Wednesday, May 02, 2012



That is the word I chose to reflect the way I want to live in 2012. 

Why Filter?  Some foods have been giving me wicked headaches and I decided it was high time to be mindful of what I put in my body.  Food-related headaches were wiping me out.

As I pondered this I also decided to Filter what/how I thought and the manner in which I spoke as well.  Sometimes I find myself fretting over that which I have no control.  Other times I found myself wanting to be more mindful with how my words were being received by others. 

Filter seemed to be a good fit for the word I selected to emulate in the the year 2012.

So,  as Fate would have it, just as I began to acquire a comfort level with my blogging voice and used that as a springboard to Twitter and picked Filter as my word for 2012 you will never guess what happened next. I was diagnosed with left vocal fold paralysis.  I literally lost my voice. 

No one wants to hear the word paralysis applied to oneself. 

Not ever.

This got my attention.

On the day of my diagnosis, I came home to find this on my NPR feed:  How My Voice Went Silent.

What a coincidence.  The same day I learn of my left vocal fold paralysis an NPR reporter writes an article about his own diagnosis with it.  Small world. The timeliness of reading his article was uncanny and helped so much to realize I was not the only one to experience such a thing.

going though something like this provided the opportunity for me to learn about myself very quickly.  There is no ignoring or putting it off for later.  One thing I learned-- no matter how I try, I do not think I truly appreciate something until I no longer have it.  Everyone is probably like that.  I took my voice for granted-- the sound of it, the laugh, a whisper, a shout, everything...

Another thing I learned, crazy as it seems, is I did not worry over it.  It did not cause me to be afraid.  Nor did I have any anger regarding it. I accepted it from the get-go. That definitely helped me to move forward.

My word for the year is playing a part in my Voice coming back.  I Filtered-out the words and patterns of habit that could be unhealthy and negative and Filtered-in thoughts and beliefs that were positive and healing.  It is definitely an on-going challenge, but one that is making me better.  Isn't that what it is all about? 

What is your word for 2012 and how is it progressing thus far for you?  If you have yet to select your word I encourage you to do so. It could make all the difference.


  1. Marty, Your title totally caught my attention :) @annottmar and I remind our students (and our own children) to use their filter everyday. Processing our own thoughts, questions, and ideas is more powerful than just blurting them out randomly, taking advantage of our own voice.... Speaking/conversing with purpose offers more opportunities to be heard/listened to.

    Your story is inspiring, as usual, which is another reason why I was drawn to your post... My word for 2012 is INSPIRE. My goal was to inspire others as we find innovative ways to meet students soc/emotional and academic needs within our new Multiage Program. As I continue to connect with my PLC & my PLN I seek to find inspiration. Both aid in serving my growing mindset and filling my life with excitement and positivity, and sharing in discovery with others.

    Your words reminded me how important it was to take the time to reflect on our goal/purpose. "How is it progressing?" is an excellent question.... Over the past few weeks, as I continue to deal with personal and professional challenges, I have realized I have lost focus on my word. I am more purposeful in my day to day endeavors with my sights set on INSPIRE, though. Reflection is key to success, thank you for the refocus :)


  2. Honored to have my "I Love My Voice" art on your blog! I enjoyed reading your words. My word for 2012: IMPACT. In particular - positive impact. The more mindful I am about this - the more I seem to meet kindred spirits who are having positive impact on the world. - Peter

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  4. Marty - thoughtful and thought-provoking. I love the Peter Reynolds picture and I remember sharing his books with you when we were colleagues. I have had a down year health-wise... but a very up year professionally. My would be be UNEXPECTED - and to always expect and accept it. Eva