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January 02, 2013

Looking back. Looking forward.

I’ve been so wrapped up in this website change that I haven’t even wished you a Happy New Year yet. So here it is officially—happy New Year! I hope your year is off to a great start.

I wish the week between Christmas and New Year was more like a month. I love that time of closing up old business, and making plans for the New Year ahead. As 2012 came to a close, for the most part, I was really happy to see it go. For me, 2012 will forever be the year I lost my Dad.

2012 got off to a great start. I felt really energized and had so much momentum going. And then, right around my birthday, the breaks slammed on. It was then that I realized things were taking a turn for the worse with my Dad…that this time the chemo wasn’t getting the job done. For the rest of 2012, my focus became my Dad.

I wouldn’t change any of it – the trips to Michigan, the time I spent with him in his final days, none of it. But it feels like the year got cut short, or at least, that it turned in a completely different direction than I had envisioned in January 2012. 

I wish that somehow missing my Dad was something I could have left in 2012…but it followed me into 2013. And I’m afraid it will be with me for a long time to come. But I’m ready to look—and move—forward. I'm ready for 2013. I'm ready to create momentum again. 

During the space between Christmas and New Year, I thought a lot about my word for 2013. I wanted a word that encourages me to keep moving forward and to do so in a way that honors my Dad and his memory. I considered the word "count" as in "make it count" which is what my Dad did with the later part of his life. He made the days count. He even found ways to make the seconds count. He found ways to live life and laugh...even in the face of death. 

I also liked the idea of counting...counting goals, counting progress, counting blessings. 

But then it started to feel too technical and it felt like there was a better word, a word that would better encapsulates what I want in 2013. Another word kept coming up for me—the word is happy. 

As I look back and think about my dad, what I remember most was what a happy guy he was. Always laughing, always finding ways to have fun and be happy. And he made me happy just by being around him or talking to him on the phone. Even though I miss him and feel sad that he is gone, what I know for sure is that he would want me to be happy. And so, for 2013, my theme, my goal, my focus is on creating and spreading happiness.

And so my word for 2013 is happy. I'm looking forward to creating and sharing happiness in 2013.

What's your word, goal or theme for 2013? Thanks for sharing! Here's to making 2013 a wonderful year. 

Happy New Year! 




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Hi Aby! Happy new year! Excited for the changes, love your word. :)


Oh right is your word...counting counting counting :D love it

my word for 2013 is vigor and I'm hoping the goals class will help with figure out the rest over the coming month :D


Thanks so much Kelly! I'm excited for the changes, too. Hoping all the kinks work out soon. :)


Oh, great word Hannah! So happy you're taking the goals class! I look forward to connecting with you there.



Happy New Year! I love your word! Mine last year was Joy which is what I needed in my life last year. This year my new word is Dream, because I had lost my ability to dream at the start of last year, probably because I had no joy. But I sense a change, and so I'm ready to start dreaming again!


So can understand how you are feeling - my Dad is terminally ill and the time is just flying by. Last year my word was Time - this year I have chosen more. I want more time, more memories, more time spent with family, more creativity in my daily life, more dates with my hubby, more kindness, more thoughtfulness... more.


Great word this year - and last year - Marcia! So glad you are feeling more joy in your life and are now ready to dream again. Hugs, Aby :)


I'm so sorry you're dad is terminally ill Suzie. It's really hard and yet, such precious times all the same. I'm definitely glad I had some forewarning, though I hated to see my Dad suffer. I'm thankful for him that that period was relatively brief.

I hope your year is filled with *more* of everything you want.




Happy is on my short list. I want to be happier than I already am and I'm pretty darn happy. I want to do things that make ME happy and of course others too. I think I'll give it two more days. Hope to see you in your happy spot soon! Happy New Year!


Ooh, let us know what you decide. And thanks for your wishes for seeing me in my happy spot. :)


In spirit of not setting REsolutions, but rather finding solutions, I have made that my word for the year... Solutions.



So very sorry about your Dad.....I have followed your blog thru this journey and my heart breaks for you, him and all your family. Why do some things have to happen and have to be so hard??? On a lighter note, I love your word for 2013! My word this year is "choose." I chose this word because it involved MY active participation. "Choose" joy, "Choose forgiveness," "Choose health".....I felt like I needed to pick a word that would force me to be intentional and purposeful. My beloved sister passed away three years ago and she always chose "LIFE!" She, like your precious dad, CHOSE to find joy and life on the face of death. I am still learning and growing, hoping I can "CHOOSE" life this year and all it has to offer. Happy New Year!

Jennifer :0)

Ellen Anderman

Last year my word was Perservere. I am still at it, trying to finish a novel.

This year, because we hope to sell our "big" family house and move between a small house in New Mexico's countryside and a very small apartment "in town," I have chosen a phrase for the year, which applies to TIME 7 UNDERTAKINGS or DOINGS as well as STUFF:


Ellen Anderman

not 7! meant an ampersand &!


Love this Shanon! Thanks for sharing!!


Oh Jennifer, I'm so sorry that you lost your beloved sister. My sister has been my rock through the loss of my Dad...I can't imagine life without here. I love your word. I believe that happiness is a I'll be choosing right along with you this year. :)

Hoping you have a wonderful 2013.



How fabulous that you are working on a novel! Love your focus on "only what is loved" for 2013. Lovely!



Thanks for sharing! As always it is very inspirational. For the last month I have been searching for that "one" thing to focus on daily. My first word was peace. I stuck with this for a week or so, but now looking back and moving forward into 2013, my word is "positive." Not only be positive for myself daily, but hopefully a positive influence for others. I am a firm believer that if you speak positive words instead of negative words, things will move in that direction. Wishing you all the best in the New Year.


I couldn't agree more Stephanie! And I think that by focusing on being positive in will find the peace that was originally calling to you. Happy New Year!



Thanks for sharing this post, Aby - brought a few tears to my eyes while reading it. I love that you have chosen 'happy' for your word - from what you have shared about your Dad, I am sure that is what he would want for you :).

I haven't come up with a word yet - still pondering it.

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