Word of the Year: Wrap-Up and Start-Up


Without any further ado, my word of 2015 was:


And I wrote a lengthy post as to its possible manifestations about a year or so ago.

I just re-read the post, which was full of all sorts of good intentions, and considered if I got the job done.  Did I successfully commit 2015 as the year of energy?

It’s a tough question to answer.  On the one hand, the Inner Critic wants to yell no, and for one very good reason.  The bottom line for me was, at the time, I wanted energy to mean, first and foremost, some pretty specific things:

  1. lose weight
  2. increase fitness
  3. bonus if the entire basement was purged and organized


So if you take that fairly specific list, then no, energy was not very well spent… I did not lose weight, my fitness level has had starts and stops, just as it’s had in the past 3 or so years, and considering the basement as it is right now, after Christmas decorations have been more or less thrown down there, would drain the energy right out of my body.

So I’m not going to consider that.

Here’s the thing, though.  My journey to achieve some of the things on the list above has taken me in directions heretofore unchartered:  real, honest therapy, meditation classes and practice, a variety of fitness routines, books read, podcasts heard, and thousands of words journaled on mind-expanding subjects.

And through it all I’ve learned a heck of a lot about myself.

The best part of all:  I have not given up.  Another first in the life of this 46 year old.  My modus operandi has always been if I can’t do it perfectly in an extremely short period of time, then I’m not doing it at all.  This includes the horrific game Words With Friends, but excludes Candy Crush… I’m still plugging away at that one, and I’m the only one I know who’s sticking with it!

So I’m going to continue on self-development this year and see where it takes me.  So far it has taken me to some interesting places, given me a life-changing new friendship, and the possibility of substantial change in the coming year.

So, considering all of that, I’m giving energy a thumbs up, even if my basement’s still a wreck.  There’s always 2016 for that one.  Plus, I’m currently reading Marie Kondo, so I expect to find the inspiration very soon.


Moving on to this year, my word for the year came a day or two before the year began.  As many of the blogging friends have shared, this word chose me rather than me choosing it.  And this word has challenge etched into every letter.  My word for 2016 is:



The idea came to me while watching the movie The Intern with Robert DeNiro.  The movie itself was so/so, but I adored everything about the character he played in that movie.  I even said to my husband at the end, “That character is everything I want to be when I grow up.”  No matter what life threw his way, no matter how anyone treated him, he responded evenly, thoughtfully, politely.

The story line, in case you have not seen the movie, is the character deciding after a few years of retirement and living the life of a widower, that he had more to offer this world, so he applied for a senior intern position at a start-up internet company.  He was overlooked, condescended to, and largely misunderstood, and yet remained unflappable.  In the end, of course, everyone adored him.

Which is not the part I’m looking to emulate.

I don’t think.

Seriously, I just love the idea of remaining calm in the face of anything.

This, it should go without saying, is an uphill battle.  I have friends that try to provoke me because they so thoroughly enjoy my somewhat excitable reactive nature.  Those friends are going to be disappointed this year.

Now, I will say, I picked this right away, it is currently January 8, and I have done very little in terms of making headway with this goal.  In fact, it almost seems like I’m moving in the opposite direction so far:  big yelling matches with a family member, ongoing frustrations with a moody teenage daughter, impatience with customer service  representatives.

All I can say is:  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  And the fact that I’m noticing is progress.  Maybe.

So there you have it.  Calm for 2016.  Bring it on!

Today’s Miracle:

How about this… TGIF, the miracle of the weekend and sleeping in!

Posted on January 8, 2016, in Recovery, Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. “if I can’t do it perfectly in an extremely short period of time, then I’m not doing it at all.” – haha, I hear ya! Sobriety is bringing out a patience in me I never knew existed.

    Nothing can be calmer than a sleep in, so sounds like you’re off to a good start 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A great word of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am reasonably convinced that so long as one is living into the question, and continuing to make an effort at finding answers, then, that is good, and possibly enough. I am even more thoroughly convinced that so long as one remains open to possibilities, then growth will continue.

    Josie, I recollect reading stories about how you were moderately to extremely estranged from your family, did not go down this AA road all that willingly at first . . . and now look how far you have come!

    At the age of 63, I realize that I am never going to get bored, and I will never arrive at the stop sign until I am dead. What I like about that too is that if I think life is good today, if I continue to live into recovery, think of how much greater it can be tomorrow!

    I don’t really care about the naysayers who say I am being Pollyanish or brainwashed, or just naive. 30 some years ago I was filled with self-hate, homeless, suicidal and without a family. Today all of that has changed and continues to change so long as I am willing to do the footwork to make it happen. That is my story and I am sticking with it. I will let you know if I ever start singing a different tune.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the reminder, and you are accurate! My husband actually has a motivational poster on the fridge that reads: “All that you are, you once imagined yourself to be. What do you choose to imagine now?” I’m pretty sure that one is targeted at me! And it is a great thing to keep in mind, for sure! Appreciate the comment as always, Robert!


  4. Calm sounds like a great word. I know I aspire to calm, especially when anxiety rears its head.

    It is a practice. I repeat my mantra over and over, and in moments of need it helps.

    Stillness and peace


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely thought of you, Anne, and knew you would approve! And I’m sure stillness and peace will follow the calm!


  6. Hi Josie!
    Calm is a great word!
    I still haven’t had a word find me, so I think I will be word-less!
    You can find me now, if you want. You can just click on my name!
    My miracle is that I got up to go to the dentist and made it on time!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Noticing is definitely progress! I’m counting it, sister!
    Love your word…it makes me take a breath myself. Perfect.

    It matches the mantra: Keep Calm and Carry On…but, then sometimes it needs to be “I will NOT keep calm, I need to yell and break s**t” (my bestie sent me that…I don’t mean to be a bad influence!!)

    Liked by 1 person

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