one word : : checking in {july twenty-two}

Welcome.

If you wrote a post for this month’s check-in, I invite you to join the One Word party, share in Comments below, or reflect on your own–whatever works.

I’m just glad you’re here! 


It feels like My One Word ’22 could be Present instead of Engage this month. (Because, I suppose, when you’re engaged in something, you’re very much present, right?) (An issue of semantics, is all!) Which is yet another reminder that it’s really not about which word you pick…but that we bring thoughtfullness to our days.

So. Here goes July —

At July’s outset, inspired by The Bard, I was determined not to let the month fly by (as June had!). July’s the heart of summer, after all, and I was determined to make the most of it.

So in my prompt last month, I wrote —

: : What do I want…need…from this season? (I expect this will take shape as a mind map. Time and again it proves my best tool.)

The answer–simple, straightforward–came a few days later as I was washing dishes at the cottage:

…without needing permission. engage with no strings attached…

The word permission felt really…important. (Probably ’cause I’m an upholder.) It would mean engaging in some things…and therefore disengaging in others…without feeling bad. Without obligation. Pull.

To that end, I’ve made a good attempt at disengage with Shoulds and engage with what’s fleeting: I took a pass on group reads (save for slowly-on-purpose-and-still-savoring this buddy read); I’ve looked away from haphazard unpacking (for now); done a little daydreaming. I’ve written a little less and campfired more; I’ve planted more flowers, hosted more friends + family, and just sort of looked around with a deep sense of thanks.

(There has been a bit of engaging with a teen…trying to help get settled in a way that’s not always, let’s say, enthusiastically received. It’s rather delicate. To be expected. And, getting there.)

In the vein of that permission piece, I’m getting more + more comfortable with not always having to maximize moments…intentionally not filling my minutes with checking off boxes. When I drive Elsa back + forth to the barn every week, instead of automatically pressing play on an audiobook, I’m appreciating (or wrestling with) what’s around me:

I appreciate the piglets and sow next to the small old cemetery…the roadside table of giveaway zucchini…roosters or turkeys in the middle of the road or a train stopped on the tracks. I wrestle with…or, to be honest, sometimes just try not to look at…the downright awful and asinine political signs. They’re a regular reminder, I suppose, that I can’t always choose with whom or what I engage in. Or how others do, for that matter… Sigh.


So, I’ve been looking for the mind map I scratched on a tablet about engaging (or disengaging) without permission this month, and I can’t seem to find it.

I meant what I said about haphazard unpacking!

There was a time not too long ago when I wouldn’t have gone to bed ’til a mess like this was sorted and ordered. But the last couple years? With Curate ’21 and Engage ’22? I’ve gained some different perspective, and now I can’t help but laugh, and pretty hard, when I look at the state of this room. While, on one hand, it’s an absolute and total mess (of mostly my own things and a little bit of Elsa’s), it’s also a playground of sorts (…with a door I can close, to boot!) And–it will be there when the weather turns later next season.


It’s funny. I didn’t think about My One Word much, at least not directly, this month. But I think I’m reaching the point where My Word sort of does itself sometimes–which is, ultimately, where I like to be in the back half of a year.

Checking in with one another here makes a difference for me, as it’s when I sit down to write these posts that I see how the pieces fall into place. So, thank you.

I’m looking forward to reading about yours!

6 thoughts on “one word : : checking in {july twenty-two}

  1. I can imagine that with the new house and new surroundings, there’s a lot to be present for and to notice and savor, so it seems like, perhaps, focusing on engagement is a bit easier than it might have been had you not moved. I am with you in not being able to relax with all the clutter (normally), so I think the fact that you can live with it while you settle in and get to know your new surroundings is evidence that you’re taking things slowly and enjoying them as they come.

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  2. I love your appreciation list! So much, Carolyn! (so much in fact I am going to make a weekly list of things I appreciated that week!)

    I have been wondering how you are finding the balance between “cottage life” and reality being neighbors and it seems you are finding a way to be engaged in both places… in the very best ways. I am nodding with you on that room… it will absolutely be there when the weather turns!

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  3. Engaging . . . it’s a process! It sounds like you’re really settling in, Carolyn. It’s so nice to hear how things are coming together for you. 🙂

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  4. I’m so glad you’re making time to just BE given all the change that’s happening around you, it’s really important! Also, reading everyone’s posts (finally!) has reminded me just how helpful these checkins are for ALL of us. Thank you so much for hosting!

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