I chose three words to focus on in 2016: irreverent, kind, treasure.
How did I do? I was still far too serious, have more work to do on being kind, but certainly do treasure everything in my life more than I ever have.
How and why have I chosen my three words for 2017?
For many people 2016 has been a year for hiding: among groups and factions, behind symbols and flags, and covering insecurity by mercilessly mocking anyone with an opposing point of view.
Yes, it has been a traumatic year and there are many reasons for being unsure or afraid, as across the world faction confronts faction in battles that no one can win.
I feel that, more than ever, I must show my face.
On my personal social media profiles you will always see my face.
The more we show our faces, speak our own thoughts and shares our real feelings, the more we can truly connect with other people, irrespective of nationality, culture or religion.
I believe showing and seeing faces helps us face up to reality, which often presents countless shades of grey rather than the sharp division of yes, no; right, wrong; right, left; or other convenient but unrealistic choices.
As we feel more confidence in our own thoughts and feelings, we can start to put aside dogma and the deception of slogans accepted as truth after endless parroting, and take part in real discussion, where arguments from all sides are considered and debated seriously rather than rejected simply because of their origins.
It does not mean we will agree with everyone or like everyone or that everyone will agree with or like us: that is impossible. But if we want to improve our world, perhaps we can focus on progress rather than dissent.
We do not need to like everyone, but we do not need to fight them.
Nor will we like everything that we have to face, whether involving politics, lifestyle, diet, behaviour or anything else.
But we must face it.
Is now a time to laugh?
Some of the events we read about and see in the news say no, but what is a world without laughter?
Laughing lifts my spirits. It doesn’t make my problems go away, but it does make them more bearable.
Sometimes a laugh is necessary in the darkest moments to remind us that we are human and that there is always hope.
Laughing refreshes me, giving new energy to face difficulties ahead.
I need to laugh.
Over the past couple of years, I have become increasingly overwhelmed by things, ordinary things. It was almost a feeling of breathlessness, as things seemed to be filling every space, displacing the air.
I am grateful that in my house we no longer buy Christmas presents. We don’t need more things. In fact, over the Christmas holidays I have sorted out more things that I don’t need.
The less I have, the more space I have to breathe.
Being outside, in the wide open, with nothing but myself, is exhilarating.
I don’t need anything to stop and stand and appreciate the world around me . . . and breathe.
Ready, steady, go
Those are my three words and I’m working on them already.
Do you have any words for the year ahead? Good luck with your chosen focus.