One Word 2017

What has the new year brought so far?

I’ve heard it said that what you do on the first day of the New Year is a precursor to what that year will be. Then again, I don’t make new year’s resolutions, I rarely eat the black-eyed peas my Southern upbringing considers good luck charms for the new year, and I still consider August/September more of a threshold than the end of each date in my calendar going up one.

But if you believe in all that, it’s another sign to me and my stubbornness that healing doesn’t come overnight. I spent New Year’s Eve 2016 in bed, sleeping. Knocked out by Tylenol PM by a cold that struck hard. By the first day back at work it was practically gone from my system. But it took a whole night and day of pure rest to nip it in the butt.

I thought I’d learned enough to enter this year with both fists swinging, ready to fight the fight, hit the ground running. It just took the one day of me taking care of myself, right?


Like the end of 2016, the beginning of 2017 has shown me that not all of what happens is in my control. In fact, only a very tiny little bit is.


Serenity is my one word for 2017.

I cannot change the results of political elections, I cannot change the entire capitalist system we live in or even the bits of my industry. Not on my own, not overnight.

I cannot keep things as they are. I wouldn’t really want them to stay them same, even though at this very moment I am wishing for just that.

Until I can embrace the fact that change is the key to the future, to my favorite stories, people, and places, I’ll say my word and remember the whole serenity prayer. And I’ll keep saying it, even if it takes all year!

One year soon I’d really like my one word to be more goal-related in terms of my art and writing career. Although maybe that’s why it’s not: I don’t need to keep that front and center. It always is.

What’s your one word for 2017?

Honorable Mention goes to this great quote I saw on Matt Nathanson’s Facebook page: 

You are allowed to be a masterpiece and a work of in progress, simultaneously.

(Apparently it’s a repost from Guerilla Feminism, but I’m crediting it to both.)


About austinausten88

Playwright in love with Classic films, afternoon tea, and Noel Coward. She recently graduated from Rice University. In the fall, she will be exchanging her English major undergraduate status for that of Theatre & Performance Studies graduate student.
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3 Responses to One Word 2017

  1. Pingback: Unexpected Superhero | gladlybeyondaustinausten

  2. Pingback: Words Consumed in 2017 | gladlybeyondaustinausten

  3. Pingback: One Word 2018 | gladlybeyondaustinausten

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