Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017 Word of the Year

Here we are, New Year's Eve and I am having a quiet evening at home, which is my preferred way to spend NYE. For me, this is a time of reflection and anticipation – looking backward and forward while sitting on the line between the old and the new. A friend will be coming over in a bit, but for now, I'm reconciling my budget, putting my house in order, reflecting on 2016 and my plans for 2017 and generally relaxing.

This past year has been a doozy. The election of Donald Trump, the too-soon deaths of many cultural icons (including my two biggest musical heroes, David Bowie and Prince), the continued degradation of our planet: pipelines, pesticides, extinctions, wars – it's no surprise that social media users are bandying about the hashtag #FU2016.

For me, 2016 had personal significance because of the work I orchestrated in The Crooked Wood – having a driveway installed and a shed built and moving my tiny house.

I feel like 2017 is going to be a gigantenormous year for me. Before the year is out I hope to have a septic system installed, a well drilled (or dug, I'm still not sure which), and a cabin built. I'm looking at about 5 or 6 times more work than last year. I'm feeling a bit anxious and overwhelmed at the thought. I only hope that things go as smoothly for these next phases as they did for the initial phase of the work.

Fortunately, once again this year, I was graced with the opportunity to join Jamie Ridler's wonderful "Planning Day/Design Your Year" workshop.

It was an awesome opportunity for me to think and plan ahead for the kind of year I'm hoping to create in 2017. It reminded me that I have many tools that I'm going to need for the work ahead – not least the ability to take deep breaths and roll with the punches. And learn. I'm certain I am going to learn a lot this year.

For the fourth year in a row, I've selected a word of the year. Keeping with my streak of R-words, this year's word is: Realization.

This is the year it happens. This is the year that all of my thoughts and yearnings for a home of my own become real.

It's going to take a lot of hard work, sacrifice and frugality, a lot of time and energy and money and love. I'm sure there will be tears and dark moments and difficult feelings.

And I am determined that it will get done. And that it will get done gently, kindly and with love.

That is my manifesto. Come on, 2017, I'm ready for you.


  1. You did get a lot done in 2016. I hope that 2017's challenges make you stronger. It sounds like you have a bunch of new challenges for yourself this year. If anyone can do it you can. Good luck to you.

    1. Thanks, Trevor! I hope you have a happy, creative and productive 2017 yourself!