21
Dec

2016 Word of the Year

Discussion posts are over. My last paper is turned in. Do you know what that means?!

Time to kick back, relax, and enjoy my winter break! A whole month of freedom. And I know just what to do with it.

So, it turns out, I won’t have the sequel to Seven Stones done by the end of the year. Nope. Not even close. Graduate classes took over my life in a BIG way this semester. I would get home from work and then…work some more. Between the projects, papers, readings, and discussion posts, my brain got a little fried. When I would get some free time, I just didn’t have the energy or drive left in me to put pen to paper the last few months. And through it all, there was Shane, making lunches for me, taking care of laundry, grocery shopping, and a million other little things so I had time to work on my homework. So, the little free time I had went to my hobbit man.

But now, I’ve got a month. A month free of any other writing except what I do on this blog and for my next novel.

Getting started TODAY!

Watch out, world! I make no promises that I’ll finish in that time, but I’m going to get as much written as I possibly can. Starting today! Let’s see how many words this girl can tackle onto a page.

And, hey, speaking of words. I like words. They’re kind of my thing. So when I saw my friend Sheila DeChantal’s Book Journey blog post earlier this week, it really struck a chord. Sheila talked about how every year, she picks a new word to symbolize what she wants out of the next 365 days. These words include embrace, emerge, and her newest one, courage. Now, as someone who really doesn’t like New Year’s Resolutions–my resolutions the past few years (and I’m not joking) have been to eat more cheese, eat more nuts, and to play more–this seemed like a fantastic and fun idea.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my 2016 word of the year is going to be. After much reflection, I’ve got the perfect one.

Gratitude.

Gratitude is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as: “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” There have been SO many things about 2015 that I’m thankful for: my book release, getting my dream job as a children’s librarian, going on a book tour. But I’m not just talking about being grateful for the big, crazy awesome, show-stopping events in my life. I want to focus on being grateful every damn day for all the wonderful people and moments I am privileged to have in my life. I want to wake up every morning, grateful for the opportunity of a new day. Even in the midst of school papers, the craziness of my first Summer Reading Program, or whatever else life throws at me. Being grateful will not always be easy–there might be moments, days, or even weeks where I will struggle to find it in me to feel gratitude. But I’m going to try. Because I don’t want to take anything in my life for granted. It is far too precious not to be grateful for. 🙂

Thanks for sharing such a great idea, Sheila! That’s my word for 2016! What’s yours?

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