For the Linguist: My word for 2017


7 Years. Wow. 7 years ago I forever ditched the whole “New Years resolutions” thing and began choosing a word for my year. My yoga instructor challenged us to set an intention for our year – a focus on how to be rather than on things to do.

Especially now, as a mom, a writer, and a homeschooler, the last thing I want is another todo list I need to mark off!

Now, I look back on my words with deep and meaningful devotion. Like kindred spirits, they have helped me accomplish and strive and change and embrace and experience and love and live. They are writing my story.

Tranquil. Gratitude. Stirring. Balance. Steady. Present.

And every December 31st, I gather up my words in my arms, we chat in awe about the amazing things of the year past, weep over hardships and failings, laugh in the joys, and decide which word we are going to invite into our inner circle for the next year.

I never knew how much a simple word could mean to my world.

Looking Back on 2016

2016-highlights photos

Best moments like: Finishing my first ultra-trail run (34.5 miles in Arizona), my favorite summit to date (Mount Temple in Alberta with Chris), backpacking into the Sawtooths and Bugaboos with my kids and amazing friends, paddling the Bow River, AB, hiking in Canada, pacing my husband to his first 100 mile finish, hiking in the Tetons, ski touring in the Wasatch and skiing pow with my family.




I wrote this last year:

Now more than ever, it is difficult to be fully present in the day-to-day. Social media alone allows us to skip to our friend’s baby shower, then onto a wedding, visit a mountain top, and ski in Alaska, all while sitting down for dinner with our kids.

In fact, my own mind is so used to the constant barrage of going via other people’s news feeds, that I find myself resisting the quiet and “boredom” that comes by not doing it.

Friends, the struggle is real. And as I scooped up “present” and gave it a close look, I have to be honest: I failed in 2016. In so many ways.

I have all sorts of excuses – like writing and blogging demands my social media presence. But the truth is- I’ve sown many bad habits regarding social media that has in-turn made me not present for my kids or husband. But like Killan Jornet says, “A failure isn’t a failure. We get the opportunity to come back and try again.”

What I learned? Being present is even more important then I ever dreamed! ALL my favorite moments from 2016 were moments I was fully immersed in and undistracted.

Like backpacking into the Conrad Kain Hut in the Bugaboos this summer and watching the full moon rise over huge glaciers.

Conrad Kain Hut, Bugaboo Provincial Park

Or pushing my kids on their longest backpacking trip to date – The Toxaway/Alice Lake Loop in the Sawtooth Mountains, ID.

Alice lake, Idaho

Like our awesome powder day the other weekend.

kids ski powder

And enjoying snow crystals falling through sunlight on a ski tour with my husband.

My word for 2017

So I have some work to do on being present. Certainly being present in 2016 led to my word for 2017. The reason why I want to be present is for the people in my life.

1. persons indefinitely or collectively; persons in general:
2. the entire body of persons who constitute a community, tribe, nation.

People in my world.

People in my tribe. My local community.

Inspiring real people on a large scale too.

People matter. And behind every face (every Facebook profile) is a person, with a story to tell and a story to know. And as my kids age, they have transformed from cute blobs of flesh to people with personality and identity and interest. I want to know these stories, these people, be a part of them, experience them.

I don’t want to miss what is truly significant.

365 Mile Challenge

365 mile challenge


If you missed last week’s post, we are joining our friends in hosting the 365 Mile Challenge for 2017. My goal – to connect and inspire a group of people. But also, in taking time every day to get outdoors for a mile of -self-propelled activity, I am setting aside the phone, the computer, the distractions to get centered again.

And hopefully I’ll be doing many of the miles with my family and friends. You can join us here: 365 Mile Challenge

What is your word for 2017? What are your goals? I’d love to hear them in the comments section! Happy New Year friends!

4 Comments Permalink
4 comments on “For the Linguist: My word for 2017
  1. Your photos are amazing! Colorado is so beautiful.

    Present is one of my ways of being this year, although more for my tendency to get stuck on the past/future rather than in social media. But my big word is “grounded.” Now more than any other time, I need to be grounded in real things, not fear or anxiety.

  2. My word for this year is “abundant,” as in Eph 3:20 – now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think! Trusting God to do some big things this year. We’ll see what they end up being!!

    And need to look up that Kain hut. Only being 4+ hours from the Bugaboos, feel like they need to be on top of our adventure list!!

  3. Pingback: For the linguist: My word for 2018 - the kid project

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