The Word for 2017–Nurture

nurtureHere we are again, the end of another year, beginning of a new one. I have a rising sense of expectant hope, which if examined seems odd and silly. The New Year is nothing more than a date on a calendar. If you knew nothing of calendars, it would all simply be going to bed one night and waking another morning that was another day like any other in winter or summer, depending where you are in the world.

I’m not following that trail of thought to untold depths. There are calendars and a New Year is upon us, bringing us that sense “this year I will…this year I can…this year it will…” I’ll grab the energy of hope and expectancy while it is here to imagine all the things I want to do and have happen. Imagination is an engine. It is the beginning of all things.

So, my word for the year…I don’t recall my word for last year, which I never do at this time. I generally have already forgotten it by March and will look it up and write it down and promise not to forget, but I always do, again. I refuse to go look it up now.

Oh, okay, I had to look it up, and I’m so glad I did! It was Comfort. What a good word, and what a good reminder. Comfort is helpful, and I do feel that I grew a bit the past year in finding comfort and offering comfort. I am definitely stronger at the end of this year than last.

This year I choose the word Nurture.

The word came to me instantly and with such firmness that it did not budge in the face of my normal doubting.

Nurture—the Oxford dictionaries tell us it means to care for and encourage the development of something. It is from the Old French word nourish. This year of 2017 will be a year of consciously encouraging my body and soul all over the place.

Oh, the good plans are tumbling out on my new calendar and planner! Let me nurture them. The more plans, the more chance that at least a couple will come to fruition.

Let me nurture love. At every turn. First and foremost, and I think everything flows from here, especially acceptance of myself and others. Myself as I am, which is far less energy and drive than I wish to have.

Let me nurture my own hopes and dreams and ideas, especially the new novel (it began as a novella and now I say novel) all the way to finishing. That is first on my list of hopes and dreams.

Nurture writing wherever it takes me, because it kindles life.

Nurture getting another backlist book, Sweet Dreams at the Goodnight Motel, out into both print and digital edition.

Nurture cleaning out my house, and my life, getting rid of the things that do not nurture me. (Where did all this stuff come from?)

Nurture more time for reading and for watching old movies. (Maybe schedule time on the calendar for each!)

Nurture, of all things and you will laugh, going to the shooting range and my ability with my shotgun. Such fun! Yes, nurture time for more fun in my life.

Nurture. The word fairly has me sizzling. I’ve written it on both my calendar and my notebook. I shall nurture remembering my word nurture.

I am reminded of wisdom often quoted by author and teacher Jack Bickham:

“Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me… Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”  ~ Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Let me nurture memorizing that quote!

What word or phrase do you choose for 2017?

8 thoughts on “The Word for 2017–Nurture

  1. Wish I’d known the word Of the year for 2016 was comfort! Been busy packing for a move at age 73 to a new state for retirement (whatever that is). Wish it was named Valentine but it’s named Boise instead–as close as I could come. It’s an adventure for sure. But I’m leaving a lot of family back here in Southern California (where I cannot afford to retire) and for that I will need to receive, and give, a lot of comfort. So on to your idea about NURTURE. Couldn’t be more fitting. All the things inherent in moving in March. NURTURE my family, my friends, myself and the new people I will meet there and the place I will live. In spite of being a tad terrified at the same time! Thank you for the nurturing word as I put my foot forward on this next life adventure. ( I hear you can have 5 chickens per household in the city of Boise!). Keep working and nourishing yourself and your writing. I have every book you’ve published–my own nourishing shelf of books. Thank you for it all. Louise Miller

    Louise Miller Zuckerman

    Sent from my iPhone.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Today, while out driving around running errands, I was pondering this very subject. The perfect word came to me rather quickly and I couldn’t wait to get home and tell you my word.(I was going to be the first! hahah!!) But as so often happens, life interrupted my plans and here I am almost ready for bed and just now reading your post. My word is Priority. These past couple of years, I have been coasting along with whatever comes my way and hoping to please everyone else, before myself. (OK. I have always done that!) But this year, I need to make sure that whatever I do, or plans that I make, are important to me and my schedule, and my life. I need to make my own health and well-being a priority. I don’t remember last years word, but I’m sure I didn’t stick with it. Let this new year, be a new beginning. Happy New Year to you and your family.


    • Oh, my dear, Carolyn, I sooo understand what you say! Of course I have done that my entire life, too, get so easily drawn away from my own plans, desires, well-being, by the needs and desires of others. Surely not a bad thing. But when out of balance, yes, it serves no one. We are finding our way, and it seems God is directing we get more in balance and take care of the gifts He has given us–our talents and dreams. I’ll be praying for you!


Thoughts? Don't keep them to yourself. Love to hear!

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