In Hawaii, it's not spring-cleaning that folks talk about but rather cleaning to get ready for the New Year. Sweeping, polishing, and clearing out clutter are common practices in households--those with Asian roots, where the custom originated, and everyone else, no matter what their ancestry.
Inspired by New Year's cleaning, I decided that over the winter break I would completely clear out and purge the contents of a very large closet in my classroom. Then I would re-store my stuff. That's when my one little word hit me. RESTORE.
I love this word! It has so many positive associations for me:
• restore a native habitat
• restore peace
• restore a painting
• restore an old house
• restore something taken unjustly back to its original owner
• restore a relationship
But this twist on the meaning of taking things out, examining their value and usefulness, and putting them away again intrigued me.
Maybe it’s the time of life, in my sixties and nearing retirement, but I've been doing a lot of self-reflection over the last couple of years. I've realized that my inner world is similar to that closet. I have experiences, emotional memories, and habits that I have stored up for a lifetime. Recently it's feeling like a whole lot of clutter. I want to open up space there. I feel the need to RESTORE myself.
When I told my husband that my word for the year was "restore," he exclaimed, "That's perfect!" I don't really think he was focused on my inner meaning, but it's true that 2017 was hard and exhausting in many ways. ACCEPT, which was my word last year, turned out to be a strong guide throughout. Now I am ready to RESTORE, as in restorative poses in yoga. But also to restore balance, restore some teaching practices that have gotten pushed out by new initiatives, and re-store my inner closet. Here's to 2018 and my one little word—RESTORE.
I teach kindergarten at an independent school in Hawaii. The joy of young, curious learners delights me. I'm passionate about my practice, always striving to meet the needs of the children and their families.