On our first anniversary, my husband Frank and I hiked the West Highland Way, a 95-mile trail through Scotland’s highlands. It was (and still is) the longest distance I’ve hiked, with days ranging from 8 to 14 miles. A service picked up our bags each day and transported them to the next quaint B&B, so all we had to carry were our daypacks with lunches, water, snacks, and rain gear.
It was an amazing trip, one of my favorite vacations. We hiked through small villages, along the shores of entire lochs, through Rob Roy’s hideouts, and traversed many sheep pastures. We stayed each night in amazing places, some family-run, others dating back to the days of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
It was an incredible way to end our first year of marriage. We were able to reflect on that crazy year, dream about the future, and really take time out to reconnect. Most days, we spent the entire day walking side-by-side, talking nonstop: constructing future homes, admiring the scenery, discussing the names of future children, wondering if we would have different careers. Other days, we hardly talked at all.
One day, in the middle of the trek, we didn’t even really walk together. It was a foggy, quiet sort of day, and I stuck to the path, contemplating all we had already seen and talked about. Frank, ever the adventurer, scrambled over rocks, up hills, and took every detour imaginable, always meeting me farther up the trail. We ate lunch together, but continued to walk on our own that afternoon. That evening, sipping gin cocktails and looking out on the Bridge of Orchy, we reflected that, even though we hardly talked and didn’t even really walk together, we loved that we had still shared the day and still felt as connected as on the days we chatted the whole time.
As I settle into the year and my One Word, Grace, I’ve found it fits in the same way: Some days I see Grace all around me — in every moment and interaction. Other days, it’s harder to recognize, but as I reflect before bed, I realize Grace surrounded me subtly. Some days I cling to Grace because it’s so difficult and others it seems to come naturally or I’m simply more aware of how it’s moving in my life.
An amazing thing about choosing One Word is that it won’t always be apparent in the day-to-day, but it’s there — slowly weaving its way into my life. It’s creating foundations and conversations that strengthen my outlook and my interactions with those around me.
Have you chosen your One Word yet?
How have you seen it weave into your daily interactions?