Play is the Word

Today is January 18th…and I think I may have found my “word.”  Lots of people make resolutions for the new year to set their intentions and make change in their lives.  It’s evident from increased traffic at the gym and folks in exercise clothes walking in the neighborhood.  What I notice is that by the end of January, attendance in the gym is waning and best intentions are set aside…again.

My friend and SDAWP colleague Janet wrote about finding her word for the year here, and even though I read others’ blog posts about their words, it was reading her post that got me thinking about what my word might be for the year.  I thought about the usual suspects…focus, balance, love…but they weren’t resonating as the word.  And I let the idea of a word slip to the back burner.

This morning I woke up to find that Janet was authoring the writing prompt for the iAnthology this week, the same group that I am now posting a weekly photo challenge for, and that she had decided to riff off the photo challenge I posted for the week: frames.  Here’s what Janet wrote:

Kim Douillard has begun to curate a great Weekly Photo Challenge here on iAnthology,http://ianthology.ning.com/group/writingwithimages/forum…

and since we both hail from the San Diego Area Writing Project, I thought it would be fun to piggyback on her prompt this week with my own twist on Frames.

At the beginning of the year, many of us set goals and resolutions for the new year. I wrote about this on my blog http://writinginmyhand.org/?p=1082 at the beginning of January. Since we are about 3 weeks into the year, I figure many of those have already gone by the wayside. (For example I am on the couch writing this rather than hitting that 8 am cardio class this morning). But rather than frame my year as an “all or nothing” goal setting adventure, this year I have opted to frame my year with one or two focus words that guide my decisions this year.

My word to frame my year is PURPOSE.

It is quite an interesting way of looking at the world when I focus on my word. For example, rather than get down on myself this morning for not making the class, I remember my purpose for exercise is to stay healthy, and later today I can go walk the beach with my husband instead. It’s also healthy to write, to create, and to share, so all is not lost on the morning on the couch. See, framing your decisions with a word changes the perspective. It has influenced many decisions as I returned to the classroom this past week as well.

So I am asking you this week to set a word, or two if necessary that frame your thinking this year. How will you frame your world? You can use images, words, video, music, whatever you feel shares your word. In this busy time, a one word post or image will also give us all pause to think.

Looking forward to seeing how you frame your world.

Janet

As I read this invitation by Janet, I realized that I know what my word for the year is!  I will frame my year with the word play.  People who know me might be surprised by this decision. I’m often accused of being too serious…and working way too much.  But if you’ve read my blog over the last several months you’ll find evidence of my attention to play…both for myself and for my students.

In a #clmooc Twitter chat the other night, some of my colleagues and I talked about play…how we define it, why it matters, what it might look like in the classroom, and how we find it in our own lives.  Through that conversation, we found ourselves wanting to make more time for play in our lives…and to consider ways to infuse play into the things we do everyday.

In lots of ways, my photography has been a way of infusing play into my life. I find myself on the lookout for interesting photo opportunities while I’m commuting to and from work and making intentional plans to explore with my camera on my days off from work.  I’m taking time to pull off the freeway, find a parking place near something interesting and start shooting some photos.  Just the other day, after a routine doctor’s appointment, I followed a sign for a park I had never visited and discovered an amazing view of this region where I have lived most of my life.  I could see all the way to the ocean from this vantage point…and was surrounded by native plants, and even found a community of monarch butterflies dancing in the setting sun.

photo-66

The other morning when I headed downstairs to have some breakfast before work, I noticed the full moon peeking through the half round window in my living room.  I grabbed my phone and captured a shot…knowing, as I’ve mentioned before, that the moon is tricky to photograph.  But when I had a bit of time today, I played with the photo in Camera+ (cropping and adjusting) until I created something more interesting…and if you look closely in the left hand side of the window, you will see the moon peeking through.

photo-67

When I take the time for play, I find that I have more energy and a better attitude to apply to all the other parts of my life.  I also find myself eager to try new things, experiment, and push my learning.  I’m studying photographs I admire to incorporate new techniques in my own. And my play is not only about photography (although lots of it is!), I’m also playing with some other things, especially digital tools.

And I want play to infuse my teaching too.  I want my students to find the play in their learning and I want to create opportunities for play to be the goal.  When we have a passion for the things we do, new possibilities open in front of us.  So, Janet, I want play to frame my year…and thanks for asking.

How about the rest of you…what word or words will frame your life and learning this year?

11 thoughts on “Play is the Word

  1. Luke Hokama

    Lots of great words out there, but I can’t think of a better one to frame the year; something I could definitely benefit from myself. Thanks for the post and the reminder Kim!

    Reply
    1. Steve Jones

      My word for 2016 is Hinky: that moment when you first know there’s a glitch––whether you trying to buy a new car, explain a new concept to a class, or whisper sweet nothings in your lover’s ear. In a moment things can go hinky, and you know it. Then you begin to backtrack, explain, laugh or cry, but the moment has turned. Steve Jones, OWPC@Geo Fox

      Reply
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