(Photo taken in the lobby of the Met, where M and I saw Die Fledermaus last week! So much fun!)

I think part of the reason I had a bit of a difficult time figuring out settling on my word for this year is that last year's word, unfolding, is one of my core lifetime words. All my words of the year (since I started this practice) have felt very natural and intrinsically "just right" and unfolding even more so. Unfolding encompasses all my previous words and enfolds then into a harmonic wholeness.

Picking a new word, which gives shape to the year ahead, a lens from which to see the gestalt, seems especially difficult after finding that "just right" word. Especially since it isn't like there's a strong change between 40 and 41. Turning forty was a big deal. Forty-one? Not such a big deal.

(42 will be a bigger deal, just because I am a nerd.)

Still, forty-one is amazing (every year is amazing) and finding the right word for the year ahead is one of my early December tasks, so I've been mulling it over since last week.

I think today, I'm ready to decide: nurturing.

(While I was writing this, I started with one word - nourishing - and realized while I was describing the year ahead that nurturing made more linguistic sense. They're very similar, but not quite the same.)

Because 41 feels like it will be a year to nurture myself (my family and the world) and find ways to let the universe nurture me as well.

To nurture my growing cardiovascular health. (I got a zumba game for my birthday and oh my goodness! Wow! Zumba is fun!)

To nurture the second draft of my book (I'm almost ready!).

To nurture the next step for my book, after that second (and third, possibly fourth) draft is done.

To celebrate our child, the living child that my body nurtured into existence (miracle of miracles, after infertility), turning ten. An entire decade of parenting. This is mind boggling. I'm sure I'll be writing more about that this year.

And I'm also hoping that forty-one will be a year to:

* nurture my connection to the community around me.

* nurture my need for comfort and hygge, friendship and love.

* nurture the growing seeds of justice and equality and freedom in this world.

Yes, I believe the "just right" word for this year is nurturing.