#reverb14: one word

Being sick waylaid me for almost a week and I was already behind on my #reverb posts, so I'm going to being playing catch-up here, possibly combining posts, but trying to fit in most of the prompts because I so enjoy this exercise as well as having a record of the year. One word: What one word could describe your 2014?

Listen to your heart

Though my word for 2014 was "spark," I didn't take a lot of action or have the word at the center of things like I have in the past. I do think it was an invitation, however, and there were some definite things I did to try to create or follow through on sparks of ideas. I'm just not sure that I acted as a spark in the way I'd imagined when I first selected the word, and that's okay, too.

So if I were to choose a word that described 2014 it would be listen. I spent a lot of time listening. I listened to podcasts and music, and audiobooks. I listened to students and family and friends. I spend a lot of the time while teaching talking, but this year, I feel like I also spent a significant portion of my days listening. More students utilized office hours, and I spent a lot of time listening to their fears about writing, about their first semester in college, and all the ways they felt overwhelmed. When I chose the word, "spark," at the end of 2013, I wanted to act as a catalyst for my students and people around me. I wanted to inspire ideas, creativity, words. In some ways, maybe I was, but more than anything I think I was a sounding board, a space for reassurance, and hopefully, kindness. Even if it wasn't my initial intention to become a good listener this year, when I look back, there are so many situations where that was asked of me. In a bigger picture sense, I tried to pay attention to cues around me, to listen to my instincts, to what seemed like the best actions to take. I started meditating again. I wouldn't say that I was necessarily quiet; I don't see myself as a quiet person, but I did make a conscious effort to listen more this year.