2011

2011 Clarity

2011 Clarity

Last week a friend mentioned to me the idea of One Little Word to focus on during the coming year. This is a word that speaks to your heart and represents where your mind is at the present or rather where you would like your mind to be in the coming year.

As the author of the “One Little Word” blog posts explains:

And what do you do with this one little word?

You live with it. You invite it into your life. You let it speak to you. You might even follow where it leads. There are so many possibilities.


I am not sure that one word can possibly cover an entire year, but the more I thought about it, the more the word “clarity” came to mind. Clarity is something I have been seeking for a while now; clarity of mind, clarity of goals, clarity of purpose.

In an effort to find some clarity, I have been following the progress of the ladies who write The Dao of Doing. One of their recent exercises in their “Getting Started Series” was to Write It Down, “it” being your wishes and dreams for your life.

There is nothing new in wishing and dreaming, but previously I’ve only done it mentally and have never actually written anything down on paper. So last week I took a few minutes, grabbed a pen and legal pad and began to write. At first it was slow going because I felt a bit foolish with the whole idea. And then I discovered that I had a difficult time dreaming big. But after a bit I got into the spirit of things and in about fifteen minutes I ended up with over 50 items on my list of “Anything and everything I want to do, have or be.”

What were some of my big dreams?

  • Sailing the Mediterranean Sea
  • Riding a train across Canada
  • Visiting all of the National Parks

There were some nonsensical dreams, like being having a chef to cook all my meals.  Some dreams could be quite attainable, like driving a NASCAR car (it just takes a little money and proximity to a track) and learning to play the guitar (I am practicing daily!).

What did I gain from this exercise?

I did not really expect to learn anything earth shattering from this exercise, but putting it all down on paper did achieve one thing.  I noticed that most of my dreams and goals focus around three main themes that recurred many times in varying ways

  • Travel
  • Writing/Blogging
  • Photography

There were also a couple of minor themes

  • Music (both live music and playing instruments)
  • Languages (learning to speak Italian and Irish Gaelic)

Interestingly enough, my list did not include anything about Facebook or playing solitaire!  When I noticed this, I made the decision to quit playing online solitaire.  Since New Year’s Day, when I have a few minutes to kill or waste, I have picked up the guitar and practiced my finger drills instead.  One of my goals is to play guitar with my mom the next time we see each other.  If I spend half the time practicing guitar that I did playing solitaire, I should be able to play some simple tunes with her by next summer!

Long term, this exercise has given me some clarity for future projects.  Joining the Mommytography 365 Project was a direct result of this exercise.

It will be interesting to discover how else this exercise helps direct my focus and abilities in the coming months. With any luck, clarity will be the appropriate word for my 2011 year!


  1. Carol

    Good for you! I’m still slowly working on my list and considering the 365 project. Not quite brave enough yet…

    • Colleen

      I decided I might as well take the plunge with the 365 project. If I can’t keep up, I can drop out at any time. But I wanted to blog every day and this will be a good enticement. I just need to make sure I don’t try to write a book with each post. Maybe brevity should be my word for 2011!

      You will know when to take the plunge or maybe just decide you’d rather do something else entirely.

  2. Nikowa Lee {Quirky Mom}

    Now *that’s* creative!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  3. Roberta

    Wow, your photograph is so very,very cool. I absolutely love the way your goals came together with this project.

    You need to add “inspiring others” to your list, because I know you do a lot of that for me. 🙂

    • Colleen

      Wow. Thank you! I certainly don’t feel inspiring to others, but it’s nice to hear you say that!

  4. Roberta

    Oh yes, if you decide to drive a race car, the Bondurant School is literally right down the street…

  5. Tracy

    Nice job!

    My word is Health.

  6. Missus Wookie

    Cool shot and word choice – glad to have you on the 365. Don’t think I’ve posted about my word yet… where did January go?

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