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per·sist (pərˈsist) continue firmly or obstinately in an opinion or a course of action in spite of difficulty, opposition, or failure

It has become quite a trend for people to select a Word of the Year… a word that will become a mantra for a person’s goals, aspirations, and motivations for the year. I’ve been doing this for quite some time, dutifully scrawling it in my journal and thinking through what the word might look like for me on a vision board. Honestly, it’s something that I take quite seriously.

But then 2020 happened… and 2021… and all of the good intentions that I had were blown up by the epic failure of what it has been to live through the last two years. As a planner, the last two years have been devastating for me. I know that absolutely nothing is promised to us, but COME ON!!! Teaching through the pandemic has been discouraging and frustrating. Relationships have withered away during isolation. Kindness seems to have disappeared in disagreement. I’ve spent the last two years fighting a volcano of fear and anxiety that threatens to bubble up inside me at all times. I keep thinking it HAS to get better, but as 2022 has begun, it looks a little bleak.

So the word I have chosen for 2022 is PERSIST. Realistically, I know I am the one thing in life I can control. There are plans that I have made that I fear will still be ripped from my clutches. School hasn’t improved a lot. Relationships are still fragile. All I can really do is hold tightly to the things that matter.

I have to force myself to bravely push forward, no matter what is going on around me. I have to continue to stand up for what I believe and be gracious to those who loudly scream in opposition. I have to show kindness and generosity to those around me. I have to continue to show up and love my students with tenacity…the same ones who seemed to have stopped caring. I have to believe that it WILL get better… that there is still good in the world… that JOY is still here. And I have to believe that somewhere in all of this, there is a purpose and God is still good.

Nevertheless, I will persist!

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