2021. Here we go.

Grocery shop. Shirts to dry cleaners. Make vet appointment. Write speech. Pay life insurance premium. My to-do list grows.

Oh, and yes—plan the life for which I’m paying that insurance premium.

No biggie.

A belated Happy New Year to you all! Many of you know I normally choose a word for the year (it chooses me). I used to love to do this but now it’s become a “thing” and you know how I feel about “things.” Ugh. But the Universe would not brook any naysaying from me because it sent me not just one—but two—words just before I fell asleep a couple of weeks ago. You don’t think up your words, you see. You let me them come to you.

The Universe and I are still conversing on my objections to these words. I was hoping for “kismet” or “magic” or “prosperity.” But I got plain ‘ole “nourish and cultivate.” Hmph. That sounds like a “chop wood, carry water” type of year. But I think it’s all about self-care, moving toward the new, and cultivating the people, ideas and experiences that make the journey worth taking. If you have a word for 2021, put it in the comments. I’d love to see what inspired you all.

My sons have had to put up with my word each year during their childhood, so this funny video about choosing a word was much appreciated in my house. It’s bad enough to have a mother who is all about words from the Universe but when you combine that with the fact that she is an Enneagram Type 7—the Enthusiast—this video is even funnier.

In typical Enthusiast fashion, I’m tackling 2021 and the next phase of life. I am not a big believer in life coaches (apologies to you life coaches out there). I think it’s a cottage industry where many people far less wise than you and I are charging high hourly fees to just be positive and encourage us to do what common sense would dictate we do anyway. But there’s one man that I’ve watched and read for several years now—and he always stops me in my tracks. Soooooo honest and wise, particularly for his years (he is younger than I am, by quite a bit I think). I’m beginning to work with him this month and am actually excited (hello, Enthusiast) while also cautious (Midwestern cynic rears her head).

We chatted last week and when he asked what prompted me to reach out, I gave him the brief version of what many of you who have been with me on this journey already know. Life as I knew it blew up roughly a decade ago. I put my head down and plowed ahead, working too many hours to try to keep the vestiges of a life for my sons and me. Now, as my youngest gets closer to college age, I’ve lifted my head to look around me.

That shouldn’t be anxiety producing, right? But a dear friend (the same big bear of a man who worries about my romantic life) asked me a question over wine a couple of months ago: “Kristine, what’s your Oz?” And it stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t answer it.

If you’re familiar with the Wizard of Oz, Oz is the Emerald City, a magical place where dreams come true. My friend was asking me—sans kids and all of the stresses and responsibilities I’ve had, what life would make me smile every morning? What would my day look like? What would I see out of my window? Who would be with me?

I don’t know. I hate saying that, folks. But I really don’t know. I do know that I look at pieces of my existing life and I say, “Not this.” And I think it’s ok to start there. It’s a tiny footpath to Oz up a steep mountain, but I’m confident the path will widen and the incline will begin to soften as I go.

My friend can be a harsh critic but he was gentle and kind when he saw my blank face. He reminded me of the things he and others love about me. He reminded me, as did my new coach, that I have another lifetime within my lifetime still ahead. And that it’s worth making sure it fulfills me and brings me joy.

That’s what all this word hokey-pokey stuff is really about, friends. A guiding light, a North star, a reminder to us when we get bogged down in bills and less than enlightened coworkers and my-God-another-workout-didn’t-I-just-do-this-yesterday.

Wishing you a beacon of light in 2021, in the form of a whisper from the Universe.

Ssshhh. You have to get quiet before you can hear it.

Here we go.

47 Comments Add yours

  1. Ally Bean says:

    What is my Oz? I have no idea and it’s rather disturbing to me that I don’t know. What a great question– something on which to ponder. Thanks for asking it here.

    1. candidkay says:

      I know, right?! It’s a massive question and should really be a chance to dream a little. Welcome! Good to see you here:).

  2. I think you might be right 🤩

  3. To nourish and cultivate is just what is needed … wishing you a beacon of light for 2021! I hope you find your OZ Kristine .. makes me wonder about mine! 🙂

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Julie! When I look at that gorgeous paradise that you are living in, I think you’ve already found your Oz.🌞🐄🐑

  4. I think if ever there is a year for simple nourishing and cultivating, it’s this one. I think no matter how little we think we’ve been affected by the events of last year, it’s been more than that. I hope that this journey you’re embarking on will help you cultivate whatever your Oz turns out to be.

    1. candidkay says:

      What a beautiful way to put it, Andrea. Thank you. I do plan on cultivating some beautiful things this year. I just need to live on into what those will be.

  5. Hi. You mention common sense. Those two words might be my choices for this year. This country, and much of the rest of the world for that matter, has FAR too many people who lack common sense. They accept lies, believe in conspiracy theories, deny realities that couldn’t be more apparent. With any luck, at least some of these peoples’ minds will begin to untwist this year.

    1. candidkay says:

      Ah, yes. If only we could choose a word for collective society, right? Anything coming to you for your own life?

      1. I need to up my personal quotient of common sense!

  6. I usually just laugh when I see an ad for “life coach.” Personally, I just struggle along as best I can and everything generally works out ok. I’m content in my life as it is. If you’ve found the one life coach who is legit, I’m happy for you. It’s never too late to make a change for the better. It’s never too late to find your Oz. Go for it!

    1. candidkay says:

      I’m usually in your camp on this topic! But I feel like I need someone objective to help me look outside my usual lens. I have many wise good friends but all have their own bias and see me in their own way. He has no vested interest in being anything but objective . . . wish me luck!

  7. Masha says:

    LOL love that video. For the last 5 years my word has chosen me, usually it appears in October, my word for this year is “expand” every time I look at it, I feel like I’m expanding, it’s really weird. “nourish and cultivate.” great words I guess you’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out. Have fun with your words. Also I’m curious to know what you’ll learn about yourself after working with this coach. xoxo

    1. candidkay says:

      “Expand” feels really good. Just just rolls off the tongue. That one sounds truly inspired for you this year, Masha! And man-your muse is an early bird! Mine usually makes me wait until a few weeks into the new year😉😀.

  8. I’m with you as far as ‘life coaches’ are concerned, how do these well mean busy body’s maintain being happy and positive all the time………… unless they’re accomplished actors?

    1. candidkay says:

      I love learning from those wiser than I am in certain areas. But perky people who say everything with emphasis wear on you after awhile . . . there’s a big difference between those two groups!

  9. markbialczak says:

    I think the two words that came to you are just right for what’s needed for 2021 to fully flourish, Kay. Here’s to a big rebound year for all.

    1. candidkay says:

      Amen to that, Mark!

  10. Thanks for the video – hilarious and I just started Bridgerton. Last year my word was “gather” which didn’t work out too well for me considering there was a pandemic. So this year I went with “engage” so no matter the activity I hope to be truly present. It should be easy right since my activity is limited to working remotely, going to the grocery store, and walking the dog?! Alas, 2021 seems to be looking up so I do hope we can “gather” soon.

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, I’m laughing. Really? Gather? I think the Universe was showing you its sense of humor! And I hear you on the limited activity. You know I’m channeling the same. But the vaccine may allow you to extend your 2020 word into this year! And I’d truly love to be one of the ones gathering with you. Bridgerton was great cotton candy for the brain during this lockdown . . .

  11. Inkplume says:

    Oh, so many thoughts on this post! First, after seeing your “word” post last year, I jumped in for the first time. My word was “shift”. I thought it would apply only to me, but it feels like the whole world has shifted in the last year. Second, I am also still looking for my Oz, but I feel less stressed about it. Planning is good, but I think some things also just fall into place. Third, I loved the video because I recently started watching Bridgerton. And yes, the Duke IS hot!

    1. candidkay says:

      Oh, we must start with the Duke🔥🌶! Muy caliente! One man has made so many women happy, right? In the middle of a pandemic, no less. I love that I inspired you to choose a word. Last year was certainly an interesting year to choose one, as most of us had no idea what the year was going to bring. But “shift“ was certainly an interesting one. You’re right. Whole world certainly has shifted and feels like it’s continuing to do so. Are you choosing one this year? I love that you are allowing things to fall into place with your Oz. I know that will be a key part of the process for me also. I just need to see things from the outside in with the help of someone who’s really good at doing that. Blessings to you in 2021!

  12. bone&silver says:

    I’m a Number 7 too!
    Happy New Year to you too 🥰

    1. candidkay says:

      Well hello there, fellow enthusiast! I had no idea 😀. The world is better for having enthusiasts in it!

  13. Dale says:

    Can’t say I’ve ever chosen a word for the year. Though I do know many who do.
    That video was hilarious!
    What’s my Oz? Now you’ve really got me thinking… I have no blessed clue. But I know one thing for sure… it won’t come to me from some dude behind a curtain.

    1. candidkay says:

      Isn’t that video hysterical? They’re really funny! Maybe a word will come to you this year like it did to me, even though I wasn’t really planning on choosing one. And your Oz—that too! You and I have more variables than so many people who are settled, married, and certain where they will retire to together. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

      1. Dale says:

        Yes! So funny! I’ve never honestly considered choosing a word…
        Yeah, I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. We have so many possibilities. 😊

  14. Jane Fritz says:

    Warm wishes for inner peace and personal fulfillment along this journey, Kristine.

    1. candidkay says:

      Thank you, Jane! I am hoping that I find excitement rather than anxiety. I think it should be fun.

      1. Jane Fritz says:

        Yes, just take ‘anxiety’ right out of your list of words or emotions for the year!

  15. How exciting to see what will come of working with a life coach or whatever he calls himself. And your words “nourish and cultivate” sound so grounded, centered, and the perfect soil from which to create anew. I truly believe that especially after this past year, everyone needs to tend their own garden. And when the fruits become abundant, we’ll be able to share the plenty around us. My word is magic, and I think it comes from the hopeful space within me who’s always reaching for inner peace.

    1. Forgot to mention- yours is the second Oz reference I’ve come across in the past hour. Must be something there for me. Perhaps the magic of the ruby slippers, as in, I’ve always had it all along.

    2. candidkay says:

      Wow. I guess even though I wanted “magic,” the universe felt it was yours this year :-). I am wishing you it in spades! And I do like the way you make my words sound. I do believe that it’s all about building something new. And I think to do that, you have to till and fertilize the soil. I also think you’re right about the Oz comment. The universe is definitely trying to tell you something. It’s just a matter of figuring out what it is, as usual.

  16. nimslake says:

    Great post, Kay…
    And now I am wondering what my “Oz” should be, could be, envisioning neill have to commence later. Mayhap to dream??(shrugs)
    As for my word of the year, I only came across this a year or 2 ago. A good friend introduced me to it. To help with setting goals…whether I did them all or not. It was the journey…
    I’ll have to write own post how my word floated its way to me this year… 😊Y word this year…is “brave”.

    All the best for in this New Year.
    Nims

    1. candidkay says:

      Brave is awesome. Better than awesome. And yes—story needs to be told. It’ll inspire others on similar journeys!

  17. Best wishes on this journey. I have lived three complete lives, and I always find myself in the same position at the end of each. Counting on myself for the spirit to continue. I hope the same for you. Yes, I’m in the fourth, and this one will end the way nature intended. 😁

    1. candidkay says:

      That’s a lot of reinvention, John! I hope you’ve been able to step back, take stock, and have gratitude as each comes to a close and you begin a new phase. I think it’s the last phase – the one you allude to – that is sometimes the toughest to accept. I think you’ve got some Zen about it.

      1. I do. I have lived a full life and had many close calls, so now there is a gentle into the night feeling that is very comforting. I do cherish each day as a gift and am fortunate that all is well.

  18. I loved the video Kristine! Thanks for the laughs, and inspiration. I admire your gumption about words, life, and taking action to create a better life. I’ve given up on Oz, self-improvement, and more. These days I’m more focused on what’s in front of me. Kind of freeing and depressing at the same time. Maybe we need the dreams to keep hope and something un-named alive inside us. My word is compassion.

    1. candidkay says:

      Compassion is a great word, particularly given the time we’ve just come through in the U.S. And I actually admire your resolve to stay in the moment. That’s what I’ve been doing–I’m just worried that I don’t have a goal in sight. Your way may be wiser!

      1. Maybe wiser or lazier! I admire that you haven’t given up on wanting to set goals and improve your life.

  19. silviamwynter says:

    Thank you for sharing. You’re not alone. Oz is sometimes hard to define and I suspect, changes direction along the way. This left me feeling a bit sad, not for you, but because for many of us, myself included, Oz seems so utopian and somewhat beyond reach when presented as a goal. Some of us see Oz as clear as day – others don’t, because real life clouds it up. I’m one of the latte lol. I’m not a pessimist but I do know that the journey is as important as the destination. Stay well!

    1. candidkay says:

      It would be nice to be one of those who just KNEW, right? I feel like I used to be that gal. But perhaps Oz is sweeter when there’s been a journey to not only find it, but define it. Here’s to both of us finding ourselves there . . .

  20. Kathy says:

    Kay, I do like reading your blog posts and listening to your ponderings. Now you have me wondering what my OZ is. Am going to ponder that this afternoon. Like you, I am not sure. I have standard answers that I give–but every moment is new and fresh and maybe there’s something new to notice. P.S. the word “nourish” makes me feel all cozy & happy & loved inside.

    1. candidkay says:

      Happy New Year, Kathy! Thank you for the kind words. Makes me feel this pondering is more than navel-gazing if it spurs others to forward motion. Oz is a tough one, right? And might change over time. I like your take on “nourish.” I’m going to try to channel that . . .

  21. mydangblog says:

    “What’s your OZ?” That’s a great concept as long as you’re also your own ‘man’ behind the curtain:-)

    1. candidkay says:

      Yes! Great point. It was not lost on me that Oz was Oz because of a fantasy. But I love the idea of making it a reality:).

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