So many people do this that it’s become cliche. But, oh well, I’m going to do it anyway because it is fun. What I’m talking about is choosing a word–or words, as I usually do–for the new year. Half the time I lose my words to the mists of forgetting and if you asked me in March what my words were I’d grace you with a blank stare. But the thing I like about doing it is that it helps me set an intention for how I want the new year to feel.
I usually share mine in early December and I usually choose three. But this year I couldn’t come up with even one, let alone three. Maybe it is because 2016 has been a year. Right? I love Christmas and this time of year beyond all reason and most years I’m sad thinking that it will soon be over. But not this year. While I’m enjoying the holidays, I’m also looking forward to a bright, shiny new 2017. I’m looking forward to the hoopla of the holidays being over and January arriving.
Nothing terrible has happened to me personally, and a lot of good happened: a new grandson born, my fourth trip to France, teaching at Sitka, wonderful clients, old and new, and lots of writing. But when I look back, the year felt draggy and sort of gloomy. I attribute a lot of that to the bruising election we experienced here in the states and an outcome which was shocking to me. All of that cast a pall over the year.
And when I delve a bit deeper into my personal and professional life in 2016, I see a lot of unfinished business. Unhealed pain in my body, un-lost (is that a word?) pounds, a messy office that never seems to get organized, and worst of all, unfinished books. And one unsold book (that would be the novel my agent is pitching).
So on some levels, 2016 feels like a wash. And looking back is a bit discouraging. Which may be why I was having trouble finding a word. But then this morning I was reading a blog post and the author mentioned the movie Failure to Launch. And it hit me: that was it! I was close all last year but I just never quite was able to hit the launch button.
So there you have it, my word for 2017: launch.
As in, launch those books out of my computer and into the world, launch out of the physical pain, launch a lovely, clean office. And more. I’m sure there’s more I need to launch. Sure of it. A friend emailed me and said that after the election he feels called to step up in some way. I do, too. And I’m sure you’ve seen the similar rhetoric, with people calling us all to rise and lift and uplevel. I considered all those words, but none of them seemed right.
So stay tuned, world! There will be no failures to launch next year because launch is my word. And I’m going to remember it past January. I am, I am. There will be books, and maybe a program (not making any promises on that one). And more blog posts, more regularly. The plan for now is to write blog posts twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, and send a newsletter once a week on Sunday. Blog posts tend to be more focused on actionable advice, while newsletters are more intimate and chatty. Plus I offer free stuff. (If you haven’t signed up, the form is to the right.)
And this will be my last missive until next week, December 27th. So until then–Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukah or happy times for whatever you celebrate.
And please do tell me your word or words in the comments below if you feel so inclined.
Photo credit: NASA.