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My job isn't to know, it's to create 🖊️
Choosing my next Word of the Year 💧
Welcome to the one-year anniversary edition of Field Notes! I started Field Notes 📒 in December 2020 as a way of re-engaging with my community through longer format writing and my own musings on this journey through life, with the hope that more meaningful conversations will ensue (whether or not I’m part of them!). As of today, there are several hundred non-subscribed readers, 200 subscribers, and a small but mighty crew of paying subscribers, which helps me enormously.
Thank you for walking this journey with me.
In just a few days we turn a page to 2022. I’m curious to know what this next year will bring. Like many others, I thought 2021 would be better on the pandemic front, and it’s actually felt a bit like a dumpster fire in a dumpster fire. There were some really good things that happened, but it often felt like they were fighting for center stage in my life. (Insert more lessons in gratitude, patience, and knowing what I can and cannot control.)
But 2022 feels different. Maybe it’s this book on the horizon — the one I’ve submitted but not yet released. Or being clearer on what I do and don’t want in my life: activities, people, habits, things. Maybe it’s superstitious but with my birthday being February 22, I can’t help feel like something big is going to happen on 22-02-2022 (your guess is as good as mine). Overall, I am more sure than ever that while I can’t control much of what happens in life, I can control how I react to it and how I choose to use the small amount of agency that I possess.
Last year, instead of setting goals (especially in a year where so much was out of our hands) I chose a word of the year. Last year’s word was blossom or blooming. 🌸 Last week, when my husband and I had a kid-free getaway in Québec City, we discussed what this year’s word might be.
The word I landed on was ripples.💧
This coming year could be a BIG one for me, or it could be small — smaller than perhaps I hope it will be. Either way, I will never know the full impact of what it is that I’ve created. I can only be that first water droplet. The ripples will flow out from there and be felt — like vibrations — in circles I’m not even a part of. The key is to keep filling my tank with inspiration, positive people, and sources that fill me up so that I have more to give.
My job is to keep the tap flowing by taking good care of myself, keeping things simple, asking for help, and working on healing wounds from the past.
So that’s my focus for 2022.
I love it when I hear from you, dear readers, when something resonates in your life. But I also love to think about all the times I don’t hear, to know that the repackaged wisdom I’m sending out into the ether is landing somewhere. My job isn’t to know, it’s to create. It’s a mindset I’m working hard to bring to my book when it makes its appearance later this year.
So, here’s what I leave you with as we step into 2022: is there a single word that can summarize your goals, focus, approach, perspective, and desires? It sounds like a tall order. But I think with a nice walk in the fresh air and some thinking time, you’ll come up with the perfect word that will mean everything to you, even if it wouldn’t make sense to others.
If you’ve got one, I’d love to hear about it! I’m always on the other end of the Reply button on emails, you drop me a DM on Instagram.
Happy New Year, everyone. May it bring you light and much laughter. 🤗
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What’s caught my attention lately… ✨
My Biggest Mistake, by Terry O’Reilly. Some of the most catastrophic mistakes have been a person’s greatest breakthroughs. Or a simple error has a positive impact beyond what anyone could have ever predicted. This is a fun and informative read about some of modern history’s biggest mistakes — typos, bad hires, words you can’t take back, a forgotten message, a dodgy contract — and how human fallibility is sometimes the greatest gift. If you’ve been following Field Notes for a while you’ll have seen me recommend the podcast “We Regret to Inform You,” which is also a product of the O’Reilly family.
Check these out too… 🙌
Mailing List - Memoir - Join my list to find out more about the travelogue/memoir coming out in Fall 2022.
My Email Newsletter - Yes, different from Substack. This newsletter is for specific updates about my books and various projects.