Sunday, January 2, 2011

Clean plates and clean slates

I like when a New Year starts. I get that back-to-school feeling which makes me want to line up my pencils and get a new notebook. The coldness and short days promote being more cerebral than physical, so it's a perfect time to organize, reflect, and choose a Word for the Year* to guide my choices and actions over the course of 2011.

I had a word all picked out, but it still felt a little off. I even announced it at the gathering of friends on New Year's Eve. Then I heard P's brilliant word and instantly knew it was right for me too. So, we will share the word Ownership. It captures a lot of things well, and makes me simultaneously uncomfortable and hopeful, which is probably a good sign. I am curious to see how it will go for both of us.

* If you want to learn about picking your Word for the Year, some good places to visit are Christine Kane's site here and Susannah Conway's site here.)

Let me know what you will choose for yourself in 2011!


  1. thank you so much for this post, susan! you inspired me to find a word for myself, too.
    i never really make new year's resolutions, just because they don't work for me as life always seems to have other plans, if you know what i mean... so this word of the year seems to be a good alternative.
    i have one in my mind already, but i'll sleep it over one night to see if it still feels right tomorrow.
    i'll keep you updated ;)

  2. I like that idea a lot! I visited Susannah Conway's site and there it was, the word, and it felt right from the beginning.(Lucky me,I didn't have to think about it at all :-)) So thank you Susannah and thank you Susan!

  3. ok, i gave it some thought, and sticked with it.
    my word is: pioneer

  4. Luise - Pioneer is a good word for you this year! I think of it as an extension of when you went sailing on that boat and had to grapple with the ropes and the wind and the sea. Let me know how embodying pioneer affects what you do or how you do it. Good luck! And how do you say pioneer in German? - Susan

  5. hey susan, i think you really understood why i chose that word... i also realized that during the past year, i was often frustrated that i had to make so many negative and tough experiences, where i was all on my self and nobody there to guide me through. i also realized that this just part of my personality, beeing the oldest sister of three, the first one to leave my school and start working at a really young age and so on...
    so i decided that i want to define that as my actual strength instead of complaining about it, and calling it pioneer makes it sound like an exciting adventure rather than a burden!

    pioneer in german is Pionier, but i prefer the english word, as in germany, Pionier is associated with the east-german socialist youth organisation called the "Jungpioniere". i too was a young pioneer in first grade, until the wall came down. here you can see a picture: (not of me, i just found it on the net)
    so for my year i mean pioneer as in explorer or pathfinder :)
    i'll let you know if and how it'll work for me.
    what are your hopes and expectations for the word "ownership"?

    wow, this is a LONG comment ;)

  6. hey Luise, I wrote you an even longer comment back to you on Facebook. :-)

  7. I can´t think of a word right now, but I like your drawings very much!