(For the past six years, I’ve used Reverb10 prompts to give myself a question to answer every day of December. It’s a great way to reflect on the year and set goals for the future. I’ve kept my favorite prompts, added a few from other sources, and created my own month-and- a-bit of questions.)
One Word. Encapsulate the year in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. What’s the word for next year?
This was the year of Information. For better and for worse.
I set myself a goal of reading 100 books. I decided to Learn Spanish. I also tried to take control of my commute, and make it productive. As a result, I filled up my mental space with information of all kinds, in all forms. Books. Podcasts. Classes. Spanish lessons on the way to work. Books or newspapers at lunch. Podcasts on the way home. Books on tape. MP3 books. Books from the library, books from work. Spanish telenovelas. Documentaries. Classes in museums. Classes around small tables. Classes via YouTube. Via teleconferencing. Radio programs. Newsletters. Words. Words. Words.
It was also the year of lots of information about the election, and not only the ‘fake’ news but the polls that were ‘off.’ Facebook check ins, Instagram searching. Last Week Tonight and Five Thirty Eight as a balm to my worries. There was a time in November where I was listening to daily podcasts about polls and the news cycle … and then after the election I couldn’t stomach those same shows that had been so dead wrong. Bubbles. Bubbles. Bubbles.
And yet, it was also the year that I stopped blogging about tarot. I can’t help but think there is a correlation there. After all, tarot requires silence.
So, I’ve doubled down on silence by getting a bit more serious about my meditation practice.
I also find myself thinking a lot about how I get information, how I process it, and how I can make sure I have better quality information in my life. I’ve sought out podcasts that don’t reinforce my view of the word. I signed up for a real subscription to the New York Times. I’ve sought out books by authors of color. I’m still in a sea of information, but it’s a better sea, perhaps. I’m not sure how that will work out in 2017, but it has to be better.
The word for next year? I like the sound of Silence.
(P.S. Last year I wrote this.)