Word of the Year

A New Look

When I chose change as my word of the year, I had no idea what changes the Universe had in store for me. I simply had a feeling that this would be a year of change. Some changes, I anticipated--such as my job change. Others, not so much--such as having to change doctors because mine left her practice.

In recent weeks, I've been working toward changing houses. I've been cleaning and purging room after room after room. (Goodwill either loves me or cringes every time I pull up to their donation door.) I'm developing an appreciation for minimalism.

This design change on my website is part of that. I'd kept the previous design in place for three years, an eternity on the Internet. It was time for a change. I wanted a simple, clean design. I played with a dozen templates until I found the one I wanted. This one is called Wells, which also happens to be the name of my alma mater. I don't know if that's a sign it was meant to be, or if the Universe delights in irony as much as I do.

I do know that this design reflects where I'm at in my life and my head at the moment. It may last a month, a year, or three years. It depends on when I'm ready for another change.

The Word of the Year

A new year calls for a new word.

Last year and its word (go) set a pretty high bar.  And maybe it was all that go-ing that made me feel so restless by the end of 2016. My trip to Wales, especially, helped me see my life in a new light. I saw areas of my life that I had tolerated, maintained, and even encouraged--even though they weren't really working for me anymore.

On top of that, my new job renewed my hope of finally getting out of this hell-hole townhouse. (Seriously. I hate it. I have for years, especially in the winter. Right now, as I type this, I can feel the cold air seeping through the walls.) I want 2017 to be the year that The Big Move happens. (You hear that, real estate market? I'm counting on you to cooperate!)

Of course, I could just be having the proverbial mid-life crisis.

Either way, I'm ready for: 

Photo by bernie_photo/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by bernie_photo/iStock / Getty Images

And that's my word for 2017.

The Year in Pictures

Last year, I chose the word "Go" as my word for 2016. It proved far more fitting than I imagined it would:

I went to the eye doctor and got my first prescription for bifocals.

I went to the eye doctor and got my first prescription for bifocals.

I went to a local animal rescue and found Duncan.

I went to a local animal rescue and found Duncan.

I went to California, where I put my toes in the ocean, spent Passover with family and friends, and finally met face-to-face co-workers I've known online for years.

I went to California, where I put my toes in the ocean, spent Passover with family and friends, and finally met face-to-face co-workers I've known online for years.

I went to the local bike trail and walked 4 miles to the next town and back.

I went to the local bike trail and walked 4 miles to the next town and back.

I went to the UK and explored northern Wales, largely on foot.

I went to the UK and explored northern Wales, largely on foot.

I went on writing retreat weekends at local hotels and finished two drafts of my novel.

I went on writing retreat weekends at local hotels and finished two drafts of my novel.

Photo by Hailshadow/iStock / Getty Images  And one thing that fell in my lap without my going anywhere: my biggest freelance client offered me a full-time job (which I accepted), giving me some much needed financial stability.

Photo by Hailshadow/iStock / Getty Images

And one thing that fell in my lap without my going anywhere: my biggest freelance client offered me a full-time job (which I accepted), giving me some much needed financial stability.

2016 certainly had its challenges, but I have to say that personally, it was a very good year.

My Word

It's become a tradition for me that instead of making New Year's Resolutions (and breaking them), I choose a word to guide me through the year. Sometimes the word comes quickly; sometimes--like last year--it's a struggle to find.

I usually start my word search by making a list of goals for the year. Below is my list for 2016. See if you can detect a pattern.

  • Go to the gym.
  • Go for walks.
  • Go volunteer.
  • Go to ALL my doctors. (I somehow missed my eye exam in 2015. Oops!)
  • Go on a writing retreat
  • Go to writers' conference or workshop.
  • Go to California
  • Go to the United Kingdom.

Three guesses what my word for 2016 is.

Kind of a no-brainer, huh?

Photo by Eivaisla/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Eivaisla/iStock / Getty Images